Ontario Cottage Insurance Brokers Tailoring Policies for Your Paradise
Buying cottage insurance financially protects your cottage and outdoor structures from risks such as fire and vandalism. It also protects your personal items and provides liability coverage. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your recreational property from perils. For example, if there is a burglary at your cottage and extensive damages, cottage insurance can help to pay for these losses. Without the proper cottage insurance, you will have to pay for the costs of losses yourself.
Whether your cottage is located in Georgian Bay, Haliburton, The Kawarthas, Huron County, Prince Edward County, Frontenac County, Muskoka or Wasaga Beach, cottage insurance brokers will be able to tailor the perfect policy for your property.
Who needs Cottage Insurance in Ontario?
Anyone who is listed on the deed of a cottage should be included on the cottage insurance policy. Sometimes cottages are owned by more than one individual. Be sure that each person on the property deed is named on the cottage insurance policy.
Why Should I Buy Ontario Cottage Insurance?
Seasonal homeowners should purchase cottage insurance to protect their investment against risks such as fire, vandalism, and personal liability. Whether your retreat is a cabin in the woods, a ski chalet, a cottage, or a mobile home, your seasonal property is your special place. It makes sense to protect your investment.
Just like your primary home, your cottage needs protection. While we may not like to think about it, cottage properties can be at more risk for perils such as vandalism and damages by wildlife – just to name two risks – if you are only there for a limited amount of time during the year.
How much does Ontario Cottage Insurance Cost?
The price of cottage insurance can range from $800 to $3,000 annually. The price of cottage insurance depends on many factors of your cottage including location, size of the cottage, how often it is occupied, and the replacement cost. If your cottage is large, featuring lots of amenities, it will cost more to insure. If your cottage is small and simple, the cottage insurance rate will be less.
Here are some other factors that go into determining the cost of cottage insurance.
- Is there maintained year-round road access?
- What is the replacement cost?
- How often you are there?
- Do you rent it out?
- What is the distance from fire services such as a fire station, hydrants?
- How do you heat your cottage? Oil? Electricity? Propane? Do you have a wood stove?
What Does Cottage Insurance Cover?
The items covered by your cottage insurance package depend largely on whether you purchase a comprehensive or broad form policy. Comprehensive cottage insurance coverage, which is an inclusive type of home insurance coverage, covers your cottage building, outbuildings, and contents for all risks, except those specifically excluded in the cottage insurance policy. Broad form insurance coverage covers only specific perils detailed in the policy. The broad policy is a basic insurance policy. You may be able to add other particular coverages to a broad form policy.
What Is Not Covered by Cottage Insurance?
Some items that are generally not covered by cottage insurance policies include the cost of your mortgage, faulty workmanship, freezing pipes during the heated season, rust or corrosion from extreme temperatures, mold, or damage caused by your pet, raccoons, bats, skunks or squirrels. Below is a list of more items not covered by a cottage insurance policy.
- Mechanical break down
- Septic or sewer back up unless it is added to the policy
- Damage by raccoons or vermin, bats, skunks, squirrels.
- Other people’s contents (If friends leave belongings on your cottage property or if anyone stores their items on the property.)
- Damage intentionally caused by the insured or family member.
- Wear and tear
- Risks with two or more claims in the preceding three years.
- Acts of terrorism, losses due to war, damage due to earthquakes
Are there additional cottage insurance coverages?
Yes. Some additional cottage insurance coverages that you may be able to purchase include overland water coverage, by-law coverage, and sewer backup or septic back up coverage. Other coverages that are available include:
- Income replacement if you rent your cottage
- Damage by bears, raccoons and squirrels
- Fire truck coverage
- Watercraft coverage
- ATV coverage
- Snowmobile coverage
- Trailer coverage
- Frozen food protection
Do I Need To Tell My Insurance Broker That I Rent My Cottage?
Renting is a terrific way to help cover the costs of owning and operating a cottage, however if you rent your cottage, be sure to share this information with your insurance broker. Your insurance broker needs to know the details of your cottage and its uses to be sure you are adequately insured. If you rent your cottage and do not disclose this to the insurance company, you may not be covered sufficiently.
What insurance do I need if I rent my cottage?
Some insurance companies will cover your cottage while it’s rented. The length of time of the rental period will come into play. Do you rent for a week or two? 30 days? More than 180 days? The entire season? You should ask about rental income coverage. Some insurance companies include rental income replacement in a cottage insurance policy. Others may add this coverage to your cottage insurance as an endorsement. If there is a loss and you are unable to rent out your cottage, the endorsement can ensure the income you would have received from the rental is available to you.
Also note that some insurance companies include rental watercraft liability coverage in a cottage insurance policy.
Do I need to insure my recreational items?
You should consider insuring recreational items such as boats, ATVs, jet skis, snowmobiles, canoes, kayaks, and other similar items. Coverage needs vary depending on the recreational item. Some items – such as trailers and canoes – may be covered under your home insurance policy or cottage insurance policy. Others – such as larger watercraft – require separate insurance policies.
You will want to be sure that you and your cottage guests are covered by insurance when using your recreational items. We always advise $2 million third-party liability coverage on your cottage insurance to protect you in case of accidental injury or damage while they are in use. Some insurance brokers may recommend $1 million in liability coverage. The cost for an extra $1 million in liability coverage is very reasonable, especially when you consider the costs of legal fees and judgments for liability claims. If judgments and expenses exceed your coverage limits, you will have to cover costs that are over and above the policy limits.
What Cottage Insurance Discounts are Available?
There are several ways to save money with discounts on your cottage insurance. Discounts are offered for measures taken by the cottage owner to reduce the risk of a loss. The outcome for you, a cottage owner: You can often reduce your insurance rate. For example, if you have monitored year-round heating or you are claims free, cottage insurance savings may be available.
Here are some discounts that may help to lower your cottage insurance rate.
- Bundled coverage – If you combine your home, seasonal homes, recreational vehicles or car insurance – even your business if you are a business owner – with the same insurance company you can save on your insurance – 10% savings with some insurance companies.
- Claims-free discount – 7.5% to 15% savings with some insurance companies.
- Water alarm – 3% to 5% savings with some insurance companies.
- Power loss detector alarm – 5% savings with some insurance companies.
- Mature-age discount – 10% savings with some insurance companies
- Centrally monitored burglar alarm – 10% savings with some insurance companies.
- Centrally monitored heating alarm – 10% savings with some insurance companies.
Always ask about available cottage insurance discounts you may qualify for. These can save you money on your cottage insurance.
Is my cottage too small to insure?
No. You should insure your cottage no matter how small or simple it is. Cottage insurance will protect your seasonal home investment. Without cottage insurance, you will have to cover any losses entirely yourself.
How is cottage insurance different from home insurance?
Cottage insurance is different from home insurance because the risks of protecting a seasonal home are different from those at a permanent home. For example, unlike at your full-time home, you may only stay at your cottage for a few months each year, sporadically, or for several short periods annually. For the rest of the time, the property may not be occupied. A vacant cottage can increase exposure to risks such as burglary.
Also, cottages are often in remote areas. This can mean your seasonal retreat is farther from a fire station and/or not served by fire hydrants. There may be an increased risk of extensive damage if there is a fire because it may take longer for firefighters to respond, and lack of hydrants can impact fire-fighting efforts.
Some additional things to consider when purchasing cottage insurance:
- What contents are left at your cottage all year long?
- Do you have outbuildings that require insurance?
- Do you have a bunkie?
- Do you have docks?
- Do you have a boathouse?
- Do you rent your cottage?
- Coverage for ice damage, wind damage, and damage by bears
- Sewer or septic back up
- Overland cottage flooding (check out this link for 8 ways you can shield your Ontario cottage against a potential flood)
What will an insurance broker want to know when I am getting cottage insurance?
An insurance broker will ask you about your cottage and the surrounding property. Details such as its location, size, frequency of use, and amenities are things a broker will ask about. The insurance broker will need details such as if you have a bunkie, a boathouse, a fireplace, a hot tub, a garage, and further information.
Questions To Ask An Insurance Broker About Cottage Insurance
- How do I insure my boats, watercraft, ATVs, snowmobiles, or other recreational items?
- What belongings and contents coverage do I need?
- Should my insurance coverage include replacement cost of the buildings?
- What is the impact on my cottage insurance if I rent out my cottage?
- What is the impact if my cottage is not accessible year-round?
- Do I need to visit my cottage at specified intervals to ensure my insurance remains valid?
- What factors impact the cost of my insurance?
- Are there money-saving discounts that I qualify for to help lower the cost of my cottage insurance?
Talk to our Morison Insurance Brokers
We promise to guide you through the process of getting cottage insurance as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We will answer your questions, explain essential details, and review coverages, limits, and costs. We will shop at insurance companies across Ontario to get several quotes on cottage insurance for you.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.
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