If you own a timeshare or are considering buying one, you may be wondering about the best way to protect your investment in the event something happens on the property.
First, it’s important to understand how owning a timeshare is different from owning a second home. With a timeshare, you “share” ownership with several parties. Along with your co-owners, you agree to a specific arrangement regarding when you can use the property for vacations.
How you go about protecting your shared property depends on whether the property is deeded or undeeded. If your timeshare is undeeded—meaning you did not receive a deed at the time of purchase—you don’t own actual property. In this case, it’s a good idea to call your insurance broker and simply add the address of the timeshare as an insured location on your existing homeowner’s insurance policy. That will ensure your belongings are covered while vacationing at the property.
If, however, your timeshare is deeded, you are a partial owner of the property and could be financially exposed if something happened at the property. For example, if the guest of a fellow co-owner had a slip-and-fall accident at the timeshare property and incurred costly medical bills as a result, he or she could hold all the owners liable. Even if you did not know the other timeshare co-owner or his guest, and were not present at the time of the accident, you could be held partially responsible in a lawsuit filed to collect damages for the injury.
By adding an endorsement to your primary homeowner’s coverage, you can ensure that the money you need to pay legal fees and other medical expenses (up to the limits of your policy) will be there if the court finds you partially at fault for the accident.
Keep in mind that with some insurers, you may need a separate policy to cover your deeded timeshare. Talk to your insurance broker to find out for sure and to explore all your timeshare coverage options.