3 Reasons Why You Need a Cottage Insurance in Ontario
Owning a cottage is like owning a little piece of heaven. In Ontario, cottage ownership provides one of the most fulfilling escapes from the bustle and hustle of city life. Whether you prefer to soak in the sun outside, entertain friends and family, or late-night campfires, a cottage is a perfect investment.
However, owning a cottage also comes with additional responsibilities. And one of these is cottage insurance. Just like any other coverage, cottage insurance protects your property from the insured perils. If you own a cottage but have no insurance, you risk digging deeper into your pockets when uninsured perils occur, or worse, losing your little haven.
What is cottage insurance?
Cottage insurance is an insurance policy that protects your cottage property and the contents from the insured perils. Cottage insurance applies to cottages, cabins, lodges, vacation homes, lake houses, chalets, and seasonal property.
You can either purchase:
Comprehensive cottage insurance
This protects the property, its contents, and even structures from all threats. However, insurers have varying exclusions and limitations on this. The coverage extends to:
- The cottage- This is the physical structure of the cottage. If the roof or windows are damaged due to a hailstorm, your insurer should cater for the repairs.
- Belongings- These include any belongings inside the cottage, shed, garage, and other structures. When purchasing the cottage insurance, your insurer will require a complete inventory of the contents in the cottage.
- Unattached structures- These include structures such as docks, sheds, and fences.
- Liability- Liability insurance protects the cottage owner from medical costs arising from injuries sustained in the cottage.
Named perils insurance
This provides coverage from specific perils as stipulated in the policy.
Optional cottage insurance
Every cottage has different insurance needs depending on the likelihood of risk from occurring. For instance, a cottage that is further away from a lake may not need overland flooding insurance, while it is vital for one that is closer to a lake. Among the optional cottage insurance coverage that you can add to your policy include protection from bunkies or docks, overland flooding, water damage, and sewer backup, as well as power outages.
What is not covered by cottage insurance?
Insurers have varying exclusions and limitations on cottage insurance. Here are some of the perils that some insurers may not cover.
- Damage from insects, pests, and other animals
- Damage caused by normal wear and tear
- Deliberate damage on the property and any contents
- Damage sustained due to neglect by the property owner
- Landslides and earthquakes
Why do you need cottage insurance in Ontario?
1. The peace of mind
You can never go wrong with cottage insurance. The peace of mind that you get from the all-year protection of the property and the contents is incomparable to any amount of money. And given that the cottage may be unoccupied for a significant amount of time, you get to relax and concentrate on what matters, be it work, other investments, or even children, without the ongoing worry about what happens to your property even when you are not around.
2. Safeguard your finances
You are one lucky homeowner if you have never paid for repairs out of pocket. These can drain and even cripple your finances, more so when the property is uninsured. With cottages, especially, the risk of perils is even higher since the property may remain unoccupied for extended periods. Think of burglary, vandalism, or even fire on your cottage. If insured, all you have to do is file a claim. However, the cost of replacing items, re-building structures, or even rebuilding the entire cottage can be unaffordable. That means no more vacations in your cottage, and we are sure you do not want to experience that.
3. Protect your investment against the insured risks
Cottages are not cheap. If you own one, you must have spent a substantial amount of funds on the cottage and its contents. And you need to protect your investment. Cottage insurance protects your property against insured risks such as vandalism and fire. Since cottages are rarely used, they are at more risk of damage by fire, wild animals, and even vandalism.
Here are some extra tips that will come in handy when insuring your cottage
- Ensure you get the right coverage for your cottage- Cottage insurance providers do not offer a one-fits-all plan. Instead, your insurer will tailor your cottage insurance based on the location, how often the property is used, the contents, availability of fire arrestors and security systems, property features, and the type of construction materials used. Also, the proximity from the lake and whether the property is used for commercial purposes are other factors that insurers use to determine the coverage needed.
- Do not ignore civil liability coverage- No matter the value or usability of your cottage, do not ignore civil liability coverage. You might accidentally damage another person’s property. Or worse, someone may sustain fatal injuries at your cottage. Civil insurance will protect you against lawsuits from such situations.
- Install safety measures- Your insurer will assess the likelihood of risks occurring before handing you your quote. If you have enforced safety measures such as installing smoke detectors, ensuring the heating system works optimally, and proper maintenance on the property, the cost of your cottage insurance may be significantly reduced.
- Minimize the risk of theft and vandalism- This means having efficient systems in your property. Also, ensuring that all contents are safely stored will minimize the risk of theft and reduce the cost of your insurance.
- Be transparent with your insurer- Failure to be transparent about the use of your cottage with your insurer will not get you sufficient coverage. In most cases, your claims may even be rejected. For instance, it is not wrong to rent out your cottage. However, your insurer needs to be informed to provide the right coverage. Some insurers do not provide coverage when a cottage is rented, while others offer rental income coverage.
- Compare insurance quotes from different insurance providers- If you want competitive coverage and price, you need to compare quotes from different insurers. Do not be in haste to settle for one insurer, lest you may be short charged.
Owning a cottage is for sure magical. Just like any other property, your cottage may be exposed to various risks, hence the need for insurance. Ensuring you get the right cottage coverage guarantees you peace of mind, not to forget safeguarding your investment. And you get to enjoy your holiday alongside friends and family in a safe and carefree way!