Escaping to the cottage or any vacation property you are fortunate enough to own provides a welcome break from everyday stresses. If you cannot be there year-round, having adequate cottage insurance in place can give you real peace of mind regarding your second home.
Vacation property insurance is similar to insuring your primary residence. In fact, it is possible to include your cottage on your home insurance as a seasonal or secondary location, or you could arrange for cottage insurance as an entirely separate policy.
Different Considerations for Seasonal Property Insurance
There are some insurance options to think about that are unique to insuring a seasonal property:
- Waterfront exposure? This means you might own expensive recreational items like boats or jet skis, which you may want to insure specifically.
- Recent property valuation? If you have been renewing your cottage insurance for many years, the original value will definitely not be enough to help you rebuild it or even make significant repairs if needed.
- Contents insurance: If your cottage is mainly furnished with second-hand items and garage sale gems, you could save money here if you are comfortable with minimal or no contents coverage.
- Fireplace or wood stove? With approval from a certified professional (WETT inspection), a cottage with a safely working fireplace or wood stove can be insured.
- Do you rent it to others? This makes Third Party Liability insurance even more important to protect you if someone else (renters or visitors) injures themself on your property.
- Outbuildings: If you have a boathouse or shed or other detached buildings on your property, be sure to find out if they are included or need separate coverage.
Be Prepared for Common Claims
When deciding what type of coverage you might need for your seasonal home, it is helpful to know which type of claims are most common. Here is a list of possible claims to be ready for:
- Storm damage: strong winds can easily bring trees down crashing into your cottage or heavy snow can cave in a roof, and both scenarios mean significant repairs will be necessary.
- Burst pipes: when no one is there to take quick action, by the time the problem is discovered the damage can be extensive.
- Theft or vandalism: unfortunately unoccupied premises are at greater risk for these types of claims.
- Animal damage: bears can certainly do damage but if raccoons moved in for the winter, you will have a nasty surprise to deal with in the spring.
- Fire: like pipes bursting, no one is there to take quick action, and fire-fighting resources are not usually nearby, so a fire can cause a devastating loss.
Seasonal Homes Mean Higher Risk
Even though your cottage or seasonal home is probably not as valuable as your primary residence, it can cost more to insure it because of the increased risk when no one is there to monitor it.
An insurance broker already deals with a number of different insurers and can do the shopping around for you to find an economical solution for cottage insurance. If you have any questions about vacation property insurance or would like a no-obligation quote, feel free to call Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at email@example.com.