HRC Insurance Blog

Winterizing the Cottage Tips

The leaves are falling and the mornings are getting crisper. Now that cottage season is over, it’s time to get the cottage ready for the winter. Doing a proper job when closing up for the winter means you will have a more enjoyable weekend opening up the cottage in the spring.  Although every cottage is different here are some things to keep in mind while putting your cottage to bed for the winter.



  1. Shut off the main water valve
  2. Open all taps and leave them open
  3. Drain the water from the water pump
  4. Drain water traps (found under the kitchen and bathroom sinks)
  5. Drain the toilets
  6. Drain any garden hoses



  1. Turn off the main breaker. Be sure to turn off all major appliances, your water heater, and electrical room heaters before you turn off the main switch.
  2. Remove any electronics or valuables  that can be easily stolen
  3. Cover any TV’s or valuables that are bing left behind with plastic or a blanket (out of sight, out of mind)



  1. Take all perishable food items from the drawers and shelves
  2. Remove any refrigerated and frozen items from the fridge and freezer
  3. Remove any alcohol in your cottage. In many incidents where a cottage is broken into, liquor is the most common item taken.



  1. Cover beds and furniture with plastic (to prevent moisture and mould growth) 
  2. Lock all doors and windows and shut the blinds (blinds being closed can deter theft)
  3. Lubricate locks for easy spring re-entry



  1. Make sure docks are secured, hoisted, or protected by a bubbler
  2. Remove all boats from the lake
  3. Put a lock and chain on any canoes, kayaks, or tin boats to a tree or together if putting them in a shed is not an option.
  4. Any small engines should have fuel line stabilizer added to prevent condensation build up (run the engine with fuel line stabilizer for around two minutes to get the liquid into all lines)
  5. Install a cover over the chimney opening to prevent furry tenants from moving in.
  6. Take picture of the cottage, inside and out.
  7. Tell your neighbours when you are closing up for the year. Permanent residents living close by can be your eyes and ears while you are away. 

Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.