Mackay Insurance Blog
Victoria Day weekend, aka cottage-opening weekend, is around the corner!
This is a great time to refer to your cottage-opening checklist and start getting your game plan together. After all, the less time you spend actually opening your cottage, the more time you can spend enjoying it.
One key item it is so easy to overlook is insurance coverage. It may not be the most exciting part of opening up your cottage for the season, but it sure comes in handy if anything goes wrong!
In this post, learn what you need to know to determine if all of the coverage you need is in place.
3 Important Types of Cottage Insurance Policies
Of course, you want to have cottage insurance in place to protect you and your guests while you are on-site and to protect belongings and premises when no one is there.
But this isn’t the only type of cottage insurance you need to consider, especially if you keep valuable property or vehicles there or you have guests or tenants.
Your main cottage insurance policy protects your cottage itself, its contents and the surrounding property. It also protects you if a visitor experiences a mishap while on your property and decides to sue.
What many cottage owners do not realize is that their cottage use habits can impact how much they may pay for a standard cottage insurance policy.
Closing your cottage versus keeping it open year-round is another decision that can change what you pay for cottage insurance.
Declaring your cottage as a secondary residence can impact both your cottage insurance rates and the coverage that is available. Cottages that are actually regularly used “second homes” may be eligible for broader coverage.
We have written a detailed blog post about choosing the right cottage insurance that can help you think through the types of standard coverage and protective insurance riders you need in advance of the start of cottage season.
If you plan to rent out your seasonal cottage to tenants for part or all of the summer, or if you want to allow friends or relatives to stay for extended periods when you are away, you may need more than just a standard cottage insurance policy for protection.
A basic cottage insurance policy may allow limited use by other people. Before loaning or renting your cottage to others, you should call your broker to determine what your specific policy allows and arrange the correct coverage for the actual use of the cottage. Talk to your broker specifically about what goes with the cottage when you rent it out – for example, the use of a boat or an ATV.
If you do plan to start renting out your cottage, our knowledgeable brokers are happy to talk with you about your plans and protection needs before the season begins in earnest.
Recreational property or vehicle insurance
Recreational vehicles can include motorized boats, ATVs, classic cars, mopeds, motorcycles, jet-skis, trailers and trailer hitches, RVs and others.
If you store recreational (seasonal) property or vehicles on-site at your cottage or off-site, be sure insurance is in place before using them. You may need to reinstate full insurance on a vehicle that is used seasonally. If your insurance or plates renewed over the winter, remember to get the updated pink cards in each vehicle and tags on each license plate.
Making sure you have correct insurance in place for each recreational vehicle is important both for your own safety and for that of guests who may also use these vehicles during their stay at your cottage. It is particularly important to discuss with your broker the rules around other people using your vehicles. A standard vehicle policy does not allow you to “rent that vehicle out” to another person as part of a cottage rental.
Save Money By Reviewing Your Current Cottage Insurance Policy
We always recommend taking a few minutes each year to review your active insurance policies with your Mackay Insurance broker.
Be sure to talk through these important points, which may lower your cottage insurance rates:
How often are you in residence at your cottage?
Does your cottage stay open only seasonally or year-round?
Who uses your cottage (you, family, friends, rental tenants)?
Does someone check on your cottage regularly when you are not in residence?
What type of security system (if any) exists at your cottage?
Do you store any recreational vehicles at your cottage?
Do you store any personal valuables at your cottage when you are not in residence?
Is your cottage your primary or secondary residence?
Do you have other buildings (workshops, sheds, boathouses, garages) at your cottage?
Do you conduct any business at your cottage (renting it out or another enterprise)?
Your answers to these questions can impact what you pay as well as what types of coverage and riders you need to fully protect your cottage investment and your plans to use your cottage.
Are You a First-Time Seasonal Cottage Owner?
If you are entering cottage season as a proud cottage owner for the first time, congratulations! This is a dream for many Canadians, and you are about to begin living it!
We know there can be a huge learning curve in your first year of cottage ownership and cottage insurance is only one small part of that learning curve.
Our friendly, knowledgeable brokers are happy to walk you through the steps for how cottage insurance works, what coverage you need to protect your investment and how to adjust your policy seasonally to reflect your usage.
Get in Touch
Are you getting excited for the start of cottage season? We sure are! If you need help with a new cottage insurance policy or want to review your existing policy, we can help.
Contact us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.