Don't Get Burned During Summertime Fun

June 5th, 2019  |  Auto Insurance

Don’t get burned during summertime fun

With summer just around the corner, insurance is probably the last thing on most people’s minds.

But as we look forward to those sunny skies and plan to make the most out of our short season, some of those choices to enjoy the outdoors carry with them implications for your insurance protection. It’s better to be prepared when the hot weather hits.

Here are some things to consider:

Cottages/Seasonal residences: A cottage can be listed on your home insurance as a secondary or seasonal location. You can also have a separate, stand-alone policy. Insurers take into consideration how frequently your property is used, how often it is occupied and if it’s rented to others. If it is rented, coverage may be restricted to fire, explosion, water damage and smoke. In addition, there is no theft coverage if the theft is done by a tenant. If you use a third-party to rent it, understand what is covered or limited by their insurance should you choose to use it. Your canoe, kayak or any watercraft without a motor can be rolled into your home or seasonal insurance and you should advise your broker whether there are any outbuildings such as boathouses, garages and sheds.

Recreational vehicles: Some insurance policies will cover the contents of your RV inside and outside. However, it’s often an extra premium to cover your personal belongings inside. In addition, liability only extends from the towing vehicle while the RV is attached to the vehicle. If you own a RV, your insurer will want to know if you take it to the U.S. and if it’s going to be left there as a seasonal residence. They’ll also want to know if you rent it.

Seasonal vehicles: A seasonal vehicle is one that is not being driven for a long period of time, typically throughout the winter months. This vehicle is generally of high value and is stored at some point during the year when the car is unable to be driven, usually due to winter weather. Two to three weeks before starting to drive it, inform your insurance company that you are starting to drive it again and ensure your licence plate sticker is renewed.

Boating: In Canada, you need a Pleasure Craft Operators Card and must take a test to obtain it. Receiving additional training with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron may qualify you for a discount on your insurance policy as well having a claim free track record as a boat owner for three to five years. Get to know the Marine Liability Act which dictates a boat owner is legally responsible for up to $1.5 million in the event of an accident. That means a fun day out on the water can ruin you financially, unless you have adequate coverage. Boat insurance is not as clear cut as automobile insurance so you’ll will want to talk to a broker that specializes in that area.

All-Terrain vehicles: An ATV is a self-propelled vehicle that is designed for off-road use and includes vehicles such as mini-bikes, dirt bikes, all-terrain cycles, quads and off-road utility terrain vehicles. You may be able to add it on to your auto policy. Your insurer will want to know where it’s being used and who is driving it. The keys should be secured when not in use. And remember, there is no coverage when you take an ATV through bodies of water and the vehicle sinks. If it happens to get stuck in the mud, the cost of equipment rescues is not covered.

Motorcycles: Insurers base your motorcycle, moped, motor scooter or motor-assisted bicycle insurance based on factors such as your age, riding experience and type that you own. The speed of your motorized cycle may determine the type of driver’s licence you require. Make sure you are aware of theft prevention measures – such as having the handle bars in a locked position when not in use. If you plan to use it on the track, be aware that coverage is restricted when taking it on a race or speed test with personal motorcycle insurance. As a result, you may require specialty coverage.

One final tip: If you plan on being away on vacation for more than 30 days you are leaving your home vacant. Know how often your policy requires your property to be checked by a friend or family member and whether you have coverage while the property is unoccupied. Consider turning your hot water tank down to the vacation setting while you’re away.

There’s a lot to consider in the warmer months, but a broker can help you navigate what policies are right for you so you’ll be able to breeze through summer without a care in the world.

Related story:

Being prepared for severe summer weather

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