Is your cottage covered against fires?

By Ray FordRay Ford


Photo by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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When Alice Ogden’s Manitoulin Island cottage burned down in 2005, “We knew the cottage was insured, but we didn’t know by how much.” The Ogdens bought their getaway (originally a cabin at a fishing resort) in 1985 and assumed the existing insurance policy. As a result, the $51,000 in structure and contents coverage “wasn’t enough to build a modern cottage,” she says. The replacement (including such big-ticket items as a new wood stove and composting toilet) cost more than three times what the original building was insured for.

To avoid a similar problem, Darlene Cade of Toronto-based Cade Associates Insurance Brokers says it’s a good idea to regularly check your policy and its coverage levels. Does your policy include a guaranteed replacement clause? Does it cover out buildings? Do you have sufficient coverage to rebuild and to cover losses of contents? If you’re not sure, check on construction costs with local contractors.

Cottagers should also have certified tradesmen install new equipment such as solar power units, furnaces, and wood stoves, and ensure installations (including your own DIY electrical work) are appropriately inspected.

Take photos or videos of the cottage interior and exterior to record the structure and its contents—and keep them updated. “Open up the cupboards and closets and take pictures of everything you can,” says Nova Scotia cottager Shirley Pineo.

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Feb. 9, 2014

8:28 am

Seriously, I am always shocked that people intentionally do not insure or do not adequately insure their most prized possessions !! What insurance carrier agent or homeowner with a third grade education does not understand replacement cost? Here is the reality of owing a cottage, cabin , lake home or get - a - way. Your primary home is expensive you need insurance as does your automobile, your get-a-way needs to be insured, as does all of your toys ( boats, atv's, golf carts, snowmobiles) next your wife's jewelry as well who wants to lose the engagement ring or tennis bracelet? Next you need an umbrella policy worth at least a million dollars ! Why ? Well sadly because your friends , neighbors, relatives and everyone else including the moose would sue you in a blink of an eye if given the opportunity. Having the kids friends u to ski, jet ski, swim, ride atv's be prepared for a law suit. Please explain to me how any adult in 2014 does not understand this. Simply put it takes a ton of money to live this lifestyle, it is not for everyone. What is sad is when your so called friends do come up empty handed, enjoy your lake home , your boat , jet skis, burn your gasoline, eat your food, drink your wine and allow you to wait on them hand and foot they tell you how lucky you are !!! Nothing like paying all the costs and taking all the risks to provide others an amazing time ! Just The Ugly Truth of A Cottagers Reality :)

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