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Are Your Cabin & Vacation Rental Risks Higher During Winter?

Over the past decade, Cabin and Vacation Rentals have continued to increase in popularity, and winter has quickly become one of the busiest times of year for these properties. However, with the colder weather comes a unique set of risks. So, are there greater insurance risks during the winter months? Let’s take a closer look at this important question.

Winter Weather Risks

One of the biggest risks during winter rentals is weather-related damage. Snowstorms can cause roofs to collapse, ice dams can form on gutters, and freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst – all of which can lead to costly repairs or replacements. If you or a renter isn’t occupying the cabin, even more damage can occur while these damages go unchecked.

Higher Risks for Fire

Another risk associated with renting out a cabin or vacation home in the winter is the potential for a fire. Many people who rent cabins are looking to enjoy activities that involve open flames such as fireplaces, candles, campfires, fire pits, etc., which carry an inherent risk of fire damage. Additionally, bad weather can make roads impassable or make it difficult for emergency services to reach their destination.

Insurance Fraud Issues

It’s also important to be aware of potential insurance fraud when renting out your property in the winter months. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals may try to take advantage of your generous hospitality by claiming damages that never actually occurred or inflating their claims in order to receive more compensation than necessary from your insurer.

Preparation is the Key

Preparing your property for these risks and having the right coverages in place should an issue occur is critical. Some steps for preparation to consider include:

  1. Take steps to winterize your property, including cleaning gutters, changing filters, checking pipe insulation, and inspecting roofs.
  2. Post clear instructions for renters on using fireplaces, candles, and open flames near any flammable materials.
  3. Review potential renters’ profiles and previous “reviews” if available. Compile all the appropriate information to contact them should an issue occur.
  4. Having cameras on your property to keep up oversight may also be a good idea, but be sure to be mindful of privacy and appropriate locations for monitoring.

With a little bit of foresight and preparation, cabin owners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their rental properties are properly insured during the potentially hazardous winter months. By researching different policies and understanding what types of risks are associated with renting out a cabin during this time period, you can ensure that you are adequately protected against any unforeseen events that might occur while renting out your property during this season. Let us help you review these options and determine the coverages that are best for you! Contact Brandon Patterson at 865.453.1414 or email and let us help you get started.