Request a Quote!
CALL US TODAY - 850-244-1574
"Serving the Emerald Coast for 40 years"

Protecting your Property During Tourist Season

Protecting your Property During Tourist Season

Protecting your Property During Tourist Season

Tourist season is almost here and with that comes increased traffic, noise, and mischief from those visiting. Destin has a thriving rental market with 6,100 active short-term rentals in Destin, almost equaling the number of households here at 6,400. There has been a 15.10% increase in the supply of short-term rentals in Destin over the last five years making it a great place for locals and non-locals to invest.

With the increase in people, comes the increased risk of theft and damage to property.  I’m sure all of us have been a victim or know a victim of theft during these busy summer months. The Sheriff’s office confirms that crime, especially vehicle burglaries, increases during these months, but most of these thefts are entirely preventable.  90-95% of burglaries in Okaloosa County happen when the car is already unlocked. And good outside home lighting deters burglars by 80%.

We want to make sure everyone and their property in town is properly protected against potential people or natural disasters that can harm your most valuable assets. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office provided these tips for Burglary Prevention.

For your Car:

  • Lock, Take, and Hide. Lock your car doors, Take your keys, & Hide your belongings.
    • Many high-value cars have an extra key in their user manual, make sure you take this out of your car an put it in a secure location.
  • Hide all valuables out of sight.
  • Park in well-lit and easily viewed areas.
    • Beach access points, gyms, condos, and the mall are the most heavily targeted areas.
  • Drive more cautiously in the tourist season assuming no-one knows how to use a round-about or how to turn out of Chick-fil-a

For you Home:

  • Get a home security camera and alarm system.
  • Trim bushes back to less than 3 feet and tree canopies are 6 feet or higher.
  • Register for vacation watch during periods of time you’re away.
  • Have Motion Lights to the outside of the home.
  • Take photos of all valuables
  • Report all suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office: Non-Emergency Number: 850-651-7400

Insurance Protection for Rental Properties

Insurance for rental homes generally insures very differently than your standard primary residence home. You shouldn’t assume that the coverage you have for your own home are the same as coverages for a property that is rented it out to others. They generally have more vauge language and less coverage. They can provide less coverage for extensive water damage, theft, and personal injury.  Many times, these policies don’t even have clauses that include vandalism (when a tenant causes damage to the property).

Situations with golf carts, bikes, and dogs that are in the rental homes are especially complicated and usually excluded from coverage. These three situations can result in the homeowner being responsible for any damage caused. We suggest not supplying golf carts or bikes, having a separate policy for them, or having a very detailed waiver that the guest must sign before check-in.

One scenario we’ve seen before is a child ingested something in the house and had to go to the hospital, the medical bills that follow weren’t covered under the rental property insurance that may have been covered with a normal home-owner’s insurance policy.

With many rental units being a source of income, please also pay attention to wording in your insurance dealing with “Loss of Use”. Sometimes this is not included and could mean that if a pipe burst in June, requiring extensive down-time to repair, the lost income from that time may not be recoverable.

Using a property management company can also provide additional protection for your rental property. Property management companies can have insurance coverage that fills in the gaps of Rental Insurance. IF you have a contract in place with them for making sure damages are their responsibility, they can have a property damage clause and physical damage coverage.   For example, a recent property management company filed a claim for $15,000 for damages done by the renters. This is money that the homeowner wouldn’t have to pay.  Find out what coverage they have and read the contract of what they are responsible for in terms of damage and liability.

Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or our mobile application or reliance on any information provided on the site.Your use of the site and your reliance on any information on the site and our mobile application is solely at your own risk.
The insurance information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of insurance advice. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site or our mobile application is solely at your own risk.