Sumner is just about here. If you’re a cottage owner you have probably been up, opened the place and can’t wait to enjoy you’re time by the lake. But have you given any thought to insurance ? Your cottage is most likely insured but when is the last time you reviewed the amount of your coverage? If your dream home by the lake was destroyed by fire tomorrow do you have enough coverage to replace it? Have you checked out recent construction costs? Do you have enough coverage to cover all your contents ?
Your insurance broker is supposed to keep to informed as to the amount of your coverage and to advise you when that coverage should be increased but that doesn’t always happen. In fact , our law firm regularly brings claims against brokers when a property owner finds that following a devastating loss there is not enough coverage to cover the damage.
Are you planning to rent out your cottage? If so, make sure you advise your broker. Renting out your cottage may very well be considered by your insurance company to be what the insurers refer to as a ‘ material change in use’. In short this means that what the property is being used for is not what the insurance company agreed to insure. Insurance companies often rely on this defence as a basis for not paying a claim. Any significant change in how your property is being used can result in this defence being raised. For example , if you installed a wood stove, made a renovation, or if your heating system stopped working and you now use portable heaters -any one of these can be considered to be a “material change”. If in doubt, notify your broker anyway-always in writing. Once you do, if you suffer a loss, the fact that you notified your broker protects you and makes it difficult for the insurance company to claim ‘material change’ .
It takes only a few minutes to review your insurance coverage. It could be time well spent.
Click here to read more about property insurance claim denials.
If you or someone you know has been faced with a denial by an insurance company, contact Singer Kwinter.