Knowledge is money and reading this list of five things that impact your seasonal property insurance will help you save money in the long run.
- It is your responsibility to prevent damages and losses to your property. If you can easily prevent damages, and you don’t, the loss may not be covered.
As the owner of the property, you have an onus to ensure easily avoidable damages do not occur. If you forget to lock your cottage door or turn on the alarm system, and a theft occurs, losses may not be covered, as they could have been easily prevented.
- If your property is unattended for a lengthy time period, damages or losses may not be covered.
Even if your property is seasonable, it is your responsibility as the owner to regularly check it. Many insurance companies have a maximum number of days that the property can remain unattended before coverage could be denied (60 or 90 days are common periods).
For example, if you don’t visit your cottage over the winter months and the roof collapses due to excessive snowfall, you may need to pay for those damages out of pocket. The reason here is that if you checked on your cottage throughout the winter and cleared out the snow every month, you could easily have prevented these damages.
Always check with your broker or insurance company about how long your property can remain unattended so you understand exactly when your coverage might lapse.
- If you’re renting out your cottage, you might need a different insurance policy!
Renting out your cottage could potentially void your policy. Many policies do not cover damages caused by renters. Check with your insurance company or broker before you rent. Read our article before you rent your cottage.
- Surprisingly, water damage is the most common type of claim for seasonal properties.
Many people think theft or fires are the major causes of damages for cottages, but the most common cause of damage is water! If you close your cottage during the winter, make sure you drain your pipes and shut off the water supply. You can even consider using a water alarm to notify you remotely if flooding happens or frozen pipes burst. As we mentioned above, you should also be checking on your property throughout the winter months, to ensure avoidable damage does not happen.
- Toys can cost you a lot of money!
Many cottagers have boats, ATVs or snowmobiles that they use seasonally. Even though some of these smaller items may not be worth insuring against damage or theft, these ‘grown-up’ toys can cost you a lot of money. You need liability protection to ensure that if any of your toys cause harm to something or someone, your insurance will cover injuries and damages. Most seasonal property insurance policies do not cover toys like these. Again, check with your broker to ensure everything on your property is appropriately covered!
As you can tell, there’s a common theme for these ‘need-to-knows’ – if in doubt, talk to your insurance company or broker. It is always better to understand your policy before the season starts each year, so you can take any action needed to either increase your coverage or prevent avoidable losses. Nothing can ruin your summer like a huge bill to fix something you thought would be covered!