Covering Your Vacation Property: A Look at Cottage Insurance in BC

cottage insurance in BC Canada

The Journey to Secure Your Haven

Have you recently purchased your dream cottage by a lake or a remote cabin tucked away in the woods? Or you already own a home away from home, your Vacation Property to enjoy all year round or seasonally. Owning a cottage is a unique experience, offering a getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, it’s essential to recognize that the same serene setting that makes your cottage a perfect escape can also expose it to unique risks. This is where cottage insurance steps in.

The journey to securing your haven involves understanding the unique insurance needs of your Canadian cottage. Together, we can explore this topic further and ensure your beloved retreat is a place of joy and relaxation for many years.

Guarding Against the Unpredictable Canadian Weather:

Canada is known for its diverse climate; British Columbia is no exception. The weather can be unpredictable, from heavy rain and windstorms to unexpected snowfall. Cottage insurance ensures you’re financially covered when Mother Nature throws a curveball.

What is cottage insurance?

Cottage insurance, also known as vacation property insurance, is similar to your Home Insurance but designed for your cottage. It protects your vacation property from unforeseen events, covering the structure and its contents. Unlike standard home insurance, cottage insurance considers the unique risks associated with seasonal and recreational properties. This insurance will apply to the following dwellings: 

  • Cottages
  • Lake Houses
  • Chalets
  • Cabins 
  • Vacation homes 
  • Seasonal properties 
  • Lodges 

Your gateway is not just a property; it’s a haven awaiting its protective veil – a tailored insurance policy that makes every stay, every memory, worry-free.

What Does Cottage Insurance Cover in BC, Canada?

In the picturesque landscapes of British Columbia, cottage insurance typically covers the following:

Property Structure: 

Protection for your cottage’s physical structure, including the roof, walls, and foundation.


Coverage for personal belongings within the cottage, such as furniture, appliances, and electronics.

Liability Insurance: 

Protection in case someone is injured on your property, covering legal expenses and medical costs.

Detached Structures: 

Coverage for structures on your property, such as boathouses, sheds, or guest cabins.

What Types of Cottage Insurance Are Out There?

Cottage insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are various types tailored to meet the diverse needs of cottage owners. Common options include:

Seasonal Property Insurance: 

Designed for properties that are only occupied by you during specific seasons and not accessible year-round because of unplowed roads or only accessible by boats, this insurance provides coverage when you’re away.

Secondary Property/ All-Year-Round Cottage Insurance: 

If your cottage is a year-round residence, you must be at the property 2 to 8 weeks every year. This comprehensive option ensures protection throughout the year. Your property must be insulated, have year-round access, and only be occupied by you, not rented out.

Disclaimer: The above descriptions are just suggestions for how to rate second homes and vacation houses that are only used for a short time each year. For help with your needs and getting the right home insurance, we suggest you talk to a qualified Choice Insurance advisor.

What if You Rented Out Your Cottage?

Be honest with your insurance provider if you rent out your cottage to ensure you are fully covered. If you don’t do this, your cottage insurance contract might be canceled. When you get a renter’s insurance policy, the benefits usually focus on liability. Your insurance company will also make sure that all of your valuables are covered. They will also let you know what doesn’t need coverage, like that old furniture you’ve meant to replace.

Renting out your cottage can be a great way to offset costs, but it comes with unique considerations. It would be best if you had commercial insurance instead of cottage insurance. 

If you rent out your cottage, it’s like turning your holiday home into a business; your insurance should cover that. Get more information on Short-term Renters Insurance. It provides coverage for property damage caused by tenants, liability protection, and potential loss of rental income due to covered perils.

Does the Owner’s Cottage Insurance cover Tenants?

The owner’s cottage insurance does not cover most tenants. It’s advisable for tenants to obtain their own renter’s insurance to protect their personal belongings and liability.

Which Factors Impact the Cost of Cottage Insurance?

The price of your Vacation property insurance may change based on several risk factors. Some of these factors are specific to your area or insurance business. This is what your insurance company may look at:

  • Does the cottage have access to services like fire stations, hydrants, hospitals, and emergency medical services?
  • Does your property have features such as a shed, wood stoves, hot tubs, pools, or fire pits? 
  • Is there a Home Security System, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors?
  • Are the roads leading to your cottage maintained year-round?  
  • How is the property constructed, and what type of electrical wiring? 
  • Are the contents of the cottage kept on the property? 
  • What are the renovation costs? 
  • What is the primary heating source?
  • How often is the cottage occupied? 
  • Do you rent out your cottage? 

What Happens to Your Cottage Insurance if You Start Living at the Cottage Permanently?

If your cottage transitions from a seasonal retreat to a permanent residence, updating your coverage policy is essential. As you make it your primary residence, your insurance will be impacted. A year-round living situation may require adjustments to coverage, ensuring your policy adequately protects your home, belongings, and liability year-round.

Your Cottage Insurance Wrap-up

Coverage for your Cottage wasn’t just a formality; it was their trusted companion, ensuring that the warmth of their retreat endured, unmarred by unforeseen challenges.

In the heart of Canadian cottages, where each sunset tells a story, and every sunrise promises a new adventure, having the right insurance is not just a Choice – it’s a necessity. So, as you plan your next escape to the tranquility of your vacation property, remember to secure your slice of paradise with the assurance that vacation property insurance brings. After all, in the story of your cottage, let insurance be the unsung hero that ensures a happily ever after.