Over our 35 years in business we at Bow Valley Insurance we have had many Alberta vacation home owners ask us about what are the best ways for insuring their cabin or cottage. As with a lot of questions in the insurance industry, the answer lies in your particular circumstances.
The first way to insure your vacation home is as an extension of your primary home insurance policy. The second way is as a standalone policy. Generally, however, standalone policies are only offered to those with an existing policy on their primary residence.
Factors of Your Vacation Home Insurance
There are myriads of different kinds of Alberta cabins, cottages, and vacation resort properties, and each requires different coverage. Everybody has different circumstances that affect how their vacation property is considered for insurance purposes. For instance, does someone occupy your property in the “off season,” or is it only visited a few days a year? Do you rent out your cabin or cottage to other vacationers, or allow friends and family to simply use it with notice? How far is your retreat from fire and emergency services? Does your property face heightened risk of loss from fire, vandalism or theft?
Other influences include the types and age of the structures you would like to purchase coverage for. A rustic hunting cabin without running water and electricity that is less costly to repair will likely be cheaper to insure than a modern one that is more like your primary home, complete with a well, septic, and connected to power.
As well, part-time occupancy may also affect your coverage. There is a lot that can go wrong when you’re not there, such as vandalism, sewage back-ups, water pipe bursts, power failures spoiling food, and so on, so part-time coverage may include named perils only.
If you leave valuable possessions at your vacation property for any length of time longer than your personal visits, ensure that there are no special limits on your policy that may not entirely cover them. And also ensure any outbuildings on your property are covered by your vacation home insurance, and any small boats or watercraft you store can often be included as well.
And always make sure you are not leaving yourself underinsured against third party liability if a guest is injured while on your property.
Remember that when visiting your vacation property to have someone keeping an eye on your home back in the Calgary area. Mail piling up, newspapers littering the driveway, and other obvious signs of vacant owners are all cues to enterprising thieves.
As independent brokers, Bow Valley Insurance provides insurance packages from several nationally recognised companies. We are able to search among them to find the product that best represents your needs. We are happy to answer all of your questions about insurance coverage and find you an Alberta vacation home policy tailor made for your circumstances.