Here are some basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for home insurance.
Understand what’s included in your insurance policy
It’s important to know what your insurance policy covers so that you can have peace of mind if you ever need to file a claim. While most policies cover claims related to fire, theft and storm damage, you may need to purchase additional coverage for:
- Damage caused by some natural disasters, like earthquakes
- Damage caused by escape of fuel oil (if you have an oil tank on the premises)
- Damage or theft of particularly valuable possessions like jewellery, furs, collections or works of art
- Water damage such as sewer back-up or flood coverage
Keep an inventory of your possessions
Make a list of all your belongings, keep your receipts, and record any appraisals of their value wherever possible. This may help expedite your claim if you ever need to replace them. It’s also a good way to help determine how much insurance coverage you actually need.
Review your home inventory and insurance coverage annually
It’s important to carve out time to review your policy each year because, if you renovate or make any major purchases for your home, you may need to adjust your coverage to ensure you’re properly protected. Try to choose the same time each year to complete your review so it’s easy to remember – your policy renewal date is a good option, but the first of the year or another key milestone could work too.
Keep your home secure
You may be able to reduce your insurance premium by installing additional security features in your home, like a security system or an alarm that connects to a monitoring system.
Ensure your home is properly maintained
If you can do it safely, inspect your roof, water pipes, furnace and major appliances regularly or hire a professional to do it for you. This could prevent unnecessary damage, which may help you avoid a claim and save more on your insurance premium.
Automatically opt for the policy that costs the least
Being under-insured can cost you much more in the long run. Make sure you choose the coverage that best suits your lifestyle, the value of your possessions, and any unique risks associated with your home’s location, like an increased likelihood of flooding.
Underestimate how much you own
When making your home inventory, be sure to include all the small things that would add up quickly if you had to replace them. Your total coverage amount should exceed this combined value so you’re not on the hook for any out-of-pocket costs if something happens to your home and its contents.
Omit information when talking to your insurer
Failing to provide your insurance company with accurate information may jeopardize your coverage if you need to file a claim, so do your best to answer all the questions on your quote to the best of your knowledge.
If important things change after your policy is in place – like you get a new roof, for example, or you replace your furnace – you’ll need to let your insurance company know so they can update your policy and ensure your coverage is still appropriate.
Home insurance is an essential requirement to protect your house and your belongings, so take the time to choose your coverage carefully. Plus, don’t forget that if you ever need to make a claim, you can get in touch with us any time – day or night.
The dos and don’ts of home insurance
Home insurance may help to protect your house and belongings against most instances of accidental damage or theft and is often required by mortgage companies, bank lenders and landlords. But how do you choose the right coverage for your unique needs?
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. The conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.