Vacation Property & Cottage Insurance

Retirement get away. Cabin in the woods. Cottage by the lake. Whatever you call it and wherever it is, your vacation property needs to be insured too. It’s more than bricks and mortar, it’s the keeper of cherished memories of families and friends, BBQs, birthday parties, and anniversaries! BrokerLink advisors understand that a vacation property is a precious place and our experts work hard to provide you with the peace of mind of knowing it’s properly insured.

Two key considerations that may affect your vacation property insurance policy

When creating your vacation property insurance policy, insurers take into consideration how frequently your property is occupied, and whether it’s rented to others. Let’s explore these two scenarios further.

1. How frequently is your vacation property occupied?

Seasonal vacation property insurance policies are often more expensive than your typical home policy due to a higher risk of theft, burglary, and vandalism. Since you don’t live there year-round, any damage that occurs can go unnoticed for longer periods, and get progressively worse if not fixed quickly.

Comprehensive coverage provides extended protection for your year-round vacation property and it includes boathouses, sheds, bunkhouses, as well as your belongings.

Broad form or basic insurance coverage covers only the specific risks detailed in your policy.

Also, leaving your seasonal property unattended for an extended period of time may result in losses or damages that will not be covered. It’s important to check your vacation property regularly for safety and security.

2. Do you rent out your vacation property?

Renting out your vacation property is a great way to make extra income, and extra incentive to keep your property well-maintained. However, it is important to review your policy with your broker to ensure it includes coverage for renting.

Vacation property Rental Insurance is available depending on the length of time and frequency you intend to rent out your vacation property. Also, personal belongings may not be protected by some policies, so when renting out your space reduce the amount of personal items in your vacation property to avoid the risk of theft.

Some insurance companies include rental income protection, which will help replace lost rent payments if the vacation property you are renting is temporarily uninhabitable due to a covered claim.

A BrokerLink advisor can review your options with you to ensure you have the best policy to fit your situation.

Additional vacation property insurance factors to consider

To insure your vacation property, some companies may require that you also insure your home with them. Additionally, the size and age of your vacation property and its property can affect your premium. The size and age will also affect whether you can list your vacation property on your home insurance as a seasonal location, or as a stand-alone policy. Bundling your policies often leads to additional savings so it may be a good idea to bundle your home and vacation property insurance policies.

Let’s explore some other factors that may influence the cost for your vacation property insurance:

  • Your vacation property’s proximity to fire protection. Insurance companies reward Vacation Properties with a lower premium if they’re within 300 metres of a hire hydrant and/or 8 kilometres from a fire station. For remote properties, this distance may be unrealistic. Consider installing a sprinkler system or have access to an alternate emergency water supply.
  • Year-round road maintenance so that access to your property is not restricted in case emergency services are needed.
  • All construction materials rated as fire resistant.
  • How you heat your vacation property, e.g. oil, electricity, propane, wood stove.
  • Requirements to cover any secondary buildings like bunk houses, boat houses, tool sheds and saunas on the property.

Should I get additional vacation property insurance coverage?

Reviewing your policy in detail with a BrokerLink Advisor can help reveal any gaps in your vacation property insurance policy. Additional coverage may increase your premium, however each vacation property is unique and your broker can advise about options that could be a benefit. Below are a few to take note of:

  • Contents: some insurance packages automatically include contents up to a certain limit. This coverage applies to contents permanently kept at the vacation home. Anything you take back and forth – such as clothing – is covered by your primary home insurance policy.
  • Detached private structures: some insurance packages include limited coverage for outbuildings such as boathouses, garages, or sheds.
  • Watercraft: coverage for recreational properties often limits coverage for power boats, canoes and sailboats. These recreational items can be added to your policy with an endorsement, to ensure you have the appropriate coverage should something unexpected happen.
  • Theft / vandalism: vacation property are an easy target for theft and vandalism due to their seasonal occupancy. When possible, install motion sensor lighting or a security camera.
  • Third-Party Liability: this will protect you in case someone gets injured on your property.

What is not covered by vacation property insurance?

There are some items for which no coverage is available on your vacation property insurance policy.

Some common exclusions include:

  • septic backup and flooding.
  • fuel oil release.
  • earth movement (for example, earthquake).
  • damage to, or loss of motorized vehicles, campers or trailers, buildings used for business or farming purposes.
  • damage caused by bears, racoons and other animals.
  • wear and tear of the premises and building.
  • acts of terrorism and losses due to war.

Your vacation property is your sanctuary and may represent a significant investment of time and money. That’s why we’re here to answer your questions and ensure that your vacation property is protected properly. We want to help make sure you can enjoy it for many years to come. Contact a BrokerLink insurance advisor to discuss your vacation property insurance needs today!

FAQs for vacation property Insurance

Why do insurance companies consider the distance from a fire hall?

The proximity of your vacation property to a fire hall is important for insurance companies when determining your premium. The closer you are to a fire hall, the sooner the fire can be extinguished and the lower the cost of restoring your vacation property.

Are there any tips for insuring my vacation property while it’s unoccupied?

  1. Make a point to inspect your vacation property and property following severe weather. Pay close attention to any trees that may pose a threat to your vacation property.
  2. Ensure propane and fuel lines are disconnected or shut off valves are in place.
  3. Turn off water supply and drain water lines.
  4. To guard against break and entry, remove any items on the exterior of the vacation property that may be used to gain entry, like bricks, ladders, poles, and construction materials.

Can I get insurance coverage for my vacation property if it’s located on an island?

A vacation property on a remote island sounds relaxing and peaceful, however this falls under specialty insurance. Building or doing repairs to a vacation property located on an island can be costly when transporting materials and labour out to the location, especially considering the added risks involved with it. It is critical that you talk to your insurance advisor about this unique coverage.


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