What You Need To Know About Your Home Insurance
While having home insurance isn’t mandatory in Ontario, most banks require you to have proof of it before you get a mortgage. Also, many apartment landlords require you to have home insurance before move in day.
1. You Need to Maintain Your Home
Things like keeping an eye on your roof’s shingles, watch for cracks or leaks in walls and flooring, keep eavestroughs clear and other maintenance tasks are important. If your insurance company learns that you haven’t taken the proper steps to keep your home in working order, they can choose to deny your claim or even worse - cancel your home insurance policy.
2. Even If You’re Renting, You Should Have Insurance
Tenant’s insurance is property insurance for individuals who are renting a property. Also known as renter’s insurance, it protects a tenant’s contents within an apartment or home. It’s important to ensure your property such as appliances, clothing and furniture is protected in case of an accident or unintentional damage to the property.
3. There Are Limitations
Often items like jewellery or rare items like antiquities are only covered to a certain amount. Unfortunately, this amount is usually much lower than what the item is actually worth. In order to ensure they’re covered, you will need to purchase extensions to your policy.
4. Discounts Are Available
Depending on your lifestyle, you may be entitled to discounts in your insurance policy. Things like being a non-smoker or mortgage-free can help you save money. You may also be entitled to multi-policy discounts if you have other insurance policies with the same company. Ask your broker for more details.
5. Watch for ‘Optional Coverage’
While most policies include damage or loss to your home, to others who visit your home, and accidental damage to someone else’s property, extenuating circumstances may not be. For example, if you’re in an earthquake-prone area you’ll want to consider earthquake coverage as it’s not usually included. Similarly, sewer back-up coverage often isn’t included but you may want to consider it if you’re in a low-lying area. Flooding is another gray area where you will need to confirm with your insurance broker as to whether you are covered.
6. Have a Home-Based Business?
There’s insurance for that, too! Your house insurance policy may not cover damage or loss of equipment for your home-based business. If your insurer is unaware that you have a home-based business, then claims on behalf of it may be denied. It’s important to talk to your broker and let them know of your business to see if it is indeed covered under your policy.
7. Travelling? Check Your Insurance Policy!
While it varies between companies and policies, your insurance stipulates that your home can only be unoccupied for a certain period of time. If it’s vacant for longer and something happens, you may not be covered. Having a friend come by or booking a home check with us can keep you in good standing to ensure you’re covered! That way you don’t have to worry about coming home to a disaster.