For owners and tenants
Did you know that you might be held liable if someone is injured at your home or you accidentally set fire to your building? Or if your dog bites a neighbour's child? What about if your house were broken into or damaged? If you have home insurance, you may be covered against these types of events
When choosing suitable insurance coverage, it's a good idea to make an inventory of your belongings and determine their value. For instance, how much would it cost to replace your furniture in the event of a fire?
Basic home insurance contract and additional coverage
Basic home insurance will cover risks specified in the contract. With respect to "all risk" insurance, it will cover any risk that your property could be exposed to, with a few exclusions. Do you think you need additional coverage? For example, your basic home insurance generally covers water damage caused by a broken pipe. However, you'll need optional coverage (endorsements) in the case of water damage from a leaky roof.
Shop around for insurance; there's more to it than pricing
Take the time to shop around for insurance coverage since premiums can vary from one insurer to another. But don't base your decision on pricing only. What you want is insurance that meets your needs. And being familiar with home insurance jargon is always useful, so you know what insurers are talking about.
Discounts are often available if you buy coverage for your automobile and for your home from the same insurer. Installing an alarm system can also save you money on your premium. And you can ask for a higher deductible (the amount of loss that you would pay following a claim). For instance, if your deductible were raised from $250 to $500, your insurance premium would be lowered. In the event of a claim, you would have to pay the higher amount.
Limits and exclusions
Do you own any items that could be subject to insurance limits? For example, an insurer might limit your coverage of cash assets to $200 and software programs to $1,000. Some items such as a pool in your backyard are excluded from your basic insurance contract. Your representative (agent or broker) can recommend endorsements to offset limits and certain exclusions.
Keep in mind also that an insurer may refuse to pay compensation if you have failed to take certain precautions. For example, in winter, you should cut off the water supply, drain the pipes or ask someone to drop by your home if you plan to be away for more than four consecutive days. You are responsible for the maintenance of your property and cannot claim a loss for normal wear and tear.
Some risks such as flooding are not covered.
And don't hesitate to ask your insurance representative for advice.