You’ll often hear the phrase “your home is your biggest investment” given as a reason to protect the value of your home. Throw in your personal belongings and financial wellbeing, and you’ll see why property insurance is so important.
Property insurance is designed to cover your house, structures and add-ons to your property, and your personal belongings in the case of damage, helping with the costs associated with repair, rebuilding, replacing, and more. If you lose your home and its contents, property insurance can cover your living expenses until you have suitable replacements. It can also cover you in the case that someone else is injured or suffers loss of property because of your actions.
Property insurance can be applied to a home, a condo, a rental unit, and can even to the damage of other people’s homes or property.
While home and property insurance is not required by law in Ontario - unlike auto insurance - it is still important to have and often unavoidable as lenders will often require it as a condition for acquiring a home loan.
What Kinds of Property Can Insurance Cover?
Haldimand Insurance is committed to taking your specific needs into account, that’s why we provide a wide range of insurance plans to cover your property, including:
- Home Insurance
- Condo Insurance
- Tenant (Contents) Insurance
- Seasonal Locations
- Trailer Insurance
- Personal Umbrella Liability
- Watercraft Insurance
What Does Personal Property & Homeowner Insurance Cover?
There are four things that property insurance is meant to cover: Your home, your belongings, liability claims and living expenses. Coverage for your home includes detached structures on your property such as garages and sheds. Your belongings include contents inside your home such as furniture, electronics, clothing, and other personal property.
Liability coverage protects you financially from bodily injuries or property damage to others while they’re on your property. Living expenses covers such costs as hotel rooms, storage costs, restaurant meals, and other additional living expenses for time away from your home due to an insured loss.
For an additional premium Endorsements are available to extend your home insurance coverage to include certain exclusions or situations not covered by a standard home insurance policy. Important endorsement to consider are:
- Protection against sewer back-ups
- Flooding from overland water
- Scheduled personal articles
- Home based business
- Watercraft endorsement
- Identity theft
What Determines the Cost of Property & Homeowner Insurance?
There are several factors which can influence the monthly premiums associated with your insurance policy:
- Location - Some areas are deemed a higher risk than others. This could be because of the relative chance of natural disasters, crime rates, and proximity to fire stations and hydrants
- Home Size and Cost to Rebuild - Since an insurance policy might have to pay out to replace part or all of a home, the size of the home is considered.
- Home Age and Condition - The type of construction, electrical, plumbing, heating, and age of roof
- Basement - many basements are no longer just used primarily for storage ad laundry. Many are finished and used for recreational purposes often with expensive furnishings
- Special Items - You can opt to have special coverage for specific items. For example, an expensive work of art, collectibles, or jewelry.
Given that these are some of the factors relevant to the specifics of your insurance policy, you should be ready with information to give to your insurance provider. Some things which you might need to know include: What your home is made from, what your past claim history is, what the history of your home is in terms of additions and renovations, the distance to nearest fire hydrants and emergency services, what is in your immediate surroundings including geographic features and trees, additional buildings and property features.
In addition to all of these, your personal risk profile is an important factor. Your age, credit history, and past claim history will all factor in your insurance policy’s final cost.
How to Save on Your Home & Property Insurance
Now that you know what goes into determining the cost of a property insurance policy - what can you do to minimize that cost, or even get it adjusted after the fact?
Here are some suggestions:
- Increase security - Not surprisingly, since increased security protects your property against theft, it can lower the risk associated with your insurance assessment.
- Safety measures and devices - Things like smoke detectors, alarms, fire-suppression systems and so on can all lower your risk profile.
- New builds and renovations - New homes are usually associated with lower premiums. As such, updating or renovating your home can make it “like new” enough to get similar benefits.
- Opting for a higher deductible
You should know that various kinds of property use can drastically alter the terms and consequences of your policy. For example, if you’re renting out a room or space on your property, using it as a place of business, not taking sufficient care to prevent foreseeable problems or damages, or engaging in illicit activities, these could all require different coverage, or void your coverage entirely.
And, pay attention to the exact terms of your policy, like the difference between replacing property at actual cash value versus the cost of its replacement.
We Are Here To Help
Whichever type of property insurance you need, contact us for a free, no pressure quote
. We work with you to recognize discounts and coverage possibilities to create the best protection plan available. We work hard to bring you the best insurance at the best value.
* Special thank you to the Caledonia BIA
for use of the two home photos taken in Caledonia,ON