As we mentioned above, knowing you have the right insurance is key for having a stress-free chalet season. Here are some things to consider when insuring your chalet.
What’s covered: Your chalet, garage or guesthouse, boathouse and personal belongings should all be covered for damage and theft (up to a certain amount). You’re also covered for liability should anything happen on your property (or even a neighbour’s property in some cases). If your chalet is on the lake, you likely have a boat – which is also included in your policy! The boat, motor, and trailer (that attaches to your car) can all be covered up to a certain limit. We recommend double-checking with your insurer to make sure your boat falls within your policies limits.
What’s not covered: Because it’s a part-time property, your policy might exclude coverage for sewer backup or overland water flood damage, earthquake coverage, and damage to any campers or trailers. You can always ask your insurance provider if you’re eligible to add on extra coverages to your policy.
Do you rent your chalet for most of the summer or winter? Consider covering it under a landlord insurance policy. If you’re not living there during the time it’s rented, or this isn’t your primary residence, then it might not covered under your homeowner’s policy.
If you use home-sharing websites like Airbnb to occasionally rent out your chalet, be sure to read their terms and conditions carefully, so you know if they cover you or not. Their coverage usually excludes liability or theft claims, so you should double-check how your own home policy will protect you, if at all. The same rule applies that if you’re not living there during the time it’s rented, it won’t be covered by your home policy. And, because there are a few more risks with renting out your chalet on Airbnb, some insurers won’t cover you at all and may cancel your policy.
Whether you’re renting your chalet for the long-term or short-term, always let your insurance company know so you can make sure you have the right coverage in place, and that you’re not voiding your current coverage.
Now that your mind is at ease with having the right insurance for your chalet, we want to outline some tips to make sure your weekend goes as planned:
- Be realistic about the drive. Most people might be heading up to the lakeside on Friday evenings, so start the drive up knowing there will be traffic. Your best bet is to be prepared with all of your bags, food and drinks, so you can hit Highway 15 right at 5pm! Your drive up will be fueled by excitement, so it’s important to remember to drive safely (no speeding!).
- Brush up on your water safety. Whenever you have guests up, it’s always a good idea to go over
safety rules for when you’re in or on the water. Make sure that everyone has a lifejacket, there’s always a “spotter” on board, and double-check that you have insurance that covers you if someone wants to drive the boat or jet ski.
- Sort your garbage properly. A weird one, we know – but it’ll save you the headache of having to re-sort anything that doesn’t get picked up by the garbage truck! Garbage, recycling and organic waste are sometimes handled differently in chalet regions; sometimes you have to use clear bags, sometimes your recycling has to be separated by plastic and paper, and more. Having labeled bins and letting your guests know how to properly dispose of waste will make for an easy clean up.
- Build a safe bonfire. Pick a spot that’s roughly 15-metres away from your chalet or garage and build your fire pit on a rock or dirt surface. Try to keep the fire under one metre high – bonfires are easier to control when they’re smaller, and will still provide optimal marshmallow-roasting conditions. Also, be sure to keep up-to-date with your chalet region’s fire restrictions; during dry heat waves in the summer, there could be a fire ban to avoid any wildfires starting.
- Have a neighbour periodically check in. If you only go up on weekends, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property throughout the week. If there’s any heavy rainfall, power outages or
windstormswhile you’re not there, they’ll be able to let you know if anything was damaged.
It’s smooth sailing from here. You’re now well-equipped to have the best weekend at the chalet – so, relax! You deserve it.
Looking to insure your chalet?