Seasonal Home Insurance FAQs
What is Seasonal Home Insurance?
Also known as cottage insurance and secondary home insurance, seasonal home insurance is a type of policy that covers a property that is not your primary residence. In BC, the most common vacation properties include cabins in the woods and lakeside cabins, though structures like ski chalets also qualify.
What Does Seasonal Home Insurance Cover?
Seasonal home insurance policies are similar to conventional home insurance policies in the sense that they cover many of the same elements. Most seasonal home insurance policies cover the following elements:
- Damage to the dwelling/structure caused by fire, internal flooding, or severe weather
- Personal property/contents
- Additional living expenses
- Third-party liability
Some policies can also cover the following elements for an additional cost:
- External Flooding
- Damage Caused by Earthquakes
How Often do I Need to Check on my Seasonal Home?
While there is typically no set number of times that you are required to check on your property throughout the year, you should ensure that your property is sufficiently safe and secure as often as possible. If your insurance policy does require you to check in on your property a set number of times per year, this will be outlined in the agreement.
Is Vacation Home Insurance Required in BC?
Most lenders require vacation home insurance in BC. It is important to note that, in some cases, your insurance provider may also require you to insure your primary residence with them. This means that you will need to have insurance coverage for your primary residence and all secondary properties with the same provider.
How Much Does Seasonal Home Insurance Cost?
There is no fixed rate for seasonal home insurance as every policy is uniquely tailored to the property and how it will be used. For example, if you will be renting out your property most of the year, your pricing will vary compared to a property that is vacant most of the year and only used by you and your family. Additional factors to consider when discussing the price of coverage include the size of your vacation home, the age of the building, and the proximity of the home to fire protection (fire hydrants, fire stations, etc.).
Is Seasonal Home Insurance More Expensive Than Regular Home Insurance?
Since seasonal homes are not typically occupied throughout the year, they are at a much higher risk of theft, burglary, and vandalism. This increased risk means that seasonal home insurance typically costs more than a typical home insurance policy.
What is Not Covered by Vacation Property Insurance?
While seasonal home insurance covers many different elements, there are some exceptions. Some common exclusions include:
- Septic backup and flooding.
- Damage caused by fuel oil release.
- Mechanical breakdowns.
- Motorized vehicles on the premises.
- Watercraft on the premises.
- Intentional damage.
- Damage caused by earthquakes.
- Damage caused by bears, raccoons, and other animals.
- Natural wear and tear of the premises and building.