June 2, 2020

For many Ontarians, the cottage is a home away from home. It’s a place to make memories with family and friends. It’s where you go to unwind and live stress-free. This is why it’s important that you have the right insurance for your cottage.

Cottages have increased risks because their owners are less likely to check up on them on a regular basis. If something happens, like a pipe bursts or a window sustains damage from vandalism or a storm, it may take days or even weeks before the owners become aware of the problem.

Like any good insurance policy, you hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you want to know that you’re covered.

This blog will provide you with insight into the importance of cottage insurance and how to find a policy that meets your needs.

Cottage insurance gives you peace of mind

You’d never second-guess having insurance to protect your home, so why should a cottage be any different?

You should protect your year-round cottage, seasonal cottage, cottage rental, condominium, or vacant (recreational) land from:

  • Burglary
  • Vandalism
  • Sewer backup
  • Replacement cost on content
  • Theft
  • And more

Give yourself peace of mind knowing that, no matter who is at your cottage or what happens while they’re there, you are covered.

Insurance protects you, your boats, and your watercraft

On top of ensuring that you have coverage for your cottage, you want to make sure that you have coverage for your boat and watercraft. Your coverage should include liability protection so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for an accident on the water. Our recommendation is that you have $2 million in liability coverage.

It’s important to note that most standard homeowner insurance policies, that have liability coverage, do not cover motorized watercraft. This is why it’s so important to speak to your insurance broker about getting properly insured.

To read more about boat & watercraft insurance, click here.

Insurance for an island cottage

There are many variables that insurance agents will take into consideration when it comes to an island cottage. In fact, insurance for island cottages is often so difficult to write that many insurers don’t offer it. Fortunately, The Ostic Group has a network of insurers who are experienced in the nuances of island cottages.

Why is cottage insurance hard to write?

There is an added liability when insuring island cottages. Here are some examples:

  • Remoteness
  • Lack of access (e.g. in an emergency)
  • Risks when transporting goods and people across the water
  • Repair and rebuild costs

Ostic has a network of insurers who are experienced in the specifics and difficulties that come with insuring island cottages. Reach out to us if you have any questions.

Tips to protect your cottage

Most insurance companies will not offer coverage for a cottage unless they already provide insurance for your primary home. Additionally, because you are not living in your cottage full-time, it can be more expensive or difficult to get insurance for something like theft or water damage. Since secondary properties are unoccupied for long stretches of the year, they’re naturally more vulnerable to these kinds of damages.

Following a few of these suggestions can greatly reduce the potential risks for your cottage or vacation home:

  1. Turn off the water supply and drain the pipes
    This is not always feasible, but it’s the best way to reduce the risk of pipes bursting during the winter.
  2. Install a temperature monitor for your heating system
    Newer temperature control devices can be routed through your smartphone. They are also programmed to alert you if the cottage’s temperature drops below a certain level.
  3. Ask a neighbour or a local friend to check on the property
    Depending on the location of your property, this can be an easy way to minimize many of the risks for secondary property. Make sure you find someone you trust. Ask them to visit your property periodically. This can be as simple as a weekly drive-by or a more involved arrangement, depending on what you need and what your coverage requires.
  4. Install automated lighting or leave an energy-efficient light on
    Lights around your property can be a great way to dissuade burglars or vandals. If installing a sophisticated set-up is too much effort, leave a light on to make your cottage look occupied. Choosing an energy-efficient bulb will keep your costs negligible, even over a prolonged period of time.

The complexities of buying insurance for a cottage or vacation home depend entirely on the property in question. It’s always best to consult a trusted professional before making a decision. At Ostic Insurance Brokers, we are here to ensure that your home away from home is protected — and we’re happy to help you find more creative solutions to make this happen!

Contact us today.

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