Summer's Almost Done! Time to Think Fall!

This summer in Ontario has been a hot & humid one with many taking refuge at lakeside getaways and cottages. It’s hard to believe that this weekend marks the last summer long weekend for Canadians. 

For most Canadians, summer is synonymous with relaxing cottage weekend getaways. It often beckons memories of people enjoying water sports and activities such as skiing, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing and swimming in the lake. A cottage is not simply a destination, it’s a lifestyle that many Canadians get to enjoy.

Cottages today are homes.  They are infrequently built as shacks with an outhouse anymore.  Most of us want to have that country lakeside escape but do not want to forgo any of the amenities of a city home.

While owning a cottage can be a great way to escape the hustle-bustle of city life on weekends, ownership also comes with its responsibilities and liabilities. Insurance policies vary tremendously depending on use and accessibility.

Two thirds of cottage claims are weather and accident-related. To avoid the hassle and expense of unnecessary repairs, protect your cottage and your family by following these tips:

·      Keep your yard clear. Strong winds can turn lawn furniture, barbecues and tree branches into destructive missiles.

·      Clear the area surrounding your cottage of any objects which could potentially become airborne and cause significant damage.

·      Secure your roof. Your roof is the most important and vulnerable part of your cottage. Have your roof professionally inspected annually and keep it well maintained.

·      Trim the trees! Remove weak trees and trim branches which could fall on your cottage causing damage.

·      Clear your eavestroughs. Regularly clean and maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts to make sure they are not clogged with debris.

·      Clean the chimney. If you have a chimney or woodstove have it professionally cleaned and inspected for damage each season. A professional may be able to spot hazards you wouldn’t be able to see yourself.

·      Check your BBQ. Clean barbeques and heating appliances before use. Check propane tanks regularly for leaks, loose connections or blockages.

·      Check before starting fires.  It is important to contact your local fire department, municipality or the Ministry of Natural Resources for any restrictions on burning before starting campfires or burning brush. Never leave a fire unattended.

·      Check electric connections. Regularly maintain fuse boxes, heaters, wiring, stoves, and other possible heat sources. Install and maintain smoke detectors. Protect your family by installing smoke detectors on every floor of your cottage. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Have a fire extinguisher on every floor.

·      Store boats safely. Fiberglass, the most commonly used material in canoes and boats is extremely flammable. Be sure to store them away from any buildings and lay them upside down, one metre above ground level, either on a rock or clearing.

Cottage Insurance goes beyond, the cabin. Cabin Life often beckons memories of people enjoying water sports and activities such as skiing, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing and swimming in the lake.  It’s important to know that the cabin toys also have insurance requirements. Protect your summer ‘toys’ and have the peace of mind that you are well covered while having fun!

For those of you in Ontario that hit the trails on your ATVs, the season is wrapping up! Not only is it time to get your off-road vehicle mechanically ready for storage, but it’s also a good time to make sure that your ATV insurance meets the requirements to legally ride on Ontario’s back roads, trails, and off-road passages.

Did you know that just like you must be insured to operate a vehicle legally on Canada’s roadways, you must also carry all-terrain vehicle insurance for that off-road vehicle for the exact same reasons? ATV insurance not only provides the legal protections you need if stopped by a law enforcement officer, but it also gives you financial peace of mind knowing you are covered in the event of an accident or injury to yourself or others.

When you’re out on the water on your boat, jet ski, or other personal watercraft, as a responsible “boater” you’ll want to take the steps necessary to ensure your own safety, the safety of your passengers, and of your fellow boaters.

For a few dollars a month, protect you, your loved ones, and your vessel against liability in the event of an accident on the water.

The upcoming Labour Day holiday, is likely to be the last long weekend at the cottage for many before the temperatures take a dip. This weekend brings warm September days, cool, starry nights, sand & sun, good fishing, hot dogs over the bonfire, and more memories will be made! The colours are starting to change!

Contact me for a quote to find out how you can be thoroughly protected through a personalized insurance policy that will provide you with the Peace of Mind and right protections for your cottage, summer toys and water craft. Enjoy your long weekend!

“All opinions and views expressed in this blog are of my own and do not represent the views of Allstate Insurance Co. of Canada.”