Ontario Home Insurance Simplified
We totally get it. You love your home. It’s your castle, your sanctuary, your life. That’s why you wouldn’t ever want to worry about not being able to keep it safe and sound. Be sure to have the proper home insurance policy to protect your largest investment.
In Canada, damages to homes caused by extreme weather average $1 billion annually. This figure does not include various other losses due to theft or accidents. The reality is that mishaps occur and they can be extremely expensive. In the event of a loss, home insurance will help you rebuild your home, replace your home’s contents, and provide the funds to cover additional living expenses if you are forced to temporarily live elsewhere. However, navigating through all the available policies can be tedious and confusing – and you shouldn’t have to do it on your own. Consider using an insurance broker who can take care of the hard part for you. Insurance Brokers will sift through dozens of available policies from the multiple insurance companies that are competing for your business and will come back to you with only the options that provide you with the best coverage that you need at a price that fits your budget.
What is Home Insurance?
Home insurance is a type of property insurance that covers your home against potential losses and damages. Certain home insurance policies can cover your assets and also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on your property. This type of policy ensures that your private residence is financially covered in the event of various disasters and mishaps.
Who Needs Home Insurance?
Your bank will require you to have home insurance to protect your home with a mortgage. Having home insurance protects your most expensive asset from unavoidable losses such as fire, flood, or natural disasters. Without a home insurance policy, such damages can cost more than homeowners can afford to pay. This is why it’s important to protect your home with insurance.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Home Insurance
Home Insurance is not a legal requirement in Ontario, but if you are applying for a mortgage, it is most likely that the bank will require you to have home insurance. This way the bank is assured that any damages that occur to your home do not impact your budget so severely that you are unable to make your mortgage payments. This type of assurance is not only important for your mortgage lender but for you, the homeowner, as well. Imagine that a tree has fallen on your home, or that it has been damaged by water or that many of your valuables were stolen while you were away. As unfortunate as these events are, they’ve happened to millions of Canadians. It’s situations like these that you, as a homeowner, will have to take responsibility for. To alleviate the burden that losses and damages to your home may cause, you must have the appropriate insurance coverage. Here are some important home insurance coverages to consider.
Water Damage Protection
Did you know that 40% of damages to the home are caused by water? Every day homes across Canada suffer water damage and the risk of it happening to your home is on the rise. With the recent changes in weather patterns and climate, severe weather events are becoming more frequent and causing more damage. Extreme storms that used to happen every 40 or 50 years in Canada now occur in some areas or regions every 5 or 6 years. Changing weather patterns are forcing the insurance industry to change policies to address these new and now common risks. This is especially true in terms of coverage for water damage to your home.
Standard home insurance companies tend to have some coverage for water damage. However, it will usually only cover the costs of repairs if the damage was sudden and unforeseen (such as the drenching of your drywall from a burst pipe). There are certain misfortunes that usually aren’t covered by basic home insurance. However, there are options for additional coverage.
- Overland Water Coverage: Overland Water Coverage would protect you from sudden accumulation of water that enters your home due to heavy rains, spring run-off or overflowing of lakes or rivers. An example for this would be accumulating on the surface and enters through your basement window.
- Sewer Back-Up Damage Coverage: With this type of additional coverage you will be protected from any back-up, discharge or overflow from a sewer or septic tank.
- Ground Water Damage Coverage: Your home will be protected from various types of seepage or underground water damage with this type of additional coverage. Damage of this sort commonly occurs in the spring when snow is thawing or after heavy rainfalls and must be due to sudden & accidental causes.
Although additional coverage exists to better protect your home, it is important to keep in mind the following. Because of the nature of water damage and the various leaks that can be prevented or fixed promptly, many insurance policies will not cover damage due to poor maintenance. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that a leaky toilet is repaired before it causes any damage to parts of your home.
Ensure your policy provides the best coverage to protect your home and property if water damage should occur. Water damage can catch you off guard, but we’ve got your back. With the proper policy, you’ll quickly get back to being the king of your castle!
Fire Damage Protection
Most standard policies will cover loss and damage due to fire. However, some policies do have certain exceptions and it is best to have an Insurance professional guide you through your options. Insurance companies are very strict on forfeiting coverage when a fire was started intentionally by the homeowner. To further cover yourself from other occasions of fire damage, you may want to consider some additional coverage.
- Vacant Home Coverage: Many policies will not cover a fire or other losses that occur in a vacant home. A home is usually considered vacant if no one has lived in it for about 30 days. This type of coverage is especially important if you have a second home or live away from home for long periods of time.
Most standard home insurance policies cover you against being liable for something that happens on your property. There are two ways in which you will be protected.
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: With this type of coverage you are protected in the event that someone is hurt on your property and chooses to sue you. Your legal fees will be covered and any resultant medical expenses that you may need to pay for the injured party.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage: Property damage can be caused accidentally to our neighbours. For example, if your children are playing baseball and break the neighbour’s beautiful stain glass window. With property damage liability coverage you are insured again expenses of this type.
Guaranteed Replacement Coverage
Sometimes the worst happens, we lose our home due to water, fire or extreme weather events. If ever you find yourself in a situation of needing a total home rebuild, you will be extremely grateful to have guaranteed replacement coverage. What does this type of coverage do? It replaces the total value of your home if you ever lose it. With the constantly changing (and increasing) home market, what you paid for your home 10 years ago won’t get you the same type of home today. Guaranteed replacement coverage ensures that you will receive the appropriate funds to replace your home even if the damage exceeds your policy’s limits. With it, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you will always be able to rebuild your home to its pre-claim condition.
Ontario Personal Identity Theft Protection
Personal identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada. Last year more than 15,000 Canadians were victims of identity theft. If you make purchases or payments online, you could be at risk. It takes a criminal a shockingly short amount of time to steal your identity. Personal identity theft coverage is affordable, with an average annual premium of about $30. This coverage can be added to your current property policy by endorsement. It protects you from the cost associated with repairing your financial history or resolving problems resulting from identity theft, including legal representation, loss of wages, loan re-application fees and replacement of stolen identification. Identity theft protection covers not only you but also others living in your home.
A standard home insurance policy most likely will not provide the necessary coverage for your jewellery. If you have any luxurious wearable items, you may want to consider additional coverage for them. Protect your most treasured possessions with the proper coverage. What does jewellery protection cover? There are various options but some common things that are covered are worldwide theft, loss, and damage. Additional coverage options also exist. While a replacement doesn’t recover the sentimental value you held for that item, jewellery protection can provide you with the financial reimbursement you deserve.
By-law Change Protection
By-law change coverage protects you from changes in by-law that affect your home in a way that causes you additional expense to bring your home up to compliance. This type of coverage is particularly recommended for owners of older homes or buildings. Building code and zoning law changes constantly and often times, these changes apply to existing buildings and homes. This is further magnified if you suffer a loss to your home. You may have to rebuild with the new current by-law standards. This coverage will protect you from the additional expenses required of you to meet any new by-law requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that policies can be confusing. If you have questions, you’re not alone! In fact, we’ve listed some of the most commonly asked questions. Take a look below to see if any of these answers apply to your home insurance questions.
How much insurance do I need for my home?
Generally, the higher the value of your home the more insurance you will need to cover the additional cost of repairs and replacements. Through the insurance company’s eyes, the more space you have, the more space there is for something to be damaged. There are also various additional types of coverages that you may want to consider like water damage protection, additional jewellery coverage, fire damage protection or liability insurance. An Insurance broker can help you decide what types of coverages you need and what types you don’t. We’ll be there along the way to help you make the right decision.
How much does home insurance cost?
The cost of home insurance typically ranges between $600 to $3,500 annually for homes with a replacement cost between $250,000 and $600,000. The cost of your home insurance is dependent on many different factors including the location of your home, the style of home, if there have been any updates made to the dwelling, the type of coverages you choose, if there is a mortgage on the property, and much more. Speak to an insurance broker to find you the right home insurance policy for you.
|Location||Building Value (Replacement Cost)||Insurance Quotes|
Female, Age 54
|St. Catharines||$267,500||$893 – $1,479|
Male, Age 55
|Hamilton||$322,655||$637 – $1,495|
Male, Age 35
|Hamilton||$357,570||$713 – $1,246|
Female, Age 58
$844 – $1,634
|Male, Age 63||Port Dover||$471,586||
$1,138 – $3,578
|Female, Age 56||Hamilton||$473,053||
$1,225 – $2,422
|Female, Age 50||Hamilton||$519,600||
$718 – $2,042
|Female, Age 67||Oakville||$596,444||
$663 – $1,739
*Each quote above was provided with the assumption that there is no more than one mortgage registered to the property.
What’s a home insurance deductible?
If you ever experience damage or loss to your home and have resulting repairs or replacements, the deductible is the amount of the cost that you’ve agreed to cover on your own before your insurance company covers the rest. Very often, a standard deductible is about $500. For example, if after a strong storm a tree destroys part of your roof and you must pay $4,000 in repairs, you will have to cover $500 and your insurance policy will cover the remaining $3,500. Unlike an auto insurance policy, with home insurance, you will usually have to pay the deductible every time. Keep in mind that the lower your deductible is, the higher your insurance premium will be. For example, a policy with a $1000 deductible will cost the homeowner less annually than if the deductible on the policy were $500.
If I file a claim will it impact my home insurance premium?
It might. Most insurance companies are more lenient if it is your first time making a claim. However, if you become a repeat claimant (especially if you file claims multiple time a year), your insurance company may reassess the risk that surrounds you and your home and deem it appropriate to raise your home insurance premiums or not offer a policy renewal. When an unfortunate event occurs to your home, sometimes it’s best to assess whether home insurance is worth calling upon. For instance, if your home has been broken into and something inexpensive was stolen, and the damages don’t surpass $700 you may want to consider not claiming. If your deductible is $500 it might make more sense to take on the total costs yourself than risk an increase in your insurance premiums.
Do I need to notify my broker of any upcoming renovations?
Yes, you need to notify your insurance broker if you do any renovations to your home because part of your home insurance premiums are calculated based on the value of your home. If you renovate your kitchen, your insurance company now has to take into account the value of these improvements in case they ever had to be repaired or replaced. You should always let your insurance broker know about anything that will change the value of your home so that we can help you find the best solution to fit your new needs and your budget.
Does my home insurance policy cover everyone in my home?
You home insurance policy will typically cover your other family members living in your home such as your spouse, children & parents. Your entire home is protected from liability and your personal property is also insured. In terms of valuables, the belongings of your family members can be equally insured under your policy.
Are my valuables still covered if I travel with them?
Yes. There may be some exceptions but generally, if you are temporarily leaving your home to go on a trip your insurance policy will cover those valuable items. Reach out to your insurance broker to understand the details before you leave on your next trip with your insured belongings.
Where can I get a home insurance quote?
At Morison Insurance we are more than happy to help you get the home insurance policy that’s right for your coverage needs as well as your budget. You can obtain an online home insurance quote here or give us a call at 1-800-463-8074.
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