Seasonal residences are great, but unfortunately we can’t always be on vacation and things can happen when we’re not there.

One of our customers had the pipes burst in his lakeside cottage in the winter, and there was a great deal of water damage. The insurance claim was between $30,000 and $40,000.

The claim was initially denied because there was a clause in his insurance policy stipulating that during the heating season, the cottage needed to be checked daily if it was unoccupied for more than 96 hours, or there needed to be a monitored alarm in place that would warn about a drop in temperature.

The insurance company denied his claim on the basis that nobody was checking the cottage and the alarm had not been set. However, upon further investigation, we discovered that the alarm was working properly. The reason the alarm did not trigger was because the temperature of the house did not drop.

The pipe that had burst was in fact too close to an outside wall without enough insulation to prevent the pipe from freezing. Under these circumstances, we were able to convince the insurance adjuster that the policy conditions had been met and the claim was paid.

Having a broker on your side in situations like these can make all the difference.

Aviva Insurance, one of the companies we work with, has some helpful tips to prevent damage from frozen pipes.