July 22, 2011
A Journey through the Intricacies of Home Insurance
The world of insurance can be very confusing if you are a novice. Understanding the numerous terms and conditions could mean the difference between having adequate coverage or perhaps no coverage at all. Unfortunately people are afraid to ask questions to clear up their confusion and ultimately end up with the same terms again and again when renewing their homeowner’s insurance policies. On the other hand, those who take the time to shop around, read the contracts carefully before signing, and who don’t shy away from asking questions, succeed in finding adequate coverage for their situation at a better price. It is, therefore, advantageous for the consumer to follow through on all of the above
When the time comes to purchase or renew your home insurance, you should ask yourself what type of coverage you truly need. Find out what are the particular risks associated with your property, take inventory of all your possessions and assess the true value of your belongings, particularly those of great value. You should then shop around by checking with the various insurance companies and take the time to evaluate the various clauses of the each contract. While doing this, always keep in mind that the basic home insurance contracts do not include the following:
– flooding from overflowing river banks
– water penetration through walls, doors or windows
– repeated returns of septic tank or sewage overflows
– dry rot or mould (unless caused by a disaster stated in the contract)
– collapse of movable property or building due to the weight of snow and ice
– damages to the pool
– theft of animals
– damages caused by an oil leak.
If you think that your property could be susceptible to this kind of claim, you will have to put in extra effort because it may be more difficult to find an insurer in these cases. There are some companies that are open to negotiation, and they may agree to put in an additional clause to increase your coverage, for example protection against overflowing sewers, water seepage, the collapse of movable and immovable properties, or the damages to a swimming pool.
On the other hand you should be aware, that contrary to popular belief, the damages caused by most of the natural disasters such as tornadoes, windstorms, hurricanes and hail are covered. Note that the major exceptions are earthquakes and landslides.
Another element to check before signing your contract is the value of your belongings. Several objects like jewels and furs have a limitation (usually to a maximum of 3,000 $) in the home insurance policy. If you have objects which are worth more, you will also have to include an additional rider to the policy, which, of course, will increase your insurance premium. Moreover, be careful to properly assess the real value of these objects and if possible, keep the invoices, the guarantees and some photographs of your belongings outside your home. You will then be able to produce evidence to give your insurers in order to facilitate the replacement of your belongings in case of disaster.
Finally, visit the website http://www.infoinsurance.ca/en/ to learn more about home insurance in Quebec. This site is a great way to get more information not only on what you should know before signing a home insurance policy, but also on what you can do to prevent a disaster, and how to be prepared should one occurs.