When you have a cottage or a seasonal home, you need to get it insured. The kind of insurance you’ll get is different from traditional home insurance (for reasons you’ll soon learn). This domain of insurance is full of myths and misunderstandings – let’s dive into some of them:
Seasonal Property Insurance Isn’t Seasonal Insurance
There’s a temptation to see seasonal property insurance as being a kind of temporary insurance, but nothing could be further from the case. The insurance is created for seasonal properties, but it covers them year-round. In truth, this is one of the most important distinguishing factors between it and home insurance – and it’s often going to mean higher premiums. When you’re not at your property, it’s at greater risk – insurers have to decrease their risk by increasing premiums and/or deductibles. Most policies will even have a clause stating you need to go to the seasonal property within a certain time frame (for example, every 60 days) to keep coverage in place.
You Can’t Just Renovate
As with home insurance, any renovations to your seasonal home or cottage must be discussed with your insurer. Renovations can increase the value of your home, add hazards that your insurer wants to be aware of, and more. Now, some renovations (such as winterization) might actually decrease your seasonal insurance premiums rates because they reduce other risks; that’s one of the reasons that discussing renovations with your insurer is so important.
You Can’t Just Rent
Whether you’re making some extra cash through Airbnb or renting your cottage out to friends, you’ll need to let your insurer know. Property damage caused by renters may not be covered under your policy. What’s more, you should be sure you have proper insurance for any boats or off-road vehicles; you might be liable for damage or injury caused by others using these vehicles, so you need adequate insurance.
Your Insurance May Differ Substantially
No two insurance plans are exactly the same, and that’s doubly true for your home and seasonal property insurance. There will be obvious differences – like the value the properties are insured for, but there could be subtle differences as well, like what kinds of risks are covered by the policy. Be sure to review your seasonal policy carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask about extra coverage if you feel you need it.
You Still Have a Lot of Responsibilities
Under any insurance policy, it’s the duty of the insured to take all reasonable care to protect the property. Do you have a lot of wild animals spending time around your cottage? You should find a way to deter them. Shoreline is eroding and you’re worried about your deck? You’ve got to do something about it. Forgot to turn the pipes off in the winter, only to find they’ve burst? Your insurer almost certainly won’t cover any of those costs. Insurance is there for when things go bad outside of what you can control; you still have to take responsibility for the proper upkeep of your property.
Want to know more about seasonal insurance? Our insurance company in Winnipeg is here for you; get in touch with us today.