It’s summer, and that means it’s time to get out the patio furniture, open the pool and return to the cottage. As you are spending time with your friends and family, I’m sure the last thing on your mind is your insurance, but there are a few things that you should think about.
Let’s start with your toys, such as ATVs and boats. Many enjoy driving their ATVs and boats at the cottage, and some hosts like to make the keys available to their cottage guests. But did you know that for insurance purposes, it is your responsibility to confirm that anyone who drives your ATV has a valid driver’s licence, and anyone who drives your motorized boat needs a valid pleasure craft operator card. They must also not have more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system. Do not assume that everyone has a driver’s licence or boater’s card; it is your responsibility to ask. A claim could be denied if the driver did not have a valid licence, and it would be denied if an accident occurred while under the influence of alcohol.
While visiting your cottage, one of your guests may ask if you would consider renting your cottage to them for a few weeks. Before you say yes, check your policy with your insurance broker. Some policies will allow that without an issue, others may charge a fee, while others may not allow any rentals whatsoever. Don’t assume that if you “keep it quiet” and plead ignorance that everything will be OK.
Finally, it seems to be socially acceptable now to allow underage drinking around your pool, at your cottage or just in your basement. Some parents feel that if their kids are going to drink alcohol, it is safer to do so under their own roof, where the parents can supervise. Under the Liquor License Act, a parent can offer their own child a drink while on their own premises, but that does not extend to other minors in your home. Your insurance policy will not cover you for illegal acts. So if an accident occurred because a minor consumed alcohol on your property and you were aware of the situation, the claim would probably be denied.
Remember, being informed about your insurance can help you make the appropriate decisions for yourself and your family. Then you can rest easier, have fun in the sun and simply enjoy the summer.
Donna Danks is a registered insurance broker with 21 years of experience at Pine Ridge Insurance
for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-683-9725