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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOME INSURANCE
Is tenant insurance mandatory in Canada?
In Canada, you are not legally obligated to have tenant insurance, also called renters insurance. However, many landlords require proof of tenant's insurance as a condition of your lease. A tenant insurance policy protects your belongings from damage or loss should anything happen. Many tenant insurance policies also offer liability coverage to protect you in case you cause damage to others. For example, if you forgot to turn off the faucet, and your neighbours were flooded because of you, having renter's insurance with liability coverage could make the difference between going bankrupt or not.
Is it cheaper to buy home insurance online?
Buying home insurance, also known as property insurance, from an online insurance company tends to be slightly cheaper than buying from a traditional insurance company, as online insurance companies do not have to pay commissions to insurance brokers. However, those insurance companies tend to limit their offering to simple one-size-fits-all policies that require few explanations. While everybody should consider online insurance companies in their home insurance shopping, those might not offer the right policy for your needs. As a result, it's always better to get a quotes from a few home insurance brokers before making a final decision.
Do home insurance brokers have better prices?
Home insurance brokers work with many different home insurance providers. They do all the leg work to find you the right coverage for your needs at a reasonable price. However, some brokers are incentivized to push policies from one insurance company over the others. While a broker can help you find a lower cost policy that you might not have found on your own, you may not be getting best rate available for your situation. As a result, it's important you get a quote from more than one broker.
What should condo insurance cover?
Your condo association (often called a homeowners association or HOA) has its own insurance policy for the building, known as the master policy. However, it only covers the condo building as whole, its roof, its fixtures, as well as the common areas like the hallways, the parking, and the lobby. While it does cover some basic features of your condo unit, it does not cover any of your personal belongings or any upgrades you've made to your unit. It does not provide you with any personal liability protection. If you have a mortgage on your condo, your lender requires you to have your own condo insurance policy. If you don't have a mortgage, it's still in your best interest to protect yourself, your belongings, and your investment in case anything were to happen.
Is it cheaper to get home insurance for an unoccupied property?
Believe it or not, insurance on a vacant or unoccupied house is actually more expensive. That's because your property is at much higher risk for damage or vandalism. If the pipes burst in a vacant house, for example, there is no one there to turn the water off and reduce the amount of damage. Empty homes are also more vulnerable to break-ins and vandalism. If you own a rental property and plan to leave it inoccupied for more than 30 days, you will need to notify your home insurance provider and modify your coverage. If you will be away from your primary residence for more than 3 days, you will need to designate someone to check on the property frequently while you are away. Failure to do so could result in your home insurance provider denying coverage in the event of a claim.
What is the average price for home insurance in Canada?
The average price of home insurance in Canada is about $1000 a year, or roughly $84 a month. However, this is not an indiciation of how much your home insurance premiums will cost. The actual price of your insurance policy will depend on many factors such as: the type of property, location, cost to rebuild, electrical, plumbing, heating, condition of the roof, presence of an alarm system, proxmity to a fire hydrant, etc.
Can I get home insurance for a property I rent on Airbnb?
Some insurers offer home insurance, also known as property insurance, policies for vacation rental properties, while others allow for short term rentals in their basic home insurance policy. If you rent out a property, or even just a room in your own home on Airbnb, it could interfere with the terms of your current property insurance policy. Insurance companies may increase your rates if you intend to rent your property on Airbnb, while others might refuse to insure you. Before you list your property on Airbnb, you should speak with your current provider to find out how it will affect your coverage. Airbnb does provide some insurance for hosts, but it is limited. In most cases, you will need special or supplementary property insurance to fully cover you in the event a guest causes significant damage to your property, or that of your neighbour. You also need to make sure you have sufficient liabilty protection in the event one of your guests sustains an injury or dies on your property.
Can my mortgage lender force me to buy home insurance?
In Canada, you are not legally obligated to have home insurance, also known as porperty insurance. However, most mortgage lenders in Canada have made home insurance a requirement of your mortgage agreement. They must be listed as "first loss payee" in your home insurance policy. That means in the event of a total loss, your insurance provider will pay your lender any outstanding mortgage balance before they pay you. It protects your lender from taking a total loss on your mortgage.
What kind of goods are covered by home insurance?
Most home insurance policies, also known as property insurance policies, include three types of coverage: dwelling, which covers damage to your property; contents, which covers your personal belongings; and personal liability, which covers damage to others, whether they are your neighbours or guests. Although the coverage of contents varies from policy to policy, furniture, clothing and appliances are generally covered without restriction, up to the policy limit. However, it is worth reading your policy, as many types of property have a coverage limit, defined in each policy. This is usually the case for bicycles, jewelry, sports card or stamp collections, books and cash.
What is the difference between replacement cost and replacement value in home insurance policies?
Replacement value insurance lets you get an indemnity equal to the cost to repair your damaged property or the cost to replace your items with new products bearing similar caracteristics. With Actual Cash Value insurance, on the other hand, your indemnity will be determined by calculating the cost to replace the lost or stolen item minus any depreciation in value, meaning the amount of value an item loses with time. For example, if your oven is irreparably damaged during a fire, your payout with Actual Cash Value Insurance will be based on the depreciated present day value of the same model of oven and not on the full replacement cost for a brand new oven.