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Cottage on the lake with tall trees in backdrop

It’s Cottage Season!

From coast to coast, on every deep, clean lake in Canada, you will find cottages. Time seems to move slower at a cottage as the peace and tranquility of the surrounding wilderness engulfs you. We Canadians love our seasonal properties; our home away from home. When you love something that much, you protect it – with the right insurance. There are a few things your insurance agent needs to know to determine the type of insurance and the amount of insurance you need.

How is your vacation property used? How often your property is used, how much time you spend there each year, and do you use it year round? Do you ever rent it out? These are all important questions, the answers to which will determine the best insurance package you will need.

Ideally, vacation properties can be listed on your home insurance as a secondary or seasonal location. You can also have a separate policy for property insurance.

How often is your cottage used?

Summer only, a week here or there, every weekend? The more often your vacation property is used, the lower the risk of theft, vandalism or damage. There is risk associated with part-time occupation, therefore, cottages are generally insured on a named perils policy instead of a comprehensive or all risks policy.

Year round use?

For many reasons your insurance broker will want to know if you use your recreational property year round. Most importantly, should something happen to your property and it is vacant for an extended period of time, damage may be more severe as it takes longer to discover.


Do you rent your cottage out?

If you are in the cottage rental market, your insurance provider should be notified. It is important to ensure that you have third party liability coverage which protects you is someone is hurt on your property or if actions by the renters causes damages to neighboring properties.

Common exclusions

Secondary and seasonal home insurance commonly does not cover certain things, such as: Sewer backup, damage to or loss of fences, food in a freezer, gardening equipment, plants, trees and shrubs.

Additional coverage

Depending on your property and your insurance needs, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

Contents – Many insurance policies include coverage of contents up to a certain percentage of the dwelling limit. This is for contents permanently left at the cottage. Anything that you bring with you and take back from home is covered under your regular home insurance policy.

Detached private structures – outbuildings such as boat houses, bunkies, garages, sheds and even your dock are usually included with limited coverage; if you require more coverage, talk to your insurance provider.

Replacement cost – this insurance covers the repair or replacement of contents without any deduction for depreciation.

Types of cottage insurance

Comprehensive – This type of policy covers both the building and its contents for all risks (except for those specifically excluded).

Named Perils – This type of policy provides coverage only for the specific perils stated in your policy. Typical perils include fire, explosion and smoke damage.

For information and tips for keeping your cottage safe and insured, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada. For an insurance quote for your seasonal property please call McDougall Insurance today or go online to receive a free quote. Your cottage is for relaxing, not for worrying about your insurance, let an insurance broker remove that burden for you.


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