Bricks, Mortar and so much more 

Owning a home may be your largest financial investment ever. Here’s what you need to know to protect it.

What Does Home Insurance Cover?

Having a fire, a theft or water damage claim can be a very difficult and emotional time. Home insurance is there to protect you financially and make things a little easier. It helps you replace the things you’ve lost and repair your home without having to pay out a huge amount of money all at once.

Home insurance is not mandatory, but if you have a mortgage, most lenders make it a requirement. Even if your mortgage is paid off, it is definitely recommended you keep your home insured to give you piece of mind for your biggest asset. With severe weather on the rise, confirming proper coverage for replacement cost on your home and its contents is extremely important to make sure you have no gaps in coverage.  For high-value jewelry, bicycles, or art, separate endorsements are also available. It’s important to understand your insurance policy as not all insurance policies are created equal.  You don’t want to find out at the time of a claim that your insurance policy doesn’t cover something. Typically, additional living expenses are included if you are temporarily unable to live in your home due to an insured loss such as fire, water or wind damage. Your Homeowners policy also generally provides your personal liability in case someone trips and falls on your property or in your home, or you damage a third party’s property or accidently  injure someone else.

What you need to know about buying home insurance

As a homeowner, you should insure your house for its rebuild value in the event of serious damage or destruction. Know who and what is covered and understand the contractual obligations in your policy.

It’s very important to also update your insurance company with any upgrades you make to your home such as adding an addition or finishing your basement as this will change the rebuild value on your home.

It’s your responsibility to report any changes to your property. Contact your insurance advisor before you:

  • Renovate your home
  • Install a swimming pool
  • Set up a home based-business, such as a daycare
  • Rent out your home
  • Purchase jewelry or art
  • Keeping your insurance company informed with accurate and up-to-date details of your home and its contents make sure you are properly protected. It can also help speed up the claims settlement process after a loss.

Tips for Insuring Your Home and Contents

If you can’t afford to replace absolutely everything you own after an unforeseen event, you need home insurance. Here are some tips.

  1. Insure your home and contents for replacement cost.
  2. With severe weather on the rise, confirm accurate replacement value.
  3. Review your home inventory each year when you renew your policy. (know what you have)
  4. For high-value jewelry or fine art, consider a separate endorsement or rider.

Even a partial loss – such as a theft of multiple possessions and related damage – can potentially cause financial hardship. Home insurance protects you from having to pay all at once to replace what was lost at what is often an emotionally difficult time.

Joanne Carmichael is the owner of Carmichael Insurance in the Ottawa Region.  To learn more please contact Joanne Carmichael at: joanne_carmichael@cooperators.ca  or 613-723-0747.

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