Cottage & Seasonal Home Insurance: What You Need to Know
Posted by on May 14, 2014 ininsurance options for summer homes and think about some things to consider in regards to insurance for your home-away-from-home.
Unique Concerns for Cottage InsuranceUnless your cottage is a fully-winterized, year-round retreat, you’ll likely want a different sort of coverage for it than what you have for your year-round home. Many seasonal homes are protected under basic coverage, which is different than the broader level of coverage available for a dwelling occupied year round. Some of the basic, unique concerns of seasonal homes are:
- Many cottages are uninhabited for months at a time, and may not have anyone around to check on them periodically.
- Many properties are surrounded by trees that are susceptible to gusts of wind. It’s almost a yearly tradition when arriving at the cottage for the first time in the spring to have a look around at what trees have come down during the winter. Hopefully, your cottage or other buildings on the property have been spared, but if not, as the old adage says: better to be safe than sorry.
- Snow accumulation on roofs during the winter.
- Plumbing issues. The most serious problems can usually be prevented or minimized by properly winterizing and draining the system before shutting up the cottage during the winter, but as any seasoned cottager knows, even the best laid maintenance plans can occasionally go awry.
- Damage from animals that have made your seasonal home their full-time home over the winter months.
- Finally, if your cottage is damaged during the winter, there’s no telling how long it will be sitting there untouched and allowed to worsen.
Other things to considerThere are a number of other factors to consider when looking into insuring your seasonal home:
- Will you be renting it out at any point? Even if it’s just to friends, to ensure your coverage remains valid, speak with your insurance representative.
- Are you a sole owner of the property or are there multiple owners?
- Are there multiple buildings that need to be insured? Many properties have a boathouse, and some even have additional ‘bunkies’ or sleeping cabins on the grounds.
- Do you have boats, watercraft or other sorts of recreational vehicles on the grounds that need to be insured?