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General Insurance

Frequently asked questions

Question: What does home insurance cover? Why do I need it?

Home insurance provides protection against loss or damage to your home and personal belongings. It also helps protect your financial assets against financial loss in the event of a lawsuit against you. For example, if someone is injured in your home, your home insurance (which includes liability protection) will provide you with legal defence in the event of legal action brought against you. There are exclusions and limitations that may eliminate or restrict coverage provided by your policy. We have a number of Optional Additional coverages that are available to meet your needs. Be sure to discuss your needs with your broker.

Home insurance is often necessary to secure mortgage financing - your bank will want to ensure they will be reimbursed in the event of loss or damage to the property. Even if you don't have a mortgage, home insurance ensures that you assets are protected from loss. For example, if you don't carry insurance and your home is destroyed by fire, most people can't afford to rebuild their home.

Who is covered?

Your property insurance policy covers the person who is named in the policy and the following individuals provided they live in the same household

Your spouse
Relatives of both you and your spouse
Any person under 21 in your care
Dependent student temporarily residing away from home to attend a school, college or university

How much insurance do I need?

Your broker will help you determine the amount of home insurance that's right to protect your home and personal belongings. The replacement value (this is the cost to rebuild your home, not the market value) of your house and the value of you personal property will be key to determining your insurance needs. Your broker will also assist you in selecting the type of coverage and deductible (the amount you are responsible for paying before we will begin to pay for a loss or damage) best suited to you.

Are there different levels of home insurance I can purchase?

Yes. Our home insurance policies provide a range of coverage options at competitive rates. Our most economical home insurance product provides the necessary basic coverage whereas our deluxe and most popular home protection offers comprehensive coverage. Your broker can help you select the right policy to tailor to your specific needs.

Does my home insurance provide enough coverage on all of my home's contents?

No. Home insurance policies provide a level of coverage that is sufficient for most people. Certain items such as jewellery, furs, coin collections and bicycles are subject to Special Limits, which limit the amount of insurance coverage included in the policy. If you require limits higher than your policy provides for such items, you can purchase additional optional coverage for those items. Your broker can help you develop the best policy package for your specific needs.

What if I have a loss?

If you have suffered a loss for which you are insured, you should inform your broker or your insurer directly of your loss. If there has been a burglary or theft, the police must also be informed. You will be required to supply information about the loss.

You should take reasonable steps to protect against additional damage. For example, if a pipe has burst, shut off the water supply.

Do not dispose of damaged goods without first getting our approval. Depending upon circumstances, we may arrange assistance for temporary repairs. For example, such as covering a damaged roof or boarding over a broken picture window.

Should I make a claim with every loss?

This is a very personal decision. Before making a home insurance claim, you should consider the cost of the damage compared to your deductible. The deductible is the initial amount of a claim that you've agreed to pay.

If the difference is negligible, you may choose not to make a claim as it may mean losing your "no-claim discount" which would result in a premium increase. In determining the rates we charge, consideration is given to the claims in the last five years. Your broker can help you in making your decision.

Do I have to have photos or receipts for all major items in my home?

In the event of a loss, you will be asked to supply a list of your possessions and a record of their value. Original sales receipts for major items are the best way to show ownership and the cost of these items. Taking photos of your personal belongings in your home is also helpful and can speed up the time it takes to settle your claim. Service or maintenance records can also be relevant.

It is often difficult to remember all the details of your personal belongings, therefore, we suggest that you video tape or photo your belongings, and keep a detailed inventory list. This information should be kept in another location to ensure it is available in the event of a loss. Many people store this information in a safety-deposit box or another secure location.

Do I need to have home insurance on a house that is under construction?

A home under construction is also subject to loss or damage. In addition, it creates an additional exposure to injury. Depending on the arrangement, you may be required to insure the home. You should check with your broker and builder regarding this.

If you are renovating, you will need to inform your broker of this change in risk in order to ensure adequate coverage is maintained.

Does my home insurance policy cover me for sewer backups?

Coverage for losses due to sewer backup is available in most areas. Some of the policies include this coverage and provide an option to purchase additional coverage.

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