While you may not be thinking of your cottage insurance when you’re getting ready to close up for the season, it is crucial that you are paying careful attention to what you’re doing and keeping your insurance broker informed along the way. Here are five cottage insurance tips you’ll want to keep in mind:
1. Go Over Your Current Insurance Coverage with Your Broker
One of the first things you’ll want to do before you officially close up your cottage for the season is to get ahold of your insurance broker and discuss your current cottage policy at length. You want to make sure that you’re fully aware of what your insurance covers and what you don’t have coverage for.
2. Advise Your Insurance Broker of Any Renovations Completed in the Past Season and Those to Come
Once you’ve had a chance to go over your policy, you want to take the time to advise your broker of any renovations that you have completed in the past season and any that you may be doing in the coming season. This is especially important because your policy will not be able to be renewed until the following season, so you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect the property and its recent upgrades.
3. Advise Your Insurance Broker That You are Closing the Cottages for the Winter
While this may seem a tad redundant, you do want to make sure you are officially telling your broker that you will be closing the cottage for the winter season. This will ensure that your broker notes that you’ll be away for the season and that you are covered accordingly.
4. Discuss Any/All Liability Concerns
This is especially important if you have completed any major renovations, as you need to be made fully aware of what you have and what you don’t have coverage for. This is also a good time to be discussing any liability concerns you may have and if you are worried that you have overlooked something. Remember, just because you’re not residing at your cottage during the off-season, doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t liable should something happen.
5. Reevaluate Your Coverage and Discuss Possible Changes
Finally, after you’ve had a chance to discuss your current policy and any changes that you may have made to your cottage, it’s time that you reevaluate your coverage and discuss any changes you may want to make. You may be able to lower your coverage and save some money, or you may want to raise your coverage and make sure you’re fully covered.
Cottage Tips for Closing: Keep This Seasonal Checklist on Hand
After you’ve talked with your broker, you can keep your cottage insurance tips in mind as you begin the seasonal closing process. Whether you’re new to cottage closing or simply need a quick refresher, here’s a handy seasonal closing checklist you’ll want to keep with you:
- Drain Your Water Tanks/Lines: This is crucial to help you prevent damage to your cottage from a burst pipe or burst water line should the remaining water freeze and begin to expand. Should that happen, once the weather starts to warm up, the pipes can burst from the built-up pressure.
- Turn Off Your Electrical System: The same goes for the electrical system. You want to make sure that all circuits are turned off to help prevent a fire should the power surge.
- Make Sure Your Cottage is Secure: Crime proofing your home is an absolute must, especially if you’ve recently completed any major renovations. You should also consider speaking with local law enforcement and informing them that the cottage will be vacant during the off-season so that they can keep an eye on the area during their rounds. Another great idea is to give someone local a key so that they can periodically check on the cottage. Finally, don’t forget to properly lock up all doors and windows and draw all curtains.
- Remove All Valuables: It’s a good idea to remove all valuables before closing. This will help you prevent theft if the cottage is burglarized. This should include anything inside the home and any large pieces of valuable equipment such as lawnmowers, recreational vehicles, and any gardening equipment.
- Check Your Fireplace/Heater: All heating sources need to be cleaned up and shut down for the season. If you have electric heating sources that are plugged into an outlet, make sure you unplug them to ensure that they don’t spark should there be a power surge.
Protect Your Cottage with the Right Insurance Policy from Higgins Insurance
If you’ll be closing up your cottage soon, you’ll want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to protect it. Higgins Insurance can help you protect your cottage and its contents during the off-season by providing you with a customized cottage insurance policy to fit your needs.
Get your quote today!