How does cottage coverage work?
Your home away from home, your sanctuary, the place where you make incredible memories with friends and family. It goes by many names, but whether you call it the cottage, cabin, or chalet, they all have one thing in common – a specific insurance that provides adequate coverage and peace of mind.
When looking for insurance, it is important to consider how you use your cottage, and how it is different from your home.
- Is it seasonal or winterized for year-long use?
- Do you rent it out regularly or even occasionally?
- Is it a family retreat or do you have guests frequently?
Depending on circumstances, you may be able to list your cottage on your home insurance as a secondary property or opt for a stand-alone property policy. Different insurance companies offer different types of coverage. For example, some may only offer what is called a named perils policy that covers events like a fire, but not coverage for water damage or vandalism. This is because unlike your home, a vacant cottage that is not monitored regularly may be seen as being a greater risk.
Even if your property does not have a permanent structure or has a cabin you feel is not worth the cost to insure, you still should have liability insurance. It is coverage that is used in case someone is hurt on your property or if you are responsible for damage to your neighbour’s property.
Septic backup, earthquakes, oil spills and theft of expensive items like ATVs, dirt bikes, watercraft, campers, and trailers are not usually covered, but separate coverage may be available.
To protect your valuables, you should consider additional coverage, such as content insurance. Not all policies provide enough coverage for the items that remain at the cottage. Items that regularly travel back and forth from home to cottage are covered by your home insurance policy.
Tips for protecting your cottage
- Smoke and CO detectors. Test frequently and change their batteries regularly.
- Get to know your neighbours and keep an eye on each other’s properties. Some cottage neighbourhoods have their own Cottage Watch Associations.
- Consider using cameras to monitor your property while you are away.
- Water sensors can warn you if you have a leak, flood or back up before they become a disaster.
- Post No Trespassing and other signs to warn that the property is monitored.
- Have a local service check in on your property during the offseason.
- Keep your roof and eavestroughs clear of leaves, branches and other debris.
- Maintain the trees on your property. Remove dying trees before they become a hazard.
- Keep an inventory of any valuables. Click here to download an inventory checklist from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
- Review your insurance coverage with an insurance broker.
Thinking about buying a seasonal property and need help determining exactly how much and what level of coverage you need? Want to review your current coverage? Contact your AGR Insurance broker for help. Whether you need to insure your home, your cottage, your valuables, or your vehicle, we are here to help. Call 1-800-668-0250 today with your questions or to get a quote.