Home insurance is important to any homeowner. After all, the right home insurance policy protects you against financial loss that could otherwise take years to recover from. A typical home insurance policy covers the structure of the home, other buildings on the property, personal belongings, liability, and any other items that you may opt to insure.
Summer is a famous season for home-hunting. It lends itself easily to road trips spent browsing potential new houses and contributes to the exciting idea of moving somewhere new before the fall and winter holidays. Plus, with Ontario’s housing market currently booming, there are plenty of options to explore. However, there are some helpful tips for homeowners that may be useful to know before purchasing a home insurance policy for your new or existing residence.
1. You can choose the kind of policy you need.
Insurance companies aren’t a one-size-fits-all deal. When you’re looking at home insurance, there are different policies you can choose from.
- Standard Policy – This, as the name suggests, is the standard form of home policy. It will insure your dwelling and contents only against those risks listed in the policy, so you’ll want to check the fine print to make sure you understand what’s excluded.
- Broad Policy – With this type of policy, you are covered against nearly all threats and risks related to direct physical loss or damage to your residence, unless the loss is specifically excluded. The policy insures your contents only against perils that are explicitly mentioned in it.
- Special or Comprehensive Policy – The contents of the dwelling and its contents are covered by this form of policy for “all risks” with the exception of those specifically excluded from coverage. If you don’t understand what your policy covers, make sure you check it and clarify.
- No-Frills Policy – If you have a property that does not meet the normal underwriting standards, you can get a no-frills insurance policy that offers very basic coverage. In contrast to most home insurance policies, these policies typically do not extend coverage.
2. The home you buy can affect your insurance premiums.
There are a lot of different factors that go into determining your home insurance premium, but by knowing what to look for, you can not only find a house that will serve you better over the years, but also one that might help save you some money along the way.
- Is the house located near the local fire station or a public fire hydrant?
- Are the electrical and plumbing systems up-to-date?
- Is there a high rate of fire or crime in the neighbourhood?
- What kind of materials were used to construct the home?
3. You can customize your home insurance to meet your requirements.
Home insurance is sold as a package, and although named perils are listed, the policy actually covers everything except for those items listed as exclusions. However, you can add optional coverage onto your existing package to help fill in the gaps and cover what you need. What kinds of coverage are there? Glad you asked.
- Sewer Backup Coverage – If your house is in a low-lying area that also has combined storm and sewer drains, you’ll likely want to install a backflow prevention valve, but you may also want to add sewer backup coverage to your home insurance.
- Earthquake Coverage – Folks in Ontario may not have to worry too much about this one, but if you’re out in British Columbia, there’s a 30% chance that sometime in the next 50 years, the West Coast is going to get hit by a pretty strong earthquake. If you have a home or vacation home out in an earthquake-prone area, this insurance provides coverage for loss or damage caused by an earthquake to your property and its contents.
- Art, Furniture, and Jewellery Coverage – Your standard home insurance has a limit as to the value of the contents of the home it will cover. If you have something particularly valuable, like furs, fine art, or expensive jewellery, you can extend coverage to protect these items as well.
4. You can find home insurance to match whatever budget you’re on, so it’s okay to shop around.
Home insurance is typically very affordable. Because most insurance companies offer discounts to clients who make several similar or related purchases, or who take precautions to help keep their home safe, it is very easy to save money on your premiums. Following a few simple tips can help you save money on your home insurance. For instance, if you are a regular homeowner and do not use your house as a vacation home, you probably qualify for a standard home insurance rate.
The cost of insuring a single-family home, like a house in a rural area, can vary greatly depending on how much empty land the home has. On the other hand, homeowners insurance policies for vacation homes can be very low for those who rarely visit on vacation. Vacation homeowners may wish to purchase a standard home insurance policy to cover damage caused by storms.
Homeowners who rarely go on vacation may also want to consider increasing the amount of deductible they pay on their homeowner’s insurance policy. The amount of money homeowners save by raising their deductibles can be offset against any significant increase in the monthly payments they would have to contribute towards their insurance policy.
Finding the Perfect Home Insurance Policy
There are plenty of home insurance policies out there, and trying to read through all the fine print to find the right one for your family can be dizzying. That’s where insurance brokers at Will Marshall come in.
Insurance brokers produce independent advice and can offer insight without bias. We have insurance partners, but our number one partner has always been and will continue to be the client. Tell us the kind of coverage you’re looking for, and we’ll help you find the right home insurance at the perfect price.
If you’d like to learn more about finding home insurance with the help of one of our experienced insurance brokers, give us a call at 705-726-2551 or send us a message online.