For most people, buying a home is the single biggest purchase they’ll make in their lives. It represents both the hopes for a happy future and a massive financial investment. With so much riding on the state of a single asset, it makes plenty of sense to take all possible precautions to protect it. The best option is to buy a home insurance policy, but you also want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible plan. Look for these key indicators and ask the right questions to find the best house insurance for your home.
What Should You Look for From an Insurance Company?
Their History of Service
First and foremost, investigate the company to see what kind of policies they offer and how their customer service track record is faring.
- Are customers generally pleased with their plans or are there lots of complaints about inadequate coverage?
- Do they know your area well, or are they a chain with a very generic insurance package?
A little bit of internet research can go a long way towards helping you make the smartest choice.
When a disaster strikes, or when you need an answer quickly, you want to make sure that the company you choose is available to help. There’s no worse feeling than waiting with your stomach twisting in knots over the uncertainty of information that could be the deciding factor in a life-changing decision. Look for a company that promises a response within one business day. They do exist, and their value is worth searching for.
Their Claims Policy
Accidents seem to happen at the worst possible times, don’t they? When you need to call upon your insurance policy, you’ll do so through a claims centre, usually operated by your chosen insurance company. Make sure that the centre is always available – 24-hours, every day – so you’ll know that when the day comes and you have to use your insurance to make a claim, you’ll be able to.
The Add-Ons They Offer
Once you’ve narrowed the field to a few main contenders, it’s time to determine which one provides the coverage you need. Ask about what policies will come into play if your home is underinsured, or what happens in the case of a by-law change to your area. It can be hard to ask about things that may or may not happen, but this is where it’s important to be a little paranoid. If you can imagine an awful scenario, ask about it. Make sure that your family and belongings will have the kind of coverage you want.
All right – the heavy lifting is done, and you know which insurance company you’ll be using. Now, you’ll be able to begin creating your home insurance policy. There will be a lot of questions about what you plan to do to the home, how many people live there, and what natural risks may be present in the area. Answer these questions as thoroughly and as honestly as possible; more information will mean that your insurance broker can put together a more comprehensive policy for you.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
- Home Damage – The most common coverage of a house insurance policy is damage to the structure of your house. This means that if a beam breaks or the roof falls in, it’ll be covered. Bear in mind that this doesn’t include regular wear-and-tear damage, or damage that occurs as a result of neglect.
- Disaster Living Expenses – There’s no way to prepare for a natural disaster or an accidental fire, and when it happens, it can take time to recover. Home insurance includes a provision for living expenses while you repair the damage or find a new place to live.
- Personal Property Damage – If you have other items on your property, like a pool, shed, or separate garage, your house insurance will usually cover damage to these items as well.
- Theft from Vehicles – It’s a shock to the system: you grab your car keys and head outside to start the commute to work, only to see a smashed driver’s-side window. If your personal property is stolen from within your car, your house insurance will cover it. For complete auto insurance, you’ll likely need to consult with your insurance company.
- Accidental Injury – Let’s say that your roof needs to be repaired. While working, someone slips and falls, and decides to try and sue you for their medical costs. House insurance covers injuries that occur on your property, so you won’t have to worry about expensive legal fees.
- Damage to a Neighbour’s Property – Storms happen, and sometimes, trees come down in them. If a tree on your property falls and damages your neighbour’s fence, or if flames from a house fire accidentally catch onto your neighbour’s home, your insurance policy will cover the damages.
Are You Legally Required to Have Insurance?
In Canada, home insurance is not mandated if your house is fully paid for. If you’re going to be applying for a mortgage, then yes – you’ll need to buy some kind of insurance plan first. This is so whoever you’ll be getting your mortgage from (the lender) has assurance that their investment will be protected.
How Do You Know You Have the Best Homeowners’ Insurance?
There is no single “best policy” that applies to every individual. The best insurance plan is one that is uniquely crafted to meet your specific requirements and supplies the level of coverage you feel you’ll need. As life progresses and your home grows and changes, you’ll likely want to adjust your coverage accordingly. This is a great opportunity to re-evaluate what you need from your insurance policy and make any necessary adjustments for the future.
Your house insurance will stay with you almost as long as your house does, which is why it’s important to choose an insurance company that will be dedicated and responsive for the full duration of your coverage. At Will Marshall, our client relationships span over twenty years, and they’re never just policyholders to us. The people we insure are the friends, family, and neighbours we see every day, and it’s important for us to make sure that they have the coverage they need to be able to enjoy their homes without worry.
We provide comprehensive home insurance across the entirety of Simcoe County, but we also offer automotive, business, farm, and recreational coverage programs. For more information on house insurance or to answer any questions you might have, give our Barrie office a call at 705-726-2551. You can also contact us online for a customized policy quote