Homeowners policies are designed to cover the various risks of a home owner in one package policy. It is a very flexible product and the three option types available are generally referred to as standard, broad and comprehensive. The standard product provides coverage for the basic perils of fire, explosion, water escape from a plumbing appliance and theft. The comprehensive or “all risk” coverage on both building and contents includes sewer backup with broader limits for such items as jewelry, furs, money, silverware and watercraft. All homeowners forms provide personal liability coverage in the package.
In a sense homeowners coverage is mandatory in that mortgages require that this coverage be confirmed to your lawyer prior to the closing date or prior to any refinancing of a mortgage.
The limit placed on a homeowners policy is not the purchase price, nor is it the amount of the mortgage. It is, however, today’s cost of rebuilding your home with like kind and quality including the cost of debris removal. This limit easily can be calculated for most residences by using a replacement cost calculator that bases the calculation on such things as the type of house, square footage, number of bathrooms, fireplaces, finished basements and attached or detached garages.
Condominium policies are designed to protect the unit owner for all interior damage to the unit itself against all risk perils. In addition it provides protection for personal contents, betterments and improvements made to the unit from the date of original construction, special assessments levied by the condominium corporation from an insured peril loss, and unit owner contingent coverage for the owner in the event of a shortfall or lapse of coverage under the condominium master unit building policy. All condominium package policies include personal liability coverage in the package.
Premiums for this package are based on the replacement cost of the owner’s contents, with increase in limits available for betterments and improvements, unit contingency coverage, and special assessments, from the basic percentage applied as may required.
Tenants policies, while not mandatory, are now being included as part of the lease requirements by landlords of the property being leased to the tenant. A tenants package policy is designed to protect the tenants personal contents, and personal liability, including the tenant’s legal liability for damage that is done to the landlord’s building or other tenant’s personal property as a result of tenant negligence, such as a careless smoking, cooking, or water damage claim.
Coverage can be on an all risk comprehensive form, or the basic named peril standard form. The premiums are based on the replacement cost of the policy holder’s total personal contents, including any betterments and improvements made by the tenant to the rented property, and any contents of the landlord, such as white goods, that are the legal responsibility of the tenant under the lease agreement.
The number one claim for property now is water damage. Click on the following links for more information on protecting your property from water damage.
Emergencies can happen, are you and your family prepared. Click on the link to obtain the Government of Canada’s Emergency preparedness guide with a step by step guide. Ensure you families safety by being prepared.
SEVEN IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY POLICY
- Vacancy or an unoccupied residence has coverage implications that may void your policy coverage. Your premises cannot be vacant for more than 30 consecutive days without contacting our office as a vacancy permit may need to be added to your policy.
- Holiday – Your premises cannot be unoccupied during the heating season without either turning off the main water supply and draining the water OR having arranged for a competent person to enter your premises daily.
- Jewellery, furs, silverware, bicycles, coins, stamps and other collectibles, money and watercraft all have specific limits of coverage in the basic policy. If you have such valued items, or in the case of jewellery a large aggregate amount, then extensions of coverage are required.
- Sewer and septic tank backup coverage is a specific extension required from the basic policy coverage. Overland flood and earthquake is not a basic coverage on personal property policies.
- Your personal property policy is NOT a maintenance protection contract and excludes cracks in foundations, damage by pests, rodents and animals such as racoons and squirrels. It is your responsibility or that of the condominium corporation or your landlord, as per bylaws or lease agreements, to maintain the property such as cleaning out eaves trough, repair or replacement of worn roofs, keeping the premises free from buildup of ice and snow, fixing water leaking from pipes and toilets, and replacing rubber hoses on water appliances within the premises with stainless steel braided hoses, all with the intention of preventing either an uninsured loss or mitigating an insured loss from serious and catastrophic damage.
- Upgrades, such as new roofing, newer electrical panels and wiring , new heating sources, and replacement of older plumbing may have an impact on lowering your premium.
- Upgrades, such as condominium betterments and improvements, tenants improvements, or adding structures to your home such as detached buildings, swimming pools, hot tubs and decks, or extensive alterations that increase the living area of your residence all have the effect of increasing the replacement cost value of your current policy.