Allstate Canada’s 10 Tips to Protect Your Cottage This Winter

Common Cottage Insurance Claims

September, 2010 – As the air becomes crisper and leaves start to change colour it is hard to ignore the fact that fall is coming. For many Canadians this time of year also means it’s time to close the cottage for the season.

“According to Allstate Canada data, the top two cottage insurance claims are due to damage caused by water and wind during the winter and early spring,” said Amy Woods of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “Taking a few extra precautions at the end of the cottage season may save you unnecessary grief in the spring.”

To help close up and protect your cottage, Allstate Canada has prepared the following checklist:

  1. Inspect your roof. Roof leaks make up the majority of water damage claims. Replace any missing or broken shingles.
  2. Cover your windows to deter thieves. Close all the window blinds and curtains. If you have windows without blinds or curtains consider using a bed sheet. Take valuables home with you.
  3. Shut off and drain plumbing. Lingering water can freeze in the pipes over the winter which could cause them to burst.
  4. Trim over-hanging and dead branches. Weight from snow can cause branches to snap which may result in damage to your cottage.
  5. Pack up all food, including canned goods. Dry food and canned goods can still attract animals if left behind over the winter months. To prevent animals from making a home while you are away, throw a few mothballs around and remove all food from the cottage.
  6. Defrost the refrigerator. Leave the door open a little to prevent mildew from growing. An open box of baking soda placed inside the fridge will also help neutralize odours.
  7. Remove fire hazards. Remove loose papers, newspapers, old rags and chemicals. Turn off all utilities and unplug all appliances.
  8. Block off the flues, stove pipes and chimneys. Make sure you have closed the flue on your stove. Chimneys from fireplaces or wood stoves should be professionally checked to ensure they don’t have hazardous amounts of creosote accumulation. Also, sealing flues, stove pipes and chimneys with a metal cap should keep the birds out.
  9. Clean out eavestroughs. Make sure they are clear of leaf buildup and saplings which can obstruct drainage when the snow melts in the spring.
  10. Say goodbye. Have one last walk through before you leave and check for anything left outside that should be stored for the winter. Ensure sheds, bunkies, garages, windows and doors are properly locked, and finally, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your place with regular security checks.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada produces and distributes home and auto insurance products across Canada. “The Good Hands Network(R)” enables consumers to contact Allstate through one of 93 community Agencies, directly online at and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-allstate.