But, since you spend less time there, and may not be there at all during the winter months, insuring a secondary residence is different. From burglaries to bad weather, there are a multitude of hazards which can wreak havoc on your property when you’re not around.
Here is what you need to know about protecting your secondary residence:
Determine how “secondary” your secondary residence is
Before you can choose the right insurance for your secondary residence, consider how much time you spend there. If you only visit your cottage once a week for the summer months before shuttering the windows for another winter, for example, you might consider a ‘named perils’ insurance plan to provide rudimentary protection against things like wind damage or other specifics. If you intend to visit your secondary property year-round, and often, you might consider an ‘all perils’ insurance plan, similar to that of your main place of residence, which is more all-encompassing.
Make sure you’re covered, even when you’re not there
Just because you’re not there doesn’t mean you’re not personally liable if someone gets hurt on your secondary property or if a lightning strike starts a fire which then spreads to your neighbours. Even a small rickety un-winterized cabin can cause a headache for you if it is not properly covered under an insurance policy appended with Third Party Liability. Remember: it’s not just about protecting your valuables.
Determine the value of your belongings
When shopping for a secondary home insurance policy, have a list handy of what exactly you need insured. While leaving valuables unattended in a seasonal dwelling is not advisable, due to the risk of theft, some stuff, like major appliances or antique furniture, cannot be easily removed at the end of each summer. Since burglaries are not covered under basic named perils home insurance policies, you may have to look into additional coverage, called ‘Endorsement 31’ at Desjardins Insurance, to cover your most-treasured items.
Always prepare for winter
One of the easiest ways to ensure your secondary residence is to properly prepare it for Canadian winters. Unless a secondary property is winterized and used through the colder months, preparations, like draining pipes and shuttering windows, can make sure your secondary residence remains intact for future enjoyment.
Always be sure to prepare your secondary residence for the harsh Canadian winters, including:
- Prevent frozen pipes by draining water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines, draining and storing indoor hoses, and insulating pipes in your home that are located in unheated areas.
- Add extra insulation to your basement and attic to help keep heat within your home.
- Pest proof your home by sealing up gaps or holes in your property, including the exterior, and interior rooms.
- Prevent heat leakage and moisture intrusion during the winter months by sealing off cracks around the windows of your home – avoid common window caulking mistakes such as applying too much product and selecting the wrong type of caulk.
Contact us at 1-877-699-9923 to speak with a Desjardins licensed insurance advisor today, so you can find out what type of coverage is best for you and your cherished cabin, cottage or other secondary residence.