The thing that many people look for in a summer vacation is a home away from home. A cottage provides more privacy and space, but also a greater risk of disaster. The replacement and repair costs following an unforeseen devastation, such as a fire or theft, can be enough to put you in financial ruin without proper cottage insurance.
There is no doubt that you understand the many benefits that there are to owning a cottage in Ontario – it is the perfect getaway. However, because your vacation home is so far from urban areas, it stands at a higher risk of exposure to crime and untimely reported catastrophes.
It is crucial that you have the ideal vacation property insurance to protect your cottage and the contents it holds. It does not matter if you use your cottage seasonally or all year long, you need vacation home insurance that is tailored to meet your specific needs.
The Basics of Vacation Property Insurance
Because you may not stay in your Ontario cottage all of the time, the types of insurance that you need for your property will depend greatly on the way that you use it. Some important things to consider when you are deciding on the types of cottage insurance that you need to purchase include:
• Whether you only use the cottage as your summer retreat, visit it regularly on weekends or stay there all year long
• Whether or not you rent your cottage out to others when you are not using it yourself
You will also need to think about the options that you have for purchasing your vacation home insurance. For example, you can choose to:
• Include your cottage insurance in your primary homeowners insurance policy
• List the cottage as a seasonal or secondary home
• Purchase a separate, standalone summer home insurance policy
In some cases, it is required that your primary place of residence also be insured with the same coverage provider in order to purchase seasonal dwelling insurance.
Types of Cottage Insurance
Dissimilar to your primary home insurance policy, which may include coverage for all possible risks under one comprehensive policy, cottage insurance Ontario will typically include coverage for named perils.
With named perils coverage, you will only be covered against certain specific risks, such as fire. Because your Ontario cottage may only be occupied on the weekends or during certain seasons, you may find it more difficult or expensive to obtain coverage for some risks like water damage or vandalism. For instance, if one of the pipes in your cottage were to burst, the damage may be far greater than it would be in a home where someone was on site to call for help.
Some things that may be excluded in a summer home insurance policy include:
• Food spoilage for items left in the freezer
• Damage to shrubbery, trees or any outdoor plants
• Gardening equipment
• Sewage backup
Especially when searching for online insurance quotes for cottage insurance in Ontario, it is vital that you have a firm understanding of the types of insurance that are available. Some types of cottage insurance that you may require or want to consider including in your policy are:
• Third-party liability insurance, which is also known as personal liability coverage, is extremely important. Even though the physical structure of your Ontario cottage may not be worth a considerable amount, you will need this type of insurance to cover any injuries that a third-party sustains while on your property, or in the event that a fire breaks out in your cottage and spreads to neighboring structures that are owned by others.
• Contents coverage will protect the belongings that you keep in your summer cottage, but not the items that you bring with you and take back when you leave. The items that you carry with you between your vacation cottage and your primary home should be included in your primary home insurance policy. Some types of cottage insurance packages may include contents coverage up to a specific limit, but you may also need to invest in additional coverage. Keep in mind that it is wise to maintain an up-to-date inventory list of all of the items that you keep in your cottage.
• Detached private structure coverage may be necessary if you have additional buildings on your property, such as a garage, shed or boat house. Your insurance broker will be able to help you determine if these structures are covered in your cottage insurance policy and whether the amount of coverage is sufficient.
• Replacement value coverage will make certain that you will be able to replace a lost or damaged item regardless of depreciation. The need for this type of coverage will depend on the contents that you keep in your vacation cottage.
For many people of Ontario, their cottage is their home away from home. However, the coverage required to protect that home is quite different from a simple home insurance policy. Since a summer cottage is only used seasonally, the coverage may be limited. Before heading to your cottage, be sure to contact your insurance professional to discuss any additional coverage options or obtain answers to any questions that you have about your cottage insurance policy. Peace of mind is the best way to begin your summer vacation.