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No Place Like Home

Cottage insurance 101

Curious about cottage insurance? Read about cost, coverage, and more.

by Team Onlia
Cottage life is far more enjoyable with insurance because you know your little slice of paradise is covered. Should something go wrong, the cottage insurance money will help cover the cost of repairs or provide you with money to cover legal or medical fees.

How much does cottage insurance cost?

Cottage insurance costs $800–$3,000 a year. Why the large range? Because cottages can range from palatial Muskoka estates to one-person huts on a hill somewhere. This is why cottage insurance is broken down into subcategories:

Secondary property (higher end)

  • Inhabited by the owner or family members
  • Occupied at minimum 14 days a year
  • Winterized with year-round access

Seasonal property (lower end)

  • Occupied by the owner or family members
  • Only inhabited seasonally
  • Inaccessible during the winter (usually due to unplowed roads)
  • Not winterized

Whichever category your cottage fits into, you (and your cottage) will be covered similarly. But note that, unlike regular home insurance, cottage insurance covers basic property and liability. The rest are options specific to cottage insurance.

How is your cottage insurance premium calculated

As mentioned above, Ontarians usually pay around $800—$3,000 per year for cottage insurance. The price you’d pay will be informed by standard factors like location, size, occupancy, and value: that palatial Muskoka estate will cost more than the one-person hut on a hill somewhere.

Other factors will include road access, frequency of visits, proximity to emergency services and fire hydrants, and risk of water/fire damage.

Cottage insurance property coverage

This covers the dwelling and the surrounding area. It includes all the attached structures on your land, as well as permanent outdoor equipment (like swimming pools). If damage occurs in the case of something like fire, smoke, or water damage, your cottage insurance will provide the funds to cover the cost of repair.

Cottage insurance liability coverage

This protects you if an accident happens on your property.

Legal Liability

If someone is injured on your property, you’ll be covered for most of the costs you’re held legally liable to pay.


If a claim is made against you, your coverage will help pay your legal fees and court expenses.

No-Fault Medical Payments

In the case of an accidental injury to another person, or if someone hurts themselves on your property, your policy will cover the medical expenses. This includes surgical, dental, hospital, nursing, ambulance service, and funeral expenses.

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Specific cottage insurance coverages

Personal Property

This covers everything in the property, which can obviously differ by the kind of cottage. It’s usually used to cover items like furniture if they need to be repaired or replaced.

High Value Items

Covers valuables like sculptures, tapestries, paintings, jewelry, and other expensive items up to a limit of $2,500.

Short-term Rental

If your plan is to make money on your cottage when you’re not using it, this coverage ensures you don’t spend more than you earn. It covers most damage done and/or theft committed by renters.

To lower your cottage insurance rate:

  • Invest in a burglary alarm system. Keep you and your personal property safe with a theft prevention alarm in place and discount your rates.
  • Consent to a quick credit check before you checkout for an extra discount
  • Bundle with your Onlia car and primary home policy to save an extra 20%

Selecting the right cottage insurance policy for you

Once you know what you need from cottage insurance coverage, you’re ready to shop around for an insurance company that works best for you. An easy start would be to either search “cottage insurance in Ontario” or ask other cottage owners who they use for cottage insurance.

But easier than that would be to go online with Onlia for cottage insurance.

It’s the flexibility of a fully digital experience — no phone calls, no waiting on hold. It’s the cost savings dealing directly with your provider — no third-party markups. And it’s the confidence of knowing your money will be there if you need it, because Onlia is backed by two of the world’s largest financial institutions.

The three key considerations of cottage insurance

  • Standard cottage insurance is mostly limited to liability and property coverages, with extra options for watercrafts, equipment, and personal belongings.
  • Seasonal properties and secondary properties are viewed differently, which is reflected in the cottage insurance rates.
  • Being diligent with your research is important before you decide on a renters’ insurance provider. When you do it, you’ll find the digital direct offering from Onlia to be the easiest path forward.

Whether your cottage is your home away from home or your income-padding goldmine, make sure you’re covered for any surprises so it’s always what you want it to be.

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