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Little-known facts about seasonal property insurance

There’s nothing like a relaxing getaway at the cottage by the lake or the cabin in the woods. More than just bricks and mortar, your seasonal property is the keeper of cherished memories. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or seasoned cottager – now is a great time to review your coverage for your home away from home. Read on to learn some little-known facts about seasonal property insurance coverage but be sure to speak with your OTIP broker about what is and isn't covered in your policy.
1. If a loss can be prevented, then it may not be covered.
For example, if you forget to tie up your watercraft and it drifts off with the tide, you might be out of luck. Your policy will probably cover damage or loss caused by things outside your control (something that was not preventable). And when it comes to destruction from animals, pests, and insects, the idea is that you can prevent a critter from invading your seasonal property with some simple preventative measures.
2. If you leave your seasonal property unattended for an extended period, damages or losses may not be covered.
Seasonal properties must be checked on regularly for safety and security. Many insurance companies have a maximum number of days you can be away before coverage is denied. Therefore, if you didn't check on your seasonal property throughout the winter and the roof collapsed due to heavy snow, you might have to cover the cost of repairs out of pocket. If you had checked on your seasonal property more frequently, the snow could have been removed, and the roof wouldn't have collapsed.
Be sure to check on and maintain your seasonal property, even if it's not cottage season. Remember to confirm with your OTIP broker how many days your seasonal property can be left unattended.
3. Renting out your seasonal property could void your policy if your insurer doesn't permit it.
While you may not necessarily need to pay higher premiums or take out additional coverage, you do need to tell your insurance company or OTIP broker.
Bonus tip: if you're interested in renting out your seasonal property this season, check out these steps before handing over your keys.
4. Believe it or not, water damage is the most common type of insurance claim.
Whether you use your seasonal property year-round or close it up for the winter, consider the following precautions:

  • Maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts and inspect them yearly.

  • Extend your downspouts so rainwater flows away from your home.

  • Install flood shields on all basement windows below ground level.

  • Ensure your yard’s grading slopes away from your home.

  • Install backwater valves to help prevent sewage backup in your home.

Only some forms of water damage may be covered by seasonal property insurance policies. You may also be covered for a sewer backup if you add this endorsement to your policy. Moreover, you can occasionally have a trusted individual check in to avoid severe damage.
5. That beat-up, old watercraft collecting cobwebs could cost you a lot of money.
Liability protection is still vital even if you feel it's not worth insuring against damage or theft. If it happens to damage something or harm someone, you'll be on the hook for those damages or injuries. The same goes for any other leisure products not covered by your seasonal property insurance policy, like ATVs or snowmobiles. If they have the potential to cause damage or injury, they should be insured for liability.

If you're a current OTIP policyholder, contact us at 1-833-494-0090 to review your existing seasonal property policy and discuss additional coverage options. If you're shopping for coverage for any leisure products, including watercrafts, RVs, trailers, and motorcycles, call 1-833-494-0085 to get a quote and receive a $20 gift card of your choice!

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