Gavin Brown-Jowett—VP, Personal Lines and Underwriting Transformation, Gore Mutual Insurance Company
In recent years, we have seen individuals make significant lifestyle changes and purchase a seasonal property for personal use and/or investment purposes and the right coverage is a must for their home away home.
Often, these properties bring different and unique situations and challenges than a home in the city. For example, many cottages are in rural areas with dense tree canopies and varying climates, proximity to waterways and waterfronts, and are not equipped with the traditional service lines and electrical that you have at home. If the property is available for rent, there’s regular turnover in guests which naturally adds risk to managing and maintaining a seasonal property.
We want to ensure policyholders—weekend cottagers, full-time seasonal residents and those listing the property as a rental—all have comprehensive protection, allowing them even more freedom to unwind.
Gore Mutual provides seasonal property coverage as an extension to their primary property policy or a standalone policy. We provide coverage for seasonal property owners who rent out their properties, specifically through services, such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Our seasonal rental coverage protects people and property up to 50% of the time the seasonal property is open, though the rental period must be a minimum of one week at a time—no daily or weekend rentals permitted.
We’ve recently revamped our seasonal property offering with enhanced coverage and competitive pricing. Our products and services allow brokers to quote, bind and issue policies (up to $2 million) on the same day. As always, our underwriting team will personally work with brokers on seasonal property coverage amounts beyond $2 million.
Our seasonal product is available to out-of-province and US residents with seasonal properties located in Ontario.
A lot of purchases may be vacant land or buyers looking to tear down and rebuild. If they’re building a new dwelling, they can add Dwelling Under Construction (DUC) endorsement coverage for the duration of construction to their seasonal homeowners’ policy, rather than a typical commercial policy. And they can add this to a policy if they’re renovating their cottage.
Finally, high value coverage is limited to their primary property and isn’t extended to a policyholder’s seasonal properties, but our policyholders can add our VIP Endorsement to their seasonal property policy to get additional protection, including contents with value up to $50,000 for items such as bicycles, jewellery, collections and more.
As consumers buying habits have shifted, we’re responding to meet them where they are.