Long gone are the days, when you could shop around for your home insurance policy and just look at the bottom line premium to make a decision. It’s no longer just about price! I don’t know any two insurers whose insurance policies, wordings, limitations and deductibles are exactly the same. To help you out here’s some things you need to look for.
We all know that over the past couple of years, the cost of lumber, labour, delivery costs and everything that could go into building a home have skyrocketed. Make sure that you are buying the right amount of insurance. If you have a claim the insurance is meant to repair or replace your home. It’s not about market value or the municipal tax assessment value. Have your insurance provider provide you with an Industry approved Replacement Cost Evaluation and make sure you review the details for accuracy. Ask if you qualify for Guaranteed Rebuilding Cost.
If you are under-insured, you will pay for part of your loss. You might save a few bucks on your insurance premium but could lose thousands if you have a claim.
Since the Calgary Flood of 2013, many insurers have dramatically changed coverage for water claims. Did you know that there are multiple variations of coverage you may qualify for and some you won’t depending on where you live? There’s Sewer Back-up coverage, overland water coverage, flood coverage, underground water coverage. Once you determine what coverage you want, watch for limitations on water damage coverage. For example, your policy may include Sewer Back-up coverage but there may be a sublimit on it. That means, you may only have $10,000 coverage. If your basement is finished you could be way underinsured.
Make sure that you have your provider review ALL of the possible discounts. To name a few….
- Alarm systems
- Water sensors
- Package discounts for home and auto
- Mortgage free
The list goes on and varies between insurers and discounts can save you hundreds of dollars.
If you have a business in your home, you may be jeopardizing your insurance protection. Make sure you have that discussion with your provider. Check out this blog for more information.
Hail and windstorm claims have seriously impacted loss ratios for all insurers, especially in Alberta. It’s not uncommon, to have to pay for part of your roof replacement in the event of a claim depending on the age of your roof. Did you know that some insurers are now depreciating the siding as well? That means, if you are one of the unlucky windstorm or hail victims you could end up paying thousands to have the roof and siding replaced. Ask your insurance provider if those clauses exist in your policy before you buy!
And finally, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – READ YOUR POLICY. Here’s a blog that might be helpful.
Remember: Education is what you get from reading the small print; experience is what you get from not reading it.