ottaging is one of life’s great pleasures. Whether it’s in a tiny cabin hidden away in the woods, a waterfront property or even an island getaway, there is nothing better than immersing oneself in Mother’s Nature’s playground, where the calls of the wild, scents from the flora, and cool waters ignite the senses.
With so many families wanting to get in on the experience, cottage owners are cashing in on the rental market demand. However, it’s important to make sure your property has the appropriate insurance coverage for short-term rentals, explains Christina Martin, Vice President of KRGInsure.
Christina advises her clients to review their seasonal or secondary home insurance prior to advertising their property on the rental market.
“Without a policy that covers you for short-term rentals, you’re putting yourself at a lot of risk,” she says. “There is nothing wrong with earning income on your property, especially with the demand for cottage rentals being so high. But you need to protect yourself and your investment.”
After all, a second home or seasonal property is one of the biggest financial commitments a family can make. So, ask yourself: how do I protect my property and belongings if I rent out my cottage? As well, what happens if I can’t rent out the cottage because of an unforeseen circumstance, such as a fire or storm damage?
That’s where the Aviva RetreatLife policy can help. This policy offers coverage for loss or damage while your cottage is rented. As well, they know everyone’s needs are different and not all cottage rental situations are equal. With this in mind, this insurance product from Aviva can be written as a standalone seasonal policy with short term rental coverage for 30 days annually. There’s even an option to increase your rental coverage limit for up to 180 days per year.
“The Aviva RetreatLife policy allows you to enjoy your property when it’s not being rented out,” says Christina. “Included is rental income protection that provides financial peace of mind if the cottage cannot be rented out as a result of a covered claim.”
The coverage offers protection against fire, theft, explosion, vandalism, damage from falling objects, lightning, hail and windstorm damage, as well as damage caused by bears, raccoons, and squirrels.
Meanwhile, available extended coverage includes docks, hot tubs and sheds, bunkies, lock replacement and even frozen food protection. Add-ons include coverage for wet boathouses, septic and sump pumps, and more.
Determining what best suits your needs is what the experts at KRGInsure can help with: Christina suggests calling to review your existing coverage and to discuss the other products available which may better suit your needs.
“We’re here to help you find the right policy for your lifestyle,” she says.
Recreational vehiclesAs well as protecting your property, Aviva provides numerous lifestyle policies to cover boats, collector cars, motorhomes, trailers, motorcycles and more.
Especially important for many cottagers are policies which protect their boats. The Aviva NauticLife boat insurance policy offers coverage for fire, explosion, theft and vandalism; lightning, hail and windstorm damage; impact or collision; vermin damage; emergency towing and loss of use; pollution and wreck removal; and personal effects. There’s also medical, death, and funeral benefits. Aviva also offers Replacement Cost policies for the majority of watercraft and insures a wide variety of boats.
As well, with the NauticLife policy boaters can enjoy the benefits of the Aviva Marine Assistance Program, which includes boat towing, trip planning, health and legal assistance, a concierge service and more.
“Enjoying the season can be busy and involve lots of planning,” says Christina. “Having your insurance coverage taken care of will give you the peace of mind needed to focus on making the most of your recreational time.”
Safety is essentialApart from having the right coverage for your property and valuables, it’s essential to put safety first when planning to use or rent out your cottage, or to take your boat or recreational vehicles out for a spin.
Make sure your safety tools like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and first aid kits are all in good working order and are installed correctly in the right areas. For boats and watercraft, lifejackets or PFDs and emergency kits should be readily available.
As well, have a visible and easily accessible list of emergency phone numbers, know where the nearest hospital is, and have an emergency escape plan to best protect yourself, your family, and your guests.
“Look for ways to keep your guests safe during their stay,” recommends Christina. “Being sure to establish rules for use of the location, and clarifying which outdoor items are available for use, will better protect your cottage and your valuables.”
This is all part of partaking in that time-honoured Canadian tradition of cottaging, and it’s especially good advice when renting out your property to earn extra income.
Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions, restrictions and exclusions so in addition to providing this good advice, KRGInsure will help you pick the best Aviva coverage for your needs, and then be there to help should an unforeseen incident occur.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN