Buying a home in Brooklin in 2013 was one of the best decisions my wife and I ever made. Of course we have home insurance in place and you probably do too, but many people I talk to don’t really know what situations they are covered for and how much coverage they have.
Trying to recover from a fire, flood or burglary is a rotten time to find out you don’t have the coverage you thought you did. There are a lot of differences between insurance companies and their home insurance policies that you might not realize.
7 things to think about
1. Would your insurance be enough to rebuild your home?
The average cost to rebuild a house is $220 per square foot plus. Are you insured for enough to deal with tearing down and rebuilding your home? A serious fire could make you homeless overnight and put you in this very difficult position.
2. Own any nice bikes, jewelry or instruments?
Among other things, these three have special limits on them in policies. A special limit on bikes is often $1000, which if you own a decent bike you know this isn’t much. Jewelry, cash, musical instruments, art and other valuable items all have special limits on them unless you increase it.
3. Are you protected from a flood?
Not likely, although some companies are now starting to offer this coverage, three in Ontario to date, in the wake of the High River floods in Alberta. As storms get bigger and weather patterns more erratic, you should at least look at the cost for this protection on your home. If a flood is an unlikely event then the cost is minimal.
4. Are you insured if the sewer backs up into your basement?
I know it sounds gross – it is and it happens every day. Sewer backup is the most common claim as of late and can easily see damages exceed $200,000 to remove the sewage, fix the moisture damage and rebuild.
5. Have a finished basement?
You need to know how much coverage you have. Some basic policies max out at $15,000 coverage and for those of you that paid to have your basement finished you know that’s not nearly enough to re-do it. Pay particular attention to this as two of the largest insurers, one bank and one farm, lowered their limits without telling their customers much.
6. How does your home insurance measure up?
Let’s take a look at what you have compared to what the market offers now. With a copy of your current policy we can go over your scenario and let you know if you’re well protected, exposed to risk, or paying too much for too little coverage. We have a unique perspective since we’re dealing with the top 25 insurance companies in Ontario.
7. Get expert advice from an insurance broker
If you are concerned about protecting your home and your property, or simply have questions, our team of insurance experts would be pleased to help you. Call us at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.