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Cottage Insurance Essentials: Coverage Options Explained

If you own a cottage, then it’s important to safeguard your investment. An important aspect of that is getting the right insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events. However, trying to get the right policy for you can be challenging. Cottage insurance will usually protect you from damage and liability but what exactly does it cover and do you need optional extras? Those are questions we’re going to answer here. By the end, you should have a clear idea of what coverage options you need.

Understanding Cottage Insurance

Cottage insurance is also often referred to as vacation or seasonal home insurance. As with homeowner insurance, this is a type of property insurance but one that is generally designed to protect second homes, cottages, and cabins. Cottage insurance will take into account the unique risks associated with seasonal properties. With each property being different, cottage owners need to ensure that they are getting the right policy for their circumstances.

Standard Cottage Insurance Coverage

It can vary from one company to the next, but there will be a level of standard coverage that every policyholder will have. This includes a payout if your cottage is damaged from unexpected events, such as fire, theft, and lightning. This will ensure that any physical damage to the cottage can be repaired. This could be a damaged roof due to high winds or more serious issues, such as structural damage. Depending on policy limits, you may have sufficient coverage in the event of a total loss. As well as the outside of the property, you’ll receive protection for what’s inside. Any personal belongings will be protected by the policy unless they have a value that exceeds the limit set in the policy. These personal belongings include the likes of furniture, appliances, and electronics. Both structural and personal belongings will also be covered if they are in an unattached structure situated on the land, such as a shed or dock. The final piece of coverage included in almost every policy is liability. This will keep you financially protected should someone have an injury while at your cottage. This will cover medical expenses as well as legal costs if there is a lawsuit. Likely to be included in standard coverage:
  • Structural damage
  • Personal belongings
  • Unattached structures
  • Injury and legal liability
standard cottage insurance coverage

What Isn’t Covered with Standard Cottage Insurance

A big mistake that many make when it comes to insurance is presuming something is covered when it isn’t. This can be costly as you may end up paying for repairs or legal costs out of your own pocket. There are a few crucial risks that aren’t covered by most standard cottage insurance policies including pest and animal coverage. Uninhabited properties are vulnerable to pests and if the issues are left for long periods, animals can cause extensive damage. Also, you’ll need extra coverage if you use you rent out your property. Your standard insurance won’t cover any damage or liability of those paying to be there. As with any type of insurance, you risk not being covered if you aren’t honest about the circumstances of the claim. Other forms of coverage you may need are for personal watercraft such as jet skis and boats. Also, it’s highly unlikely that your insurance will cover water damage from floods, but this can be added as an optional extra. Along with these extra types of coverage, there may be other valuable items you want to cover, such as the food in your refrigerator or freezer. For example, if you have expensive meats or drinks that would go bad if there was a power cut, you can be covered for this. Not likely included in standard coverage:
  • Pests and animal damage
  • Damage from tenants
  • Personal watercraft
  • Lost food
  • Water damage

Choosing the Right Coverage

Selecting the right coverage can be difficult. Without being an insurance expert, it’s easy to misunderstand what coverage you have and not realize that certain aspects of your cottage may not be covered. Due to this, it’s a great idea to speak to an insurance broker. They’ll be able to guide you through the coverage. This includes checking whether or not standard coverage will be enough for your needs and what optional extras could be ideal for your circumstances. While speaking to a professional can be a great idea, here are some tips for choosing the right coverage: Assess Your Risks – Identify the specific risks you have at your cottage. The best example of this is the property’s proximity to water but other factors such as local weather patterns can help you determine the coverage you need. Check Policy Limits – Most policies will have a limit on how much they will pay out. It’s important to see if you are comfortable with these limits and increase or decrease them as needed. Understand Exclusions – Always check the exclusions and limitations of your policy. An insurance broker can help you with this, but go through each exclusion and decide if it’s something that needs to be included. Shop Around – You’ll rarely get the perfect policy from the first company you speak to. You can get quotes from several companies, or you can use a broker or comparison website to do the hard work for you. selecting the right coverage can be difficult

Final Thoughts

Cottage insurance is essential for protecting your asset but you need to know exactly what you’re covered for. There will be some optional extras you don’t need whereas others may be crucial in giving you the right protection. Whether you get the help of a professional or not, take the time to review the policy and assess your options. Here at Ron Johnston Insurance, we’ll be more than happy to help you find the right cottage insurance policy. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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