Why Should You Care
Home insurance is not a requirement by law in Canada. However, since the purchase of a home is often accompanied by a mortgage from a lender, the lender typically requires protection for their investment and in this case, home insurance is a requirement.
However, if you own a property itâs smart to have some level of house insurance to protect yourself from any uncontrollable risks like water damage, theft or fire. Home insurance is for homeowners and condo owners alike, as well as tenants who rent their space.
Remember, the cost for home insurance can fluctuate for a number of reasons including the type of home insurance , as well as regional differences where there may be a higher risk of earthquakes or floods.
So, why do you care? Because you want affordable home insurance that will cover you in case disaster strikes. We’re here to help you do that.
Tell Us About Yourself
Next, youll be asked to enter a bit of information about yourself and the other occupants of the home. Tell us when youd like your new policy to start and the date you moved into the property. Well automatically calculate your homes square footage, age, distance from a fire station, and more. Leave the details to us.
Youre Our First Priorityevery Time
We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesnt feature every company or financial product available on the market, were proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward and free.
So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners.
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Save Your Wallet And Home From Taking A Hit
No matter what life throws your way, our award winning BCAA Home Insurance team will be there to help. Using our local knowledge and 40 years’ experience as a BC home insurer, we understand the unique needs of homeowners that some larger, national companies may not. So whether youre renting, insuring your first home or protecting your dream home, you can count on us. Plus, BCAA Members save up to 20%.
What Isn’t Covered By Homeowners Insurance
While homeowner’s insurance covers most scenarios where a loss could occur, some events are typically excluded from policies, such as natural disasters or other “acts of God,” and acts of war.
What if you live in a flood or hurricane area? Or an area with a history of earthquakes? You’ll want riders for these or an extra policy for earthquake insurance or flood insurance. Theres also sewer and drain backup coverage you can add on, and even identity recovery coverage that reimburses you for expenses related to being a victim of identity theft.
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When Should I File A Home Insurance Claim
Before rushing to contact your insurance company and file a claim, youll want to consider a few things.
1) Is it covered?
Make sure you are familiar with your home insurance policy and understand your coverage before you file a claim. This will help you understand what exactly is covered, and for how much.
2) How much would it cost you to fix it yourself?
If the cost to repair the damage is less than your deductible, or will only cost you slightly more, it is wise to forego an insurance claim. The more claims you make, the higher your future premiums will be, so asking your insurance provider to reimburse you for every little thing is short sighted. Sure, a claim could save you a few dollars this month, but keeping your premiums low will save you more money in the end.
Generally, as long as the claim isnt too serious and will cost you less than your deductible, you are better off keeping insurance out of it. However, if during the repair process you make significant improvements, like replacing a damaged countertop with expensive marble, you should let your insurance know so they can update your coverage.
3) The amount of damage
If your home has sustained significant and costly damage, you should make an insurance claim. The same is true if your home has been burgled and valuable items have been taken.
What Isn’t Covered By A Typical Homeowners Insurance Policy
Here are some examples of things most standard home insurance policies may not cover:
- Flooding due to natural rising water
- Maintenance issues such as termites and insect damage, rodents, mold, and general wear and tear
- Nuclear hazard
If you live in an area that is high-risk for these types of loss, you may be able to customize your policy to get the coverage you need.
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Can You Cancel Home Insurance
Yes, if youâre unhappy with your rate or customer service, feel free to move on. However, before you do, itâs important to shop around for home insurance quotes, select your new provider, inform your old provider and ensure there are no coverage gaps while you transfer. Read our blog on how to change your insurance provider.
What Is Not Included In A Typical Home Insurance Policy
Even if you have the most coverage money can buy, having opted for every available endorsement, there are some perils against which no policy will protect you. In the insurance world, these are referred to as ‘exclusions’.
Common exclusions are:
- Absence from the home Damage that takes place while youre away from the home for an extended period of time.
- Damage from renters Most insurance providers require specific coverage for landlords. A standard home insurance policy is unlikely to protect you if a renter damages the property.
- Earthquake Most policies exclude protection against earthquakes, though you can add coverage in the form of an endorsement.
- Existing damage Youre unlikely to be covered for damage that began before you held the policy.
- Flooding Most policies exclude flood protection, though coverage can be purchased as an endorsement.
There are also some perils for which no coverage is available. Theyre referred to as uninsured perils. For example, if your home is built on a known flood plain, no insurance protection may be available.
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Get Familiar With Home Insurance Policy Lingo
There are six types of coverages that are in every standard homeowners insurance policy. Understanding how youâre protected by each of the coverage types in a standard policy will be useful when comparing policies.
Dwelling: Covers physical damage to the structure of your home and any attached structures, like a garage or porch
Other structures: Covers physical damage to structures on your property that arenât attached to the home itself, like a detached garage, guest house, or fencing around your property
Personal property: Covers damage or theft of personal belongings that you own, including furniture, clothes, jewelry, and electronics
Additional living expenses : If your home is severely damaged or destroyed by a covered loss, ALE can cover the cost of temporary lodging and relocation expenses while your house is being repaired or rebuilt
Personal liability: Covers you and your assets from expensive lawsuits if youâre ever held liable for someone elseâs injury or property damage
Medical payments: Covers guestsâ medical expenses if theyâre injured on your property
Youâll also have to choose between three levels of coverage:
Flooding and earthquakes arenât covered under standard home insurance policies
Why Do I Need Home Insurance And What Does It Cover
Making sure you have the right cover, can help you save money on your home insurance
A home is usually the most expensive thing well ever buy. And the things we have in them can be very important to us, too. While home insurance isnt a legal requirement, it’s something the vast majority of homeowners wouldnt do without. After all, theres no place quite like home.
What’s the difference between contents and buildings insurance?
Home insurance usually covers two aspects of your property the structure itself and the things in it . A good way to remember the difference is to think about this scenario: if you were to tip your house upside down, anything that hits the ceiling would be classed as contents. Furniture, jewellery, electronics, furnishings and everything in between. When it comes to insuring your contents, its best to have a good idea of how much everything is worth before you start your quote. To do this, just head to our contents calculator to work out whats what.As for everything else structural walls, floors, roofing, fitted units and so on these elements would come under buildings cover.
Is there any benefit to buying a combined buildings and contents policy?
What sort of policy is right for me?
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Tell Us About Your Home
In order to be eligible for discounts, youll need to answer several questions. Be prepared to answer whether youd like to bundle your home and auto insurance policies with your new insurance company. For the best possible experience, make sure you know whether your property has a monitored fire alarm, deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers , a monitored burglar alarm, and/or a sprinkler system.
How Much Is Home Insurance In Bc
The average price of home insurance in BC is $924 per year or about $80 per month. However, the price fluctuates greatly based on location, size of your home, and type of home insurance. For example, strata insurance will be closer to $40 per month depending on the age of the building. Prices are soaring for condo insurance right now due to high claims volumes, natural disasters, and ageing buildings. Tenant insurance can be as low as $15 per month to cover your stuff, liabilities, living away from home expenses following a claim.
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Questions To Ask Yourself
|Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.|
Our data shows homeowners insurance rates increase anywhere from $2 to $237 a year. If your rates recently increased more than your state average, it may be time to consider switching companies.
Homeowners insurance covers many natural disasters, meaning states at higher risk for natural disasters have higher rates. So Florida’s hurricanes and Oklahoma’s tornadoes contribute to their expensive premiums.
It’s possible that you can find cheaper coverage than you currently have with another carrier. That’s why even if you are happy with your current home insurance company, shopping around can’t hurt.
How Your Home Is Used As A Business Or Home Office
If youre operating a business from your home, youre likely to pay more for home insurance coverage. The type of business it is will be important. For example, if your business relies on a laptop and nothing more, you wont need a complex policy. On the other hand, if youre running a daycare theres more risk and your premiums will be higher.
If your business has to do with renting out a unit on a temporary basis, you should inform your insurance provider. A standard home insurance policy may not allow it. In many instances, a specific sort of coverage is needed for homes that are used as rental properties.
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Enhanced Home Coverage For Your House
In addition to the coverage listed above, you can get Enhanced Home Coverage for even more protection. Find out more details when you get a home insurance quote:
- Family coverage : Protection for situations like cyberbullying and parents living in nursing homes.
- Eco-efficient rebuild: Provides additional coverage above and beyond the cost of repairs to allow for eco-efficient upgrades following a covered loss.
- Claim forgiveness : When your policy renews, your premium wont increase after you make your first claim.
- Enhanced limitations: Increases the amount of coverage for high-value items, such as fine art, wine, spirits, some collectibles, jewellery and more.
Types Of Home Insurance Coverage
No matter the scenario – own or rent live in a house or a condo – there is home insurance coverage for your unique situation.
A homeowner needs protection for their home, which includes mechanical assets like plumbing and electrical, as well as personal liability from someone falling on their property.
A condo owner will need to pay to protect their contents, any improvements theyâve made to their unit, and for personal liability coverage in the event that someone injures themselves while visiting the property.
Tenantâs insurance covers a renterâs personal belongings not covered under the homeownerâs insurance. A tenant should also seek their own personal liability insurance in case someone injures themselves in their rental unit.
See below for more details on the different types of home insurance coverage.
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How Does Coronavirus Affect My Home Insurance
If youre working from home as a result of coronavirus, it wont affect your home insurance policy.
Any work laptops or equipment should be covered under your employers liability insurance.
If youre worried about any personal equipment getting damaged, check your contents policy to see your cover limits and exclusions.
Most Common Disasters In Florida
The Sunshine States sunny skies can, on occasion, be darkened by a variety of disasters. Florida has seen its fair share of severe storms but has been hit harder with hurricanes and fires.
Florida has seen 45 declared disasters due to massive natural catastrophes in the last 65-plus years. The 2020 hurricane season had a record-breaking 30 named storms, and by December 2021 there were 21. While Florida has been spared any major damage from hurricanes the last couple of years, homeowners need to be prepared.
When buying home insurance in Florida, be aware of special hurricane deductibles. Typically they are percentage-based and calculated based on the coverage amount that you have for your dwelling. For example, if your coverage is $300,000 and your deductible is 5%, that equates to $15,000.
And while hurricanes are well-known in Florida, there have actually been more fires declared as disasters over the years. For instance, in May 2020, the Five Mile Swamp Fire persisted for five days due to extremely dry conditions. It caused a two-day shutdown of Interstate 10, burned around 2,300 acres and destroyed 14 homes.
|Disaster declaration type|
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Work With An Independent Insurance Agent Or A Broker
An independent insurance agent or a broker is a smart choice if you want more home insurance options. Because independent agents and brokers work with multiple insurance companies, they can present a wider range of policies from which to choose.
One thing to keep in mind is that independent agents and brokers cant quote policies from insurance companies that only use captive agents. So just because you work with an independent agent or a broker doesnt mean you will hear about all of your options.
Which Variables Affect Homeowners Insurance Quotes
Homeowners insurance quotes are specific to each applicantthere is no one-size-fits-all price. Instead, insurance companies look at a variety of personal and property-related factors to determine rates, including:
- The coverage limits and deductibles you pick
- The age, construction, and condition of the home
- The homes replacement cost
- The homes location and how close it is to a fire station
- Local crime rates
- The breed of dog you have, if any
- If you have a home-based business
- Security features, such as smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks
- If the home has a wood-burning stove, swimming pool, or hot tub
- Your marital status, claims history, and credit history
As each insurance company takes a different approach to weigh these variables, quotes vary from one company to the next, even if the details about you and your home remain the same.
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Damage To The Interior Or Exterior Of Your House
In the event of damage due to fire, hurricanes, lightning, vandalism or other covered disasters, your insurer will compensate you so your house can be repaired or even completely rebuilt. Destruction or mutilation from floods, earthquakes, and poor home maintenance is generally not covered and you may require separate riders if you want that type of protection. Freestanding garages, sheds or other structures on the property may also need to be covered separately using the same guidelines as for the main house.
Clothing, furniture, appliances, and most of the other contents of your home are covered if they’re destroyed in an insured disaster. You can even get “off-premises” coverage, so you could file a claim for lost jewelry, say, no matter where in the world you lost it. There may be a limit on the amount your insurer will reimburse you, however. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most insurance companies will provide coverage for 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. For example, if your house is insured for $200,000, there would be up to about $140,000 worth of coverage for your possessions.
If you own a lot of high-priced possessions , you might want to pay extra to put them on an itemized schedule, purchase a rider to cover them, or even buy a separate policy.