Cottage Insurance FAQs
If you own a second home, having insurance is essential — but many cottage owners don’t realize that cottage insurance can be different from their regular home insurance.
At Jeffery & Spence Insurance, we understand you may have some questions about cottage insurance. Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:
1. Does how often I use my cottage impact my insurance?
The main difference between your second home and your year-round home is the amount of time you spend there. As cottage owners typically only spend a small amount of time using their cottage throughout the year, this can impact the type of insurance required.
When choosing the right coverage for your cottage, there are a few key factors to keep in mind, including:
• How much time you spend at your second home throughout the year
• Whether your cottage is used year-round or just seasonally
• Whether you rent out your cottage to others
Your insurance company will need to know the answers to these questions in order to draft an insurance policy that’s right for you.
2. What is a named perils policy?
If you have home insurance, you likely have a comprehensive or all risk policy. However, the part-time occupation of your cottage may require a named perils policy. This kind of policy gives you coverage for specific risks, like fire, explosion, smoke damage, or water damage (excluding sewer backup or flood). Other risks like sewer backup, overland water, and vandalism may require additional, more expensive coverage as the damage may take time to be discovered.
3. What isn’t covered under my cottage insurance?
It’s important for cottage owners to be aware that there are limitations to what your cottage insurance covers. Cottage insurance typically does not include coverage for septic backup, flooding, fuel oil release, or earth movement — however these coverages may be arranged at an additional cost. Any damage associated with vehicles, campers, trailers, or other buildings that are located on the property are not covered under a cottage policy — separate coverages need to be arranged for these types of risks. You may also need to purchase third-party liability coverage to protect you if someone is hurt on your property, or if you damage a neighbour’s property.
4. What additional coverages should I consider in my cottage insurance policy?
Cottage insurance may not be comprehensive which means that there are a few coverages you should consider adding to your insurance policy, depending on your specific needs.
Pay attention to the content coverage limit in your insurance policy. Any contents you permanently keep at your second home are covered by your cottage policy, while items you take back and forth are covered by your home insurance policy. Make sure you have adequate coverage for the items in your cottage.
Detached private structures
If you have a boathouse, detached garage, shed, or any other detached buildings on your cottage property, make sure your policy covers them adequately, and purchase additional coverage if necessary.
Many cottage owners also own boats, canoes, or other watercraft that are kept permanently at the cottage. Be sure to ask your insurance representative if these items are covered, or whether you need to purchase additional coverage for them.
5. Do I need to have home insurance in order to purchase cottage insurance?
Many insurance companies require you to have home insurance before purchasing a cottage insurance policy, and typically your insurance has to be with the same company as your cottage insurance. This differs from insurance company to insurance company and is something we will review for you.