Protect the family cottage

By Neal Muschett | July 5, 2012 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
2 min read

If you are a like a lot of Canadians, you’ve probably spent the winter dreaming of getting back to the cottage and summer fun. A leading property insurer, shares the following tips and considerations for making sure your cottage getaways are both fun and safe this season:

Initial inspection

Carefully check your surroundings to get a sense of the kind of work that will be involved in opening your cottage. From fallen trees to cracked windows to rotten wood on the deck or docks, the long winter months may have caused some damages that could pose a threat to your safety if not repaired. If children regularly visit your cottage, it’s important to take a look around the property and see what improvements are needed to make your cottage child-safe. For example, make sure all poisonous substances such as weed killers are stored safely away and that all locks are secure.

Test runs

Take the same risk prevention steps for your cottage that you would for your home such as checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors’ battery life and keeping a fire extinguisher on the premises. If the carbon monoxide detector is older than five years, replace it completely—the same applies to smoke alarms older than 10 years.

Also test heaters, light switches, appliances, wires and outlets for any damages first, and make sure the water heater is filled to avoid burning the element.

Safety blanket

Since cottages are often left unoccupied for long periods of time, they are more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Also, if your cottage is in a remote area, it is more likely to suffer from greater damages in case of a fire than a property closer to the city.

For these reasons, it is advisable to make sure that all buildings on the property are insured including docks, guest cabins, boathouses, and, in some cases, even boats. Not only does insurance give you peace of mind, it also allows you to fully enjoy your ‘home away from home’ season after season.

Neal Muschett, National Leader, Personal Insurance, RSA Canada

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Neal Muschett