Insurance FAQs

Expert answers to your insurance questions.

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. Contact the team at Jeffery & Spence to learn more.

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.

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.

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.

Contents

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.

Watercraft

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.

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.

Do you own animals?

Owning animals like horses, cows, sheep, and chickens requires farm liability insurance. Animals are a big investment, especially if they are the main source of income on your farm, and they can be expensive to replace if anything happens to them.

Do you have a large barn?

Large outbuildings like barns or storage buildings are common on farms, especially large farms with many acres. Whether you’re using these buildings for machinery or as a home for your animals, your barn must have insurance coverage.

Do you own farm machinery?

Organic farming is becoming an increasingly popular business, and if you decide to enter into this business, you’ll need to purchase farm liability insurance. This type of insurance will protect the fruits and vegetables that you’re growing in a greenhouse or other type of growing facility in the event they are damaged.

Do you own farm machinery?

The machinery required to run a farm is also a big investment, so it’s a good idea to have insurance in case your machinery breaks down. Farm machinery can be very expensive to repair or replace, not to mention the costs you may incur if a breakdown causes your farm to come to a standstill.

What does a basic farm insurance policy cover?

Farm insurance differs slightly from provider to provider, but typically, a basic farm insurance policy will cover:

  • Home coverage for your dwelling if on the property
  • Personal property
  • Farm structures
  • Machinery
  • Livestock
  • Product
  • Poultry
  • General liability
  • Pollution liability protection
  • Theft

This basic coverage typically includes the necessities and is a great option for people who are just starting out. However, there are some other options for farm insurance coverage that are not included in a basic plan.

What customizable coverage options are available?

Once you’ve chosen a basic insurance plan for your farm, it’s important to consider additional options. These can include:

  • Replacement cost coverage
  • Sewer backup
  • Comprehensive water coverage
  • Loss of use of farm machinery
  • Power interruption
  • Loss of income protection
  • Increased fire department charges
  • Employer’s liability and voluntary compensation for employees
  • Farm accident insurance

Your insurance broker will be able to guide you through the various options and help you determine if they would be beneficial to add to your farm policy.

What farm properties are covered?

When it comes to farm insurance, the term “farm” covers a wide range of agricultural and commercial properties.

Typically, farm insurance policies cover and have specific options for poultry farms, dairy farms, grain farms, ranches, berry farms, orchards, mixed farms, and wineries. Marijuana farms are not covered unless they are licensed by Health Canada, and hobby farms often require a special form of insurance that is added to your home insurance. Contact the team at Jeffery & Spence to learn more.

How much does motorcycle insurance cost in Ontario?

Similar to car insurance, the cost of your motorcycle insurance is determined based on a number of different factors, including:

  • Age
  • Driving record
  • Intended mileage
  • Driver training
  • Location
  • Type of motorcycle
  • Modifications
  • Passengers
  • And more

Your motorcycle policy can also be combined with an existing home or auto insurance plan for improved cost savings. To learn more about other discounts for motorcycle insurance, contact the team at Jeffery & Spence Insurance Brokers today.

What are the requirements for getting motorcycle insurance?

In order to purchase motorcycle insurance in Guelph, you must be legally eligible to drive a motorcycle in the province of Ontario.

A motorcycle license in Ontario is called an M Class license. There are various different types of M licenses, including both M1 and M2 learner’s permits, similar to the different types of licenses for driving a car. You can also apply for an M license with condition L, which is for driving mopeds and motorized scooters (limited speed motorcycles), or an M license with condition M, which is a license for three-wheeled motorcycles.

You can apply for an M Class license at any DriveTest centre in Ontario. In order for your application to be successful, you must also be 16 years old, pass an eye test, and pass a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs.

What different types of coverage exist for motorcycles?

There are a wide range of coverage options available to help insure your motorcycle in Guelph. Not all motorcycle insurance policies are the same. In fact, they can be quite different. You’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a policy that covers a wide range of situations, including theft, vandalism, and fire. Other insurance options will cover you in the event of a collision with another vehicle or with the road.

Bear in mind that there are four types of insurance coverage that are mandatory if you want to drive a motorcycle in Ontario:

  • Third-Party Liability: Protects you in the event that you’re responsible for a third-party’s injury or property damage.
  • Accident Benefits: Pays for any medical costs in the event that you’re in an accident, including medical treatment, rehabilitation, income replacement, and more.
  • Property Damage Direct Compensation: Pays for any damage incurred by your motorcycle in an accident where another driver is at fault.
  • Uninsured Automobile Coverage: Protects you if you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured or unidentified driver.

It is also possible to purchase additional coverage for some of these options. For example, it is often recommended to increase your Third Party Liability coverage. Some of the additional coverage options available include:

  • Collision or Upset Coverage
  • Specified Perils Coverage
  • All Risks/All Perils Coverage
  • Comprehensive Coverage
  • Dependent Care Benefits
  • And more
How do you reduce your premiums for motorcycle insurance?

If you’re a new motorcycle driver with little riding experience, your premiums may be higher than an experienced driver.

However, one way to curb this is to take an approved safety course. While it’s true that a safety course will cost you in the short-term, the long-term pay-off is worth it. Other factors like having a secure location where you store your vehicle, or having an anti-theft system, can help lower your premiums.

What is the difference between an insurance broker and insurance agent?

Agents only sell insurance products on behalf of one insurance company, whereas brokers have relationships with multiple insurance companies and are able to provide different options to best suit your needs.

Can anyone drive my vehicle?

As an owner of a vehicle, you can let anyone with a valid driver’s license operate your vehicle.  However, if they are involved in an accident, it is your responsibility should a claim occur and it will be your insurance policy and insurance history record that will be affected. If this driver lives in the same household, or is a regular or frequent driver, they should be added to your policy.

Does a red car make my auto insurance more expensive?

No, the colour of the vehicle has no impact on the premium.

What does no fault insurance mean?

No fault insurance means that, regardless of whose fault an accident is, it is the driver’s own insurance company that responds to the claim. In the event of injuries that require medical rehabilitation and other expenses, coverage would be available under the injured person’s own insurance policy. The person who is at-fault may see a rate increase due to the fault being assigned to them.

How does an at-fault accident affect my rates?

Depending on how many years you have been licensed, one at-fault accident could significantly impact your auto insurance rates. The premium increases can compound if you incur any highway traffic violations. Depending on driver qualification, there may be options for purchasing an accident forgiveness extension or a minor conviction protector.

My car is a year older. Why have my rates have gone up?

In general terms, only a portion of the insurance premium you pay has to do with the actual vehicle value. The other premiums relate to liability, accident benefits, and any coverages you choose, such as optional accident benefits, rental car coverage, and accident forgiveness.

Increases in cost of claims related to such things as legal expenses, medical and rehabilitation of injured person, and fraud, along with the increases in expenses of repairs to vehicles are having a dramatic impact in the overall cost of claims. These costs will have a definitive impact on your rates.

Is every home insurance policy the same?

No, every home insurance policy can be different. There may be similarities in coverage but different insurance companies have different sub limits for items including water damage, jewellery, bicycles, and collectibles. Different products offered by insurance companies can provide superior coverages, such as for a high-value home that may require a higher level of protection.

Am I covered for natural disasters?

Some natural disasters are covered under a standard home insurance policy. For example, wind damage caused by a tornado or a hurricane is covered automatically, while earthquake and flood require specific coverages to be added to your policy.

What water damage is covered by my home insurance?

Typically, water escaping from the plumbing system within the home should be covered. Examples would be a burst pipe, water escape from a washing machine, hot water heater, or other domestic appliances.

During the heating season there are certain procedures you must follow when you’re away from your home for more than 48 hours. These include shutting off the water or having someone check on your home daily. Failure to perform one of these procedures can result in a claim being denied.

Some optional additional coverages we suggest include:

• Sewer Backup Coverage: Covers sudden and accidental backing up or escape of water or sewage through a sewer, septic system, sump pump, or drain.
• Overland Water: Coverage if surface water enters your home through a point above the surface of the ground.

We suggest talking to one of our staff members to give you the most options regarding water coverage.

For answers to all your insurance-related questions,
contact the team at Jeffery & Spence.