What Is Homeowner's Insurance and Why Is It Important?
Your home is likely one of the most valuable assets you have. Home insurance plays a vital role in protecting that investment — and you — in a variety of ways.
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a five-bedroom house, there’s always the possibility of your belongings or property getting stolen or damaged. With the right coverage in place, you can have peace of mind that you won’t be left with any unexpected costs.
Your home isn’t just four walls and a roof. It’s a safe haven for you and your family where you should always feel safe. Home insurance provides peace of mind, often including contents coverage that protects your home and covers your belongings against damage, vandalism or theft. Contents coverage typically covers all of the items you own, from furniture, clothing and jewelry to sports equipment, bicycles and toys.
Homeowners often think they might not own enough belongings to include this type of coverage and for it to be worth its cost. However, a good idea is to take inventory of your personal belongings and how much it would cost to repair or replace all of it.
In some cases, you may be surprised by how much you could receive in covered losses should anything happen to your belongings. You may even find that you’ll need additional coverage!
If a visitor to your home gets injured on your property (for example, from a trip or fall), you could be responsible for any associated legal and medical expenses.
Similarly, if you live in a condo building, and mistakenly leave the oven on and this starts a fire or if you have a burst pipe and cause damage to other nearby properties, chances are you would be held personally responsible for the repair and replacement costs. Without liability insurance, you would have to pay out of your own pocket.
There are numerous situations you could find yourself in unexpectedly that would make your home uninhabitable. Any fires or water damage due to flooding or sewer backup might make the building unsafe. With home insurance, your personal property is covered from any unexpected living expenses. If you need to organize a temporary living arrangement in an AirBnB or hotel, your home insurance covers the costs.
Get Insurance in 3 Easy Steps
Getting a homeowner's insurance policy that works for you is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Get peace of mind with these three easy steps:
Find and select the coverage you need with a quick and easy homeowners insurance quote.
Choose a convenient payment plan that suits you best.
Get your policy documents in your inbox instantly.
What to Look Out for in a Home Insurance Policy
Home Insurance can cover a variety of situations, such as your belongings getting damaged or stolen or you find yourself facing a lawsuit or additional living expenses due to an act of god. However, there are a few key things to look out for before you commit to a policy:
The maximum amount covered due to lost or damaged belongings, personal liability, or additional living expenses. This can be raised or lowered depending on what you want your monthly premiums to be. It’s important to take an inventory of all the belongings in your home so you know exactly how much property insurance you should purchase.
The amount you would have to pay if you make a claim. The larger your deductible is, the less you have to pay in insurance premiums on a monthly basis. However, this also means that should disaster ever strike and you act on your policy, that amount will be taken off the amount that you receive.
For instance, if you have a $1,000 deductible and you suffer an insured loss worth $5,000, you will only receive $4,000 back on your insurance cheque.
In some cases, this number is a percentage of your insurance policy rather than a fixed number. For instance, a two per cent deductible on a claim for a house insured for $100,000 would take $2,000 off your insurance claim cheque.
Home Insurance doesn’t cover everything. For example, if you run a business from your residence and you’re sued due to something related to your business, the personal liability portion of your policy likely won’t cover it.
Determining the cost or coverage of the three factors above can determine the price of your policy. For example, a larger coverage limit commonly leads to a higher monthly cost for your insurance policy. Other factors that could affect the cost of your policy include, but aren’t limited to:
- The city you live in
- The type of building you live in
- The insurance company
- Your insurance history
The amount that you should set your deductible at is dependent on a number of factors. Be sure to reach out to your insurance company to find out what’s right for you.
If you’re going to be away from your home for an extended period of time, it doesn’t hurt to let your insurance company know. However, if something out of your control happens, such as a pipe bursts or your neighborhood gets flooded, you may not be eligible for as much of a return since the amount of damage done would be much greater than if you had been home to stop it.
The best thing you can do is reach out to your insurance provider before you leave and ask what you can do to alleviate these concerns. You can also ask a close friend or relative to check in on your home from time to time to ensure everything is functioning properly and you don’t come home to an expensive mess.
What Else Is Covered by Home Insurance?
Home Insurance is one of the most popular types of insurance policies, and as such, it might cover more than you realize. Here are a few popular questions about what may or may not be covered under your Home Insurance policy.
Home Insurance may seem like another cost you don’t want to pay for when you add up all your other costs of living such as rent, condo fees, and other dues on the horizon. However, having Home Insurance protects you from the worst-case scenario, and paying a small home insurance premium is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
As with any insurance policy, the best case scenario is that you’ll never have to use it, but the peace of mind is worth every penny you’ll spend. And if you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to use it, Home Insurance will save you from an enormous financial burden.
As always, check with your insurance provider about each of these things to make sure you’re in the know about your policy. In some cases, certain policies may have different specifics.