Date Published: 2024/03/16

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How Does Cottage Coverage Work?

An image of a serene and still lake on a beautiful sunny day. The image shows a dock with a canoe tethered to the edge. A Canadian flag is proudly displayed. Across the lake a neighbour’s cottage can be seen.

Yes! You finally purchased a cabin on the lake or a quaint seaside cottage for family vacations. Is cottage insurance expensive? Is it complicated? How does it work?

The great news is that it’s easy to find and customizable to your needs.

Protection for Your Part-time Vacation Home

Just like your primary home insurance, cottage insurance is designed to repair or replace your lakeside cottage, mountain chalet, or cabin in the woods if it is damaged by fire, theft, or a storm. It also has liability coverage that can help defray medical bills if somebody is injured on your property.

Where the policy will differ is how much coverage is offered for your personal possessions--since you probably keep fewer items and less valuable furnishings at your part-time home.

Most importantly, every cottage policy will be unique to your particular circumstances.

Flexible Policies that Cater to Your Particular Cottage Use and Location

Your cottage coverage will be built with the assistance of an insurance professional. The value of the policy will be based on the location of the building--whether it is in a holiday community in Saint John with paved streets and a local firehouse or situated on a private lot on Prince Edward Island accessed by a dirt road and no other neighbours nearby.

You will be asked if you rent out the cottage. Does it have a monitored security system or does the resort maintenance person check in once a week to make sure the heat is on? Do you visit every weekend or just for a couple of weeks a year? Fully applianced or do you use a camp stove outside for meals?

A much different policy will be crafted for a six-bedroom townhouse located in a Banff ski resort vs. your grandfather's hunting cabin near Sepaq.

Shop for Named Peril or All-Risk Coverage Depending on Your Needs

Part of what keeps cottage insurance affordable is the kind of perils that your property is likely to face. Some policies for a sheltered home a few blocks off the beach may exempt you from being protected against falling trees or wind damage. So, it is important that you review the particulars of your policy before paying your first instalment. If you desire your luxury getaway to be covered against all possible threats, ask for an all-risk policy. If your lake location is known for having an active bear population, you can add a line specifically for wildlife damage.

Common Cottage Features that May Require Additional Insurance

Take your time while building your new policy. Basic coverage only protects the main building and perhaps the garage. If you want your docks to be replaced after a major ocean storm, that will need an additional notation.

Bunkhouses without plumbing and just a single light should be included, but you will want the structure valued appropriately compared to the main lodge. Storage sheds must be noted as well. While your kayak may be listed under personal possessions, a boat with an outboard motor will be excluded.

Finally, as building codes change, so will the cost of replacing your family camp in case of total loss. You may be required to make upgrades to the current chalet in order to retain full coverage.

Pontoon Boats and Campers Need a Different Approach

Your cottage insurance policy will not be an umbrella for all your toys that you take on vacation. Boat insurance should be purchased for your pontoon or fishing yacht. Also, your RV the kids might like to sleep in throughout the summer needs a separate policy.

Do not assume that your jet skis or ATVs will be replaced because they are parked on your vacation property, unless you have spoken to your insurance agent.

Click or Call for Your Personalized Cottage Insurance Quote

How do you make sure that your summer cottage is properly protected? Contact an Orbit insurance broker at 844-929-4768 and ask for assistance in selecting your cottage insurance policy. Discover service that revolves around you.