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6 tips to adequately protect your cottage

Published on June 19, 2019

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Renowned haven of peace, the cottage is synonymous with getting away and relaxing. Ready to get away from it all in your own little piece of paradise? Follow these six tips from L’Unique General Insurance to adequately insure your cottage and prevent losses.

1. Talk to your broker about your cottage’s features

Where it’s located, how it’s used, age of the building, accessibility, renovations... All these elements will have an impact on the coverages offered. That’s why your insurance broker needs all the details regarding the features of your cottage, to be able to recommend coverages that are best suited to your needs.

You could be eligible for a variety of owner-occupied home insurance coverages generally offered for primary residences. Or your broker might offer you more limited coverage that mainly protects you against damage to the building due to fire or certain types of water damage. In that case, check with your broker if you should add à la carte coverage to insure the contents of your cottage. 

Do you rent out your cottage? Notify your broker if you do, specifying how often you rent it, so he or she can offer you all the coverages you require. Some insurers, such as L’Unique, could offer you coverage that’s tailored to your situation.

2. Get civil liability coverage

Imagine if someone was injured on your property or if you accidentally caused damage to someone else’s property. With civil liability insurance included in your cottage insurance, you’d be protected if the injured person or the owner of the damaged property decided to take legal action against you. That’s why it’s so important to cover your cottage, including with civil liability insurance, regardless of its value and how often you use it.

Also, proper maintenance of the building and the land will help prevent injuries. 

3. Take security measures to prevent fires

  • Install smoke detectors and change the batteries every year
  • If you use fuel for heating (propane, gas, wood, etc.):
    • Install carbon monoxide detectors for your safety 
    • Carry out manufacturer recommended maintenance on your heating appliances or systems 
    • Store propane tanks outdoors
  • If you light a fire indoors or outdoors, dispose of the ashes safely

4. Minimize the risk of theft

  • If possible, ask a neighbour you trust to keep an eye on your cottage
  • Lock your doors, windows, storage space, etc.
  • Don’t leave valuable property (bicycles, electronic devices, jewelry, etc.) in your cottage while you’re away. Bring valuable objects back to your primary residence. They will then be covered by the insurance policy of this residence, which is likely more complete than your cottage insurance.

5. Install prevention systems

Many sensors allow for a rapid response when you’re not there. Here are a couple that would be beneficial to install:

  • A fire alarm system connected to a central monitoring station
  • A theft alarm system connected to a central monitoring station

6. “Shut down” your cottage when you leave for several days

  • If you have a water supply line, turn it off
  • Unplug all electrical appliances
  • Close and lock all doors and windows

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!

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