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Insuring Winterized Cottages – What You Need To Know

winter cottage insurance

To winterize or not? Decisions, Decisions

Do you currently have a 3 season cottage and are considering winterizing the cottage to spend more time at the cottage during the winter months?  There are lots of decisions to be made when you winterize or renovate your cottage.  More and more clients are asking Kawartha Quotes insurance what insurance considerations need to be made when winterizing a cottage.

Our Team at Sentinel Risk Insurance helped put together a list of items to consider when winterizing your cottage:

How much time will you be spending at your cottage in the winter?

  • Is it just a few weekends, or will you be staying at the cottage for extended periods of time?  Insurance coverage and insurance premiums are different depending upon your answer.   One example is if your cottage is winterized, some policies may not cover claims if the cottage is left unoccupied for more than 4 days at any time or if you haven’t properly close your cottage for the winter.

Road access

  • Is your cottage accessed from a maintained, plowed road?  For Kawartha Quotes to offer the best insurance rates for your cottage, it will require 24/7 road clearance.  Your insurance coverage options during the winter may be limited if your cottage is located in an area that is not accessible during the winter season.   This could mean you need to arrange for snow plowing even if you aren’t using cottage often.  This is an additional expense to consider when winterizing and insuring your cottage.

Electrical, Heating and Plumbing

  • Keep in mind if you own an older cottage that it wasn’t built with the purpose of being a year round establishment.  Often you will need to consider upgrades to your electrical, heating and plumbing to properly winterize your cottage.  For larger renovations, you will need to notify your insurance company and you should use qualified, licensed professionals.

COTTAGE Heating Sources

  • Wood Stoves: By installing a wood stove you will increase your risk of fire, which will be reflected on your insurance policy’s premium. You will also need to show your insurance provider documentation that your wood stove has been WETT certified, meets current codes, and has been installed by a qualified professional.  Kawartha Quotes Insurance has licensed WETT certified brokers that can help inspect your wood burning stove and determine impacts to your insurance policy.

Renovations and Upgrades

  • You have a contractual obligation to report updates and renovations to your insurance company.  Failure to do so can affect your coverage in the event of a loss or damage. This includes the replacement value of your cottage.

Docks & Outbuilding COVERAGE

  • Don’t forget to properly store your dock in the winter.  If you don’t take the proper steps to store your dock for the winter, your policy may not cover any damages to the dock.  You must inform your insurance company of any outbuildings and docks to make sure you have proper coverage on your policy.

Do you have insurance questions about winterizing your cottage?  Is your cottage already winterized and you are questioning if you have proper insurance coverage?  Give Kawartha Quotes Insurance a call today at 1-888-231-2011 or email us at, we would be glad to address any questions you might have.


Kawartha Quotes Insurance searches over 40 different insurance companies to find you the best insurance rates with the coverage you need.

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