Buying a Cottage in the Kawarthas

There is no denying that the real estate market in the Kawarthas is red hot, right now. For those of us who live here, and our friendly GTA neighbours looking for an escape from the city and 400 series driving – finding a second home, or cottage has never been more challenging. Getting wrapped up in a bidding war (yes they are here too, now) while you pounce on your piece of paradise, you’ll want to consider these 6 important points that can easily change the outcome of your purchase Insurance wise.

1. Heating:

How is your new home/cottage heated? Wood? Oil? Propane? Electric? Each of these potential options can greatly impact the cost of ownership in heating your home.  Additionally, heating can really effect your insurance options all together.  For instance, wood stoves require specific inspections, and older oil tanks may not even qualify to be insured at all.

2. Rental:

Are you thinking about renting your cottage to supplement the cost of ownership? It is a great idea, in theory. On a seasonal policy many insurance companies will allow for an occasional rental, but if it your intention to rent for even more than two weeks out of the season you might be required for additional coverage, or be required to insure it as a rental property all together. Let your broker know what your intentions are, to make sure you are properly covered in the terrible event of having to make a claim.  It would be heartbreaking to not be covered, when you need it the most.

3. Area Services:

Most of the Kawarthas are considered rural. A question you will be asked for insurance purposes, is if your property is in range of a fire department. Your insurance premium could increase if you are not within the acceptable boundaries; check with your realtor, or a local brokerage (like us, here at Stewart Morrison Insurance) for this information.

4. Year Round or Seasonal:

Are you planning on using your property year round? A four season cottage can be eligible for additional extended coverages, whereas traditional summer properties may only qualify for more limited policies.

5. Accessibility:

The Kawarthas are obviously known for our lakes; and some properties are only accessible by water. The gorgeous seclusion of being on an island, can come at a cost to your premiums, and how and what you may be covered for. However, water isn’t the only obstacle when you are thinking accessibility. There are many RV parks that completely shut down for the winter months, and some that only allow access by ATV or Snowmobile (we insure all three btw). If you are lucky enough to find and own a property that has peaceful seclusion, look into how you can access it year round and ask us how that affects your insurance.

6. Alarm System:

Thankfully, the alarm system we are referring to isn’t primarily for theft (though, a great silver lining), we are fortunate to boast a very low crime rate here in the Kawartha Lakes. The new alarm systems out there, can be your first response to that burst pipe I mentioned earlier. Alerts can be set to tell you a fantastic amount of information if you do not live near your second home, or cottage. Flood, fire, temperature and break-ins can be dealt with much faster than finding the damage in the spring. These systems also lower your insurance premium, so why not!

If you have any questions, we would love to speak with you directly, so never hesitate to call or visit us.  We are in 5 locations within the Kawarthas, so we know the area well.

Click here to read about our coverage, and then call us!