5 things to do before cottage season ramps up

After a winter cooped up at home, we’re all looking forward to a spring and summer spent outdoors. If you have a cottage, now’s the time to make sure you’re ready before the season gets into full swing. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for cottage season:


1. Get any licenses you need

Are your kids old enough to learn to drive the family boat? Do you want to take up fishing this year? Look into the licenses and permits you’ll need for your plans and take steps to get them now, before the rush.


2. Check your insurance coverage

If your cottage is prone to animal issues, there are insurance policies that can protect you from that. Aviva Canada’s RetreatLife program is designed for cottage and cabin owners and helps cover property damage caused by wildlife such as bears, raccoons and squirrels. While you are at it, let your broker know about any watercraft you have at the cottage to ensure they’re properly covered as well.


3. Make a packing list

There’s always something to do at the family cottage, so think about the project you put off last season and anything that might need replacing. Think new linens, some paint to put a fresh coat on the exteriors and spare laptop and cellphone chargers you can leave there. Be sure to include emergency supplies in the event of a power loss due to a storm or bad weather.


4. Inspect it regularly

There are a variety of issues that can come up during the off-season, so stop by to make sure everything is ok before the big opening if local safety restrictions permit. If the pandemic is preventing you from going in person, consider installing a monitoring system to keep an eye on it remotely. If you think you may be away from your cottage for extended periods of time, you might want to consider having a local caretaker, handyman or neighbour check on the property as well.


5. Prevent water damage

Water damage is a common and costly issue that cottagers need to watch for – heavy rainfalls can cause flooding and pipes can freeze and burst in cold months.

“Some easy ways to prevent these issues are to clean out your gutters, make sure your plumbing is in good condition and keep the heat on when it’s still cold. Talk to your insurance broker about what level of water damage your insurance covers and what additional insurance you might need,” suggests Alex Walker, assistant vice president, specialty and national claims at Aviva Canada.


By implementing these tips, you should breeze into cottage season and have a carefree summer.

— News Canada