A house is more than the place where you live. It is your home. It represents security for those who live in it. It is probably the biggest investment you'll ever make; it is independence for first-time homebuyers, and so much more. Something as valuable as your home needs a lot of care.
This is why you need insurance. Insurance is vital to protecting yourself from unexpected losses.Your homeowner's insurance policy covers your house and personal property, and protects you from liability claims. It is something you cannot do without, and should purchase as soon as you become the owner of a house, even if it is still under construction.
All homeowner's policies provide coverage for:
However, policies differ with respect to coverage and claims settlement. For example, most policies will cover the dwelling(s) on a Replacement or Rebuilding Cost basis. This is why the limit of insurance provided for your house can be higher than the purchase price of the house.
Insurance calculations are different from the real estate meaning of appraisal, because they are based on the cost to replace the home, and because they don't include the cost of the land.We have new tools at our disposal to help us calculate accurate and detailed replacement or reconstruction cost. New calculations are often different (i.e. higher) than those done in previous years.
Experience shows that these higher calculations have been reliable right across the country. Areas of large catastrophic loss such as Kelowna, B.C. in which 238 homes were lost in the summer of 2003, and about half are in the process of reconstruction or have been completed, have provided an excellent test for the insurance industry.
As insurance brokers, part of our job is to determine the estimated Replacement Cost of your home or property to ensure adequate coverage.
In order to assist us in arriving at an accurate amount for insurance purposes, you should provide as much information as possible about your home including square footage, building materials, etc.
It is also important to periodically review your policy with your broker to make sure that the limits of insurance accurately reflect your home improvements.
So, while home insurance policies are necessary for everyone, it is important that you purchase one that will fit your needs. As insurance brokers,we know that every individual is different, and it is our job to make sure you have the best coverage possible for your specific needs.
As a tenant or a condominium unit owner, you may not think insurance is a priority. In fact, you may think that because the building is covered by someone else, your personal effects aren't worth insuring.What you may not know is that a Tenant's or Condo insurance policy also includes personal liability.
The Liability section of the policy will protect you in case you are found legally responsible of having unintentionally caused bodily injury or property damage to someone else. This can happen just the same when you are on vacation, at a public meeting, or attending your child's soccer game. In fact, your coverage will follow you anywhere in the world. The policy also covers any court costs, lawyers' fees and other expenses associated with your defence.
For example, your neighbours or your landlord could sue you if a candle you left unattended caused a fire that damaged your apartment, other units or the common areas of the building. If this happened, the personal Liability section of your tenant's or condominium owner policy would protect you. You might also be responsible for a pet that has caused damage. The majority of liability claims for injury or damage caused by domestic animals deal with dogs. A dog's owner may be deemed legally liable for any injuries or damages caused by the dog.Your policy can also provide for medical payments on a voluntary basis even if you are not legally liable.
Now that you know how to protect yourself from liabilities concerning someone else, you should also think about protecting your own personal effects whether you own a condo or rent an apartment. Don't underestimate the value of your personal effects. Take a minute to look around your apartment or condominium. What would it cost to replace everything, from your toothbrush to the leather couch you just bought? Can you afford not to insure?
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