5 ways that cottage insurance differs from home insurance

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Published: March 9, 2020 · Updated: May 27, 2020

You may already have homeowner or renter’s insurance for your home in the city, but getting the right insurance coverage in place for your cottage requires new consideration and research. Not all plans are created equal, and you want to make sure your recreational property is well protected. Keep in mind that individual needs differ, and speak to your insurance broker before choosing a plan.

To delve into some of the most important ways cottage insurance differs from home insurance, we reached out to Chris Moss, Assistant Vice President of Personal Insurance, Lifestyle and High Net Worth at Aviva, for his insights about five things you may want to consider before buying cottage insurance. 

Cottage insurance covers the risks present in remote locations

“Cottage insurance is different from home insurance because it provides tailored coverage that fits the particular use of the property,” says Moss, suggesting that you look for a plan that understands and addresses the differences between urban settings and cottage country. “For instance, our Lifestyle policy at Aviva includes coverage for damage caused by bears, squirrels, and raccoons.” Home insurance policies wouldn’t typically cover things like forest-animal damage. Also standard with cottage insurance such as Aviva’s is coverage for docks, hot tubs and sheds, debris removal, lock replacement, frozen food replacement, and fire department charges.

“Customers should consider asking and understand how their cottage will be repaired or replaced if the worst should happen, particularly since they could be away from the property for weeks, and the damage could be quite significant in that time,” says Moss. 

The specific coverage may differ depending on planned use

With seasonal-home insurance, how you intend to use the property may mean plan and coverage differences. “If you visit your cottage every month throughout the year (including in the winter), we offer additional coverage versus those cottage owners who just use their cottage in the summer months,” says Moss. Having the right plan can save you money, since you’ll be paying only for the exact coverage you need.  

You can cover additional structures on the property

With some cottage insurance plans, you may be able to add coverage specifically for other important structures on the property, such as wet boathouses (which may not be an option on most home insurance plans). You may even select a different deductible for them than for the main cottage, notes Moss. 

Plans can protect rental properties and rental income

“Renting seems to be increasingly common with people who own cottages, especially to help subsidize the cost of owning a cottage,” says Moss. “Through Aviva Lifestyle, we offer optional coverage for those who rent out their cottage for short periods of time when they aren’t able to be present at the property. It removes restrictions around coverage while the property is rented, but also provides coverage to protect lost income should there be a [change] preventing someone from renting your cottage. This coverage can be purchased for up to 180 days of the year.” With Aviva Lifestyle, you’ll also be covered for liability when it comes to items on your property such as watercraft. 

Be prepared for all scenarios with cottage-specific optional coverages

A comprehensive insurance plan can offer peace of mind. Additional coverage for cottage-specific things like a wet boathouse, watercraft damage and liability, septic and sump pit back-up, and rental-income protection is available with many seasonal-home insurance packages. 

Have more questions about cottage-specific insurance? Learn more here.

Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks used under licence by the licensor. The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.