Always be sure to review your needs and concerns with an experienced home insurance agent prior to purchasing a policy or if you recognize you need more protections. Be very clear on what your policy will cover, and ensure that you are comfortable with your policy limits. Jeffery & Spence can help.
Important Items to Cover in Your Home Insurance
Your house has a lot of value — not only the land it sits on, but also the materials it is built with, and the prized possessions it holds. While no one wants to think about the consequences of a fire, flood, or robbery, it is important to ensure that your insurance will adequately protect you in the event that costly unexpected events occur.
There are many types of expenses you may face in any of the above scenarios that you may not have considered, including where you will live for the time period if your home becomes inhabitable. Below are some helpful reminders about the categories of coverage you will want to ensure are included in your policy.
Coverage for Rebuilding Your Guelph Home
The costs of rebuilding the house itself are one of the most obvious risks that you will seek to cover. Jeffery and Spence Ltd. can discuss insurance options for your home in Guelph, including how much will be covered in the event of a loss. Such an analysis takes into account the materials your house is constructed from, how old or new the house is, and whether you have recently renovated, including what those renovations are.
Each year, you should review any renovations that have been done on your home, the costs and materials involved, and update your insurer with this information.
Coverage for Contents
Most of the tangible goods that we own are kept inside our houses, and in combination, may be worth a substantial amount. Conduct a careful inventory of the valuable items contained in your house, inform your insurer of any changes on an annual basis, and always update your insurer upon the purchase of highly expensive goods.
Your premiums will vary depending on the combined value of goods in your house. While no one likes paying higher premiums, it is necessary to be honest with your insurer to avoid any conflict when it comes to coverage, and to ensure that the actual total value of your possessions will be covered in the event of loss.
If you own any items (e.g., expensive jewelry, musical instruments, artwork) that are independently very high in value, it may be wise to obtain separate insurance endorsements for these items. Again, consult with your Guelph insurance broker about your available options.
Coverage for Specific Types of Events
It can sometimes be difficult to understand the exact terms of your home insurance, and what types of events will invoke coverage under your policy. Traditionally, insurance is meant to cover “accidents,” meaning events that are fortuitous. A fortuitous event means it is random, unpredictable, and unforeseeable.
As such, intentional acts are not generally covered by insurance. Incidents such as flood, sewer-backup earthquake are not automatically insured under standard home owner policies and you should discuss options with your broker.
Coverage for Water-Related Events
Flooding is a particularly complicated area of insurance coverage you may want to speak to an insurance broker about. In Guelph, insurance for water damage is not mandatory but it can be vital if you need to make a claim. As above, flooding can generally be considered an “act of God”, but the specific cause of flooding inside a home varies. Insurance companies often deal with each separate cause of flooding individually, and have policy options for each separate cause.
Coverage for Injuries to People on Your Property
Homeowner’s policies generally cover damages for loss suffered by those who are injured on your property by virtue of hazards on the property or failure to maintain the property in safe condition. For example, if you fail to clear the snow and de-ice the stairs up to your front door in the winter, a person who slips and falls may sue you. In such a case, your homeowner’s policy will cover the costs of hiring a lawyer to defend you, in addition to any payment in settlement of the claim (up to the limits prescribed by the policy).
We encourage you to check about the policy limits you may have for liability coverage. In the event of a serious injury and a very high claim for damages, you may still need to consult a lawyer about the homeowner’s insurance coverage you have if the claim is greater than the amount covered by the policy. Please inquire with us regarding umbrella liability policies to address shortfalls in liability coverage.