Mackay Insurance Blog
2023 Cottage Insurance Checklist: For Your Best Season Yet!
Cottage season is right around the corner!
Who doesn’t love a fun, relaxing trip to the cottage? Whether you’re eight years old or eighty, the novelty never ends!
Those calm mornings you spend reading in your favourite Muskoka chair. The sunny afternoons you spend boating through waves and swimming off the dock. Those cosy evenings around a family fire - roasting more marshmallows than you can count.
These memories make cottage living so memorable for the whole family!
While it’s too early to pack your bags, now is the perfect time to start preparing your policy.
Make the most of your cottage weekends this summer with Mackay Cottage Insurance in Belleville, Ontario!
At Mackay Insurance, we strive to make your summer as stress-free and relaxing as possible. That’s why we created an easy-to-follow Cottage Opening Checklist!
Before You Go
If this is your first year as a cottage owner, the amount of prep work there is before you even get there may surprise you. But each step is crucial to your family’s safety and the protection of your investment(s).
Below are four things you should do before you head up to the cottage:
1. Turn On Utilities
Nobody should spend their first cottage weekend without access to lights and water.
Call your cottage utility providers to turn on all essential services before you head up there. That includes water, electricity, gas, phone, internet, etc.
These utilities make your first weekend more comfortable, convenient and safe!
2. Book HVAC & Plumbing Inspections
Booking a quick inspection and tuneup ensures no unwanted surprises upon your arrival.
Your cottage HVAC and plumbing just spent a whole winter cooped up inside. It’s important to ensure everything is working efficiently and safely.
3. Review your cottage insurance.
This is one of the most crucial steps in preparing for your cottage opening weekend.
Make sure that all your cottage-related insurance policies are up-to-date and active. These include those for your cottage, boat, RV, trailer, other recreational watercraft, etc.
Need a new insurance policy? Want to lower your rates?
Call your Mackay Insurance broker and ask about our cottage insurance packages!
What insurance policies should I review before opening weekend?
4. Pack all the essentials
Lastly, you’ll want to ensure you pack all the essentials.
Your typical cottage packing list will include food, water, emergency supplies, etc.
But a successful cottage opening weekend may mean packing a few extra items.
Your first trip back is the time to clean up, assess and repair your cottage and property. This visit sets the stage for the rest of the summer.
So pack everything you need to ready your cottage for a safe summer season - that includes basic tools and materials.
Making the necessary repairs ensures your cottage insurance policy stays valid.
Here’s a list of essential items we recommend packing for your first trip:
- Cleaning supplies.
- Batteries for fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Tools for simple repairs.
- Flashlights (to check basements, attics, outdoor buildings, etc.).
- Keys (don’t forget the ones to the boathouse!).
When You Arrive
You’ve arrived! Time to get to work.
There’s a list of things to check off before kicking your feet up. Here’s how to get started!
1. Inspect Your Cottage Interior
First things first, how’s it look inside? After almost seven months, who knows what you’ll find!
- Look for signs of rodents and other animals. Telltale signs include droppings, gnawed wire, torn insulation, etc.
- If you have a basement, check for signs of spring flooding.
- Check for water damage. This could be mould, mildew, leaks, cracks and discolouration in walls/ceiling.
You cannot make an insurance claim for rodent infestation. But some insurance companies offer specific water damage coverage.
At Mackay Insurance, we offer optional add-on coverages for your cottage insurance policy. One of these is overland water coverage.
This coverage protects you from damage caused by sudden ground/surface water accumulation.
Do you have water damage or basement flooding due to spring run-off or an overflowing river? Contact your Mackay broker!
Your broker will check your policy and let you know if the incident has coverage.
2. Inspect Your Cottage Exterior
After thoroughly inspecting your cottage interior, it’s time to peak outdoors.
Here, you’ll want to check your cottage exterior. This includes your property, patio, decking, docks, outdoor buildings etc.
Here’s where you should check for damages:
- Power lines (stay far away from these!),
- Windows and doors,
- Outbuildings, etc.
Cottages located in heavily forested areas or near water are typically quite vulnerable. Wind, rain, heavy snow and fallen trees can all present extreme risks!
If you’re unsure whether your policy covers specific damages call your Mackay broker!
3. Look for fire hazards.
Fire prevention should always be top of mind for an Ontario cottage owner. So while inspecting your cottage, remember to check for potential fire hazards too.
Indoors, you’ll want to:
- Check exhaust vents and flues of all fuel-burning appliances. Make sure no flammable debris or obstructions surround the area.
- Clean your chimney.
- Dispose of hazardous waste properly (cleaning solvents, paints, etc.).
- Check all electrical fuse boxes and wiring.
Outdoors you’ll want to:
- Stack dry firewood well away from your cottage.
- Clear any fallen leaves, branches and dried brush away from the surrounding area.
4. Prepare The Plumbing.
First, you’ll want to prime your sump pump system.
Second, you’ll want to set up your hot water tank.
Third, test your taps and toilets to ensure they operate well.
Fourth, check around your septic tank. Is it damp or smelly? If so, you may need to get it pumped before the season starts.
Are you worried about your sewer backing up?
Our cottage insurance package at Mackay offers optional sewer backup coverage!
Contact your Mackay broker today to update your policy.
Protect Your Investments With Mackay Cottage Insurance
You’ve waited all winter to get back to the cottage. And we want you to enjoy every moment of the season ahead!
The above steps can help you lower the risks for a safer cottage season! After that, leave the worries to u and go enjoy the summer vacation you deserve.
Below are the cottage insurance policies you should review before opening weekend:
Cottage insurance is a specialized policy designed for secondary or vacation homes. It’s typically added to your home insurance policy.
Depending on your specific plan, your cottage insurance may cover
- Vandalism, fire and theft,
- Damage from falling objects,
- Lightning, hail and windstorm damage.
Boat insurance typically covers
- The boat itself, and
- Your liability in the event of an accident.
This coverage financially protects the boat from physical risks. This can include fire, loss, vandalism or damage.
It also protects you, the boat owner, if you cause injury or damage to another party/property.
Travel trailer insurance covers the trailer itself, the contents and loss of use.
This coverage protects the boat from loss, theft, damage, collision, etc.
It also protects the trailer contents (i.e. personal items, appliances, etc.).
Lastly, if your trailer becomes damaged or destroyed, a trailer policy can help get you home.
Your insurance company will provide you with a substitute vehicle or transportation funds.
Get In Touch
Are you excited about the upcoming cottage season? We sure are!
If you need help with a new cottage insurance policy or want to review your existing policy, give us a call!
We make your cottage insurance easy and affordable.
Travel Trailer Insurance Protects Your Home Away From Home
Travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes today. Luckily, so does travel trailer insurance.
And mobile home insurance.
And RV insurance.
And seasonal vehicle insurance!
Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. To find some peace and calm. To remember why you are working so hard - hustling, skimping on sleep, racing through your weekdays and even your weekends.
The last thing you want is to finally start your long-delayed vacation only to have it interrupted by loss, theft, vandalism or worse. That is what insurance is for!
And that is what this blog post is for too - to help you choose the right insurance for your best vacation yet!
What Is Travel Trailer Insurance?
Travel trailer insurance is a specialized insurance product designed to protect three types of year-round or occasional use vehicles.
Travel trailer insurance covers Class A, B and C motorhomes.
2. Towed trailer
Examples of towed trailers can include:
Pod or tent trailers
Livestock or horse trailer
End even fifth wheels.
3. Stationary trailer
A stationary trailer can be a park model or another permanently parked trailer.
What Does Travel Trailer Insurance Cover?
As you might imagine, there are different levels of travel trailer insurance coverage.
But the product itself is designed to offer protection in three key areas:
1. The travel trailer itself.
The structure of the trailer is covered against loss, theft, damage, vandalism accident or collision.
2. The contents.
Here, "contents" means anything you have stored in or on the travel trailer itself.
Depending on the scope of the coverage, this might mean anything from your clothing and personal items to appliances inside the travel trailer, to frozen food, perishables and more.
Contents can also mean any belongings stored inside a standalone accessory building or storage unit.
3. Loss of use.
If your travel trailer is lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable, your travel trailer insurance will provide you with a substitute vehicle or funds you can use towards your choice of transportation.
But Won't My Auto Insurance Policy Cover Me For All This?
This is the tricky part about relying on your existing auto insurance policy to cover your travel trailer as well.
Here in Canada, you are legally required to register your travel trailer, motorhome or stationary trailer. But you are not (at least at the time of publication) required to insure it.
For one simple reason: typically, only the liability portion of auto insurance extends to cover the travel trailer as well. And this coverage only applies if the travel trailer is actually hitched to a covered automobile at the time the claim issue arises.
That leaves a lot of in-between where your travel trailer is not protected at all.
Coverage That You Only Get With Travel Trailer Insurance
It becomes especially critical to look beyond what a standard auto insurance policy can provide when you are using your travel trailer in certain ways.
Lease Location Protection
For example, let's say you decide to lease a semi-permanent or permanent campsite at an RV park or campground where you park your stationary travel trailer.
Fire Damage Service Charges
Or perhaps your travel trailer is damaged or destroyed by fire and the fire department gets involved. Neither your homeowner nor auto insurance policy typically covers fire department assistance charges, which can range up to $1,000 or more.
Vacation Injury Liability
Another all-too-common situation arises when someone gets injured at the vacation site. Who pays for the costs of first aid, clinic or hospital charges for injuries that take place at a temporary vacation site where your travel trailer is parked?
It won't be your auto insurance policy or homeowners insurance policy, that's for sure!
What Other Optional Coverages Are Available for Your Travel Trailer?
Sometimes it just takes sitting down and thinking through possible situations and scenarios to start seeing where travel trailer insurance makes smart financial sense.
In addition to a standard basic travel trailer insurance policy, you can also talk with your Mackay Insurance broker about these optional coverages that may apply.
- Protection against water damage.
- Additional roadside assistance coverage and benefits.
- Coverage if you park your travel trailer on a leased site.
- Coverage if you rent your travel trailer out or are part of a rental share program.
- Increased coverage for liability.
- Guaranteed replacement cost for personal items.
- Guaranteed replacement cost.
This last optional rider is especially important to consider upfront. Should your travel trailer be destroyed, will you have sufficient coverage to replace it in kind?
Choose Your Travel Trailer Insurance Before Purchasing Your Travel Trailer
You don't want to invest in a travel trailer only to discover the insurance coverage you need puts you over budget.
Mackay In Napanee and Belleville Handles Your Travel Trailer Insurance Needs
Do you have fun travel plans for this summer? Canada's summer season is brief and beautiful and you don't want to waste it filing insurance claims!
Not sure what insurance products and coverage levels you really need? Let your friendly Mackay Insurance broker help you review your current coverage to protect your seasonal vehicle!
Learn more about RV insurance, travel trailer insurance and mobile home insurance from the experts!
How To Obtain Camper Trailer Insurance For Your Summer Camping Plans This Year!
The great outdoors has always been great. But in the wake of the global pandemic, being outdoors has become positively spectacular.
This year, getting outdoors is the safest way to have fun, de-stress and see other actual human beings again.
And one of the best ways to get outdoors is to go camping with your COVID bubble or social pod!
As the warm season approaches in earnest, it will soon be time to pile your tents and all your gear into your camper trailer and head for one of the lush and lovely scenic sites Canada is known for.
But before you hit the road, there is one thing you absolutely don't want to forget to do. Be sure to insure your camper trailer! Learn everything you need to know to get the best deal on camper trailer insurance in this post.
What Is a Camper Trailer?
There are four basic types of trailers.
1. Classic Pop-Top Camper Trailer
This is often dubbed the "pop up trailer" because when the tent portion is stowed away out of sight, it looks like a small rectangle on wheels.
But pop the lid and voila! You've got a really neat, multifunctional cross between an RV and a tent.
2. Hard Top Trailer
Hard top trailers are also called teardrop trailers, standup trailers, compact hard wall trailers and variations of the same.
These are extremely small, lightweight hitch trailers with a small footprint. Many can take you into the backcountry!
3. Fifth Wheel Trailer
If you imagine the exact opposite of a compact, lightweight camper trailer, what you have is the fifth wheel trailer.
Fifth wheel trailers are basically like little homes on wheels. Some are spacious enough for families to live full-time, but others are used more seasonally. They attach to a suitable vehicle for hauling by means of a special mounted coupling.
4. Cottager Trailer
A cottager trailer is essentially either a fifth wheel trailer or a traditional trailer that has been mounted semi-permanently or permanently on some type of foundation.
What Is Camper Trailer Insurance?
Fundamentally, camper trailer insurance is a type of insurance product that protects a towed, non-motorized, recreational vehicle.
And now that you have a better picture of all the different types of recreational vehicles that this definition applies towards, it will make more sense when we tell you that camper trailer insurance is not just one product.
Rather, it is a suite of products offering different types and levels of insurance coverage for different needs.
In most cases, camper trailer insurance policies and riders can be customized to reflect add-ons and modifications (such as a sunroom or deck) that may be unique to your specific camper trailer.
How to Choose the Right Camper Trailer Insurance
How do you know what type of camper trailer insurance policy you need to protect your investment?
This is what we recommend.
1. First, verify your camper trailer's value.
The best place to start is to verify your camper trailer's current market value. You want to know how much your investment is worth.
Some of our clients have been surprised to discover that, far from depreciating over time, their camper trailers have actually appreciated in value as a result of the pandemic.
2. Next, identify your usage patterns.
Are you living in your camper trailer seasonally or full-time? Do you envision using it for occasional weekend getaways throughout the summer? Perhaps you plan to take it on an extended trip cross-country or internationally.
Where will you park it? How will you secure it? What possessions or valuables will you bring with you? Will you have any pets on board?
The answers to each of these questions give you a better idea of your financial exposure if your camper trailer and its contents is not adequately insured.
3. Match your camper trailer with the right method of insurance coverage.
Let's say you have a cottager (stationary) camper trailer and you live in it seasonally or full time.
In this case, rather than purchasing a standalone camper trailer insurance policy, you would want to modify your homeowners insurance policy to reflect the new addition.
If you have a lightweight pop up or hard top camper trailer that you haul with your commuter vehicle, you may have partial liability coverage through your auto insurance policy. But typically this only applies when the camper trailer is physically attached to the hauling vehicle.
In this case, you would want to look at whether adding a rider on to your existing auto insurance or homeowner's insurance policy would provide enough coverage. Alternately, you may find that purchasing standalone camper trailer insurance ends up being both more comprehensive and more affordable.
Finally, if you have a fifth wheel camper trailer, you will most likely need to purchase a complete standalone camper trailer insurance policy to obtain the level of coverage required to fully protect your investment and your family.
Camper Trailer Insurance Coverage Options
Camper trailer insurance coverage is flexible enough to reflect different usage patterns, garaging options and special risks related to a camper trailer's shape and size.
The major categories to consider include the following:
- Comprehensive and collision coverage
- Liability coverage
- Accessories (attachments) coverage
- Emergency coverage
Call Your Mackay Broker For Belleville Camper Trailer Insurance
We predict this will be the summer of the camper trailer - and you don't want yours to be uninsured! A camper trailer is a high value investment that needs to be protected from loss, theft and damage.
Get in touch with your friendly, knowledgeable brokers at Mackay Insurance by phone or email today. We will help you get the best deal on affordable camper trailer insurance so you can get back to planning your summer camping adventure!
Have you ever heard of “insurance potholes?” As their name implies, insurance potholes are unexpected coverage gaps that arise when you least expect them.
In the case of a travel trailer, camper or recreational vehicle, insurance potholes in your regular homeowners or auto insurance policy often aren’t noticed until it is too late.
You make a call to your insurer because your trailer has become damaged, destroyed, stolen or vandalized, only to be told you have no insurance coverage or only minimal coverage for such issues.
What now? What can you do? The answer is often, sadly, “not much.” We don’t want this to happen to you! This is why Mackay Insurance offers flexible, personalized coverage for these special types of non-motorized wheeled vehicles.
What Is Trailer Insurance?
Trailer insurance is a product specifically designed to cover a vehicle that is not really a vehicle – one that has wheels but doesn’t have a motor.
The exact configuration of what you are towing can vary – you may have a small pop-up camper, a large fifth-wheel trailer, a teardrop sleeper camper or some variation thereof.
As long as it has wheels but no motor and is designed to be towed, not steered, trailer insurance is the right policy to protect what you own.
What Types of Trailers Does Trailer Insurance Protect?
As we just outlined, trailer insurance is designed to protect wheeled vehicles that lack motors.
More specifically, these are the major categories of trailers that trailer insurance is designed to cover:
When Do You Need Trailer Insurance?
Depending on the details of your personal homeowners insurance and auto insurance, you may actually have some amount of coverage for these non-motorized, wheeled, recreational vehicles already.
But then again, you may not.
Before taking out a separate trailer insurance policy, be sure to talk with your Mackay broker and review what existing coverage you already have to see what is and isn’t covered.
What Is Included in a Trailer Insurance Policy?
Like other insurance products, trailer insurance can be personalized to a degree. This means you have flexibility when it comes to options like your deductible, coverage levels, types of coverage, seasonal coverage, etc.
These are the typical categories of coverage that trailer insurance is able to provide:
Emergency roadside assistance
Damage, destruction or theft of the trailer
Damage, destruction or theft of trailer contents (including perishables like food)
Water damage coverage
Debris damage coverage
Lock replacement coverage
Injury to people or pets
Extended warranty for parts or appliances
In addition, there are special riders available to cover less typical needs.
How Much Trailer Insurance Do You Need?
This is where you will want to look closely at any existing coverage you may have through your homeowners insurance or auto insurance policy.
For example, your homeowners insurance may offer coverage for damage, destruction or theft of some of the contents of your travel trailer. Your auto insurance may cover liability issues when you are on the road with the trailer hitched behind your vehicle.
But the only way to know for sure is to read the fine print and review policy details with your Mackay broker.
Whatever is not covered under any existing insurance policies you already have is what trailer insurance is designed for.
Here, as with other insurance policies, you will have a deductible. The deductible is designed to give you more control over your premium costs, but you don’t want to choose a higher deductible than your finances can comfortably accommodate.
So take a look at the full replacement value of your trailer, minus what existing insurance provides coverage for, minus any amount (if applicable) you can afford to pay out of pocket to fix or replace your trailer. That is the amount of coverage you need.
Should You Rely on Your Homeowners or Auto Policy?
One thing we always tell our clients here at Mackay Insurance is that sometimes purchasing more insurance is actually less expensive in the long run!
For example, let’s say your homeowners and auto insurance policies do provide some level of coverage for your trailer as well. So you assume you don’t need trailer insurance, but then something happens.
Now you are in the stressful position of having to make a claim on your existing homeowners insurance or auto insurance policies if something happens with your travel trailer.
These types of major insurance policies tend to be more expensive in every way, including the hike in premiums you are likely to face after making even a minor claim.
This is why we say that, often, it can be a safer bet for your finances to simply let a separate trailer insurance policy handle any claims you may need to make to repair or replace any aspect of your trailer.
How Much Does Trailer Insurance Cost?
As with other types of insurance policies, the cost of your trailer insurance will be based on the value of your trailer and its contents.
Let’s take a very general example just so you can get a sense of how this might work.
For every $10,000 of value, you can expect to add another $15 or so to your monthly premiums. So for a very basic trailer worth $10,000, your monthly premium would likely be around $15. For a trailer worth $20,000, your monthly premium would be around $30 per month, and so forth.
Do You Own a Travel Trailer or RV?
Mackay Insurance now provides a special type of insurance policy to ensure your travel trailer is protected.
Get in Touch
Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-853-5552.