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family walking to camp holding hands
 May 20, 2022
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Heading out to camp this weekend? Tips for opening your home away from home

Having a place to get away from life’s stresses is one of the best features of owning a camp or cottage. Your camp should be your refuge; don’t let a lack of maintenance to the property or a misunderstanding of your protection be the cause of future stress. Oftentimes small tasks can make a big difference in preventing damage to your property.

Maintenance Tips for Seasonal Homes

  • Maintain the treescape on your property – Identify dead or weak trees that are close to the building and remove them so that they do not fall and cause damage during a windstorm.
  • Clean your chimney – If wood heat is used, be sure to have the chimney/flue cleaned and maintained annually to prevent a chimney fire. While you’re at it, replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Inspect the building – Take a closer look at the foundation and keep an eye out for cracks, review windows and doorways and apply new caulking if necessary, and perform any maintenance to exterior surfaces such as decks paying special attention to steps, railings and walkways.

Understand your Protection

Unique scenarios arise when owning a seasonal property that may present a potential risk exposure. Review your protection to be sure that the coverage that is in place will respond when you need it to.

Potential Risk Exposure

  • Unattended Building – Most seasonal insurance policies require that the building be checked regularly by a competent individual, sometimes as frequently as every 60 days even in the winter.
  • Renting/Airbnb/Vrbo – Renting through third parties such as Airbnb and Vrbo is often excluded from insurance policies. Additionally, if renting is permitted, carriers may place a limit on the number of weeks that the camp can be rented out to a third party. 
  • Pest Damage – Avoiding behaviours that attract pests such as raccoons, squirrels, and skunks goes a long way in preventing damage. Take care of your food and food waste by securely storing and disposing of it.

Talk to Your Insurance Broker

Policy documents and listed exclusions can be confusing; make sure that you understand how you are protected against potential loss with respect to your cottage. 

The best way to determine your protection is by speaking with your insurance broker before a claim occurs. Your broker can tell you what your protection includes and if you should be investing in additional coverage options. To learn more about seasonal homeowner’s insurance and the coverage options available, contact Northern Insurance today.