House Insurance in Ontario and car Insurance alike are spread out over a very broad insurance market. There are thousands of insurance brokers and agents working in Ontario. But, we all ask ourselves where do we go and why? The first insurance policies ever written or should I say agreed upon date back to the 1500’s
It all started in the early 1500’s when ship owners use to meet in London coffee houses where they selectively retained, shared, and transferred the cost of risks associated with their ships. In essence, these were often mutual or reciprocal arrangements, akin to today’s insurance arrangements. But that is another story, I will be writing about.
For now the focus is House Insurance in Ontario. Decisions affect you and your family when it comes to insurance and that is why you need to choose your house insurance carefully.
How to find the best home insurance company to service your needs. Most times people like to combine their auto and house insurance together.
There are 3 standard methods to shop for insurance:
-local broker representing multiple insurance companies
-brokerage call center representing multiple insurance companies
-local agent or call center representing 1 company
Once you find out about the insurance company quoting you, take some time and research them by searching the internet or contact the Financial Insurance Services Commission of Ontario to find out more.
The choice is really up to the consumer depending on how they like to conduct their business. Some will be quite complacent shopping on line. If you choose this method and you are transferring your personal information, make sure that the page you are putting your info on is secured. Check your browser and the first 5 letters before www. should read https not http.
What type of house insurance should you buy?
I always say never go cheap unless you are covered for the right things. First off I will explain the difference between standard coverages and comprehensive coverage’s that are included in insurance policies. The dwelling building, outbuildings and personal property are normally covered for specified perils form, broad form, comprehensive form or all risks (all perils) depending on the form offer by the house insurance representative you have chosen to deal with. Below is a brief definition of the two types of coverage available. For a complete definition consult a broker or agent.
A Named Perils policy would include: fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, falling objects, impact by aircraft or land vehicle, riot, vandalism and malicious acts, water damage, windstorm or hail, transportation,
An All Risks policy would include: When you are insured for All Risk insurance coverage, your are covered against all risks except for the named exclusions in your policy. Check your policy for exclusions usuall follows extensions of coverage.
Coverage Extended under a property policy:
Section 1: Describes the insurance on your property, which also includes additional living expenses and fair rental value.
Coverage A: Dwelling Building – Example is the house structure
Coverage B: Detached Private Structures – example is a garden shed
Coverage C: Personal Property – example is jewelery which has a special limit
Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses
Common Extensions of Coverage are:
Debris Removal, property removed, moving to another home, fire department charges, change of temperature, freezer food, lock replacement, tear out, arson or theft conviction reward, personal data stored in a computer, credit or credit cards forgery and counterfeit money, headstones, inflation protection
After reviewing my own house insurance polciy, I found exclusions and counted 28 of them not to mention what they will pay and won’t pay!
The next section in your policy wordings to pay close attention to are the exclusions. This is the most important part of an insurance policy when you are concerned about the fine details of your house policy.
Section 2: describes the insurance for your legal liability for bodily injury and personal injury to others or damage to property of others arising out of your premises or your personal actions. It also includes benefits following injury or damage to property of others.
Coverage E: Legal Liability – example, someone walks on your property and slips because you did not maintain the area makes you legally liable.
coverage F: Voluntary Medical Payments – if a person slipped on your stairs and takes an ambulance to hospital, your insurance company will pay reasonable expenses to cover the costs of the injured person. There is no deductible applicable.
Coverage G: Voluntary payment for damage to property – example would be if your child accidentally hit a baseball and it went through the neighbours window, you can voluntarily pay for this and expense it through your insurance company. There is no deductible applicable.
Important – Read the exclusions for this section because there is more, I counted 10 more exclusions which were subject to the liability section.
In conclusion, there are many insurance brokers and many insurance companies that want your business. Take your time and know the information about your home. Explore the different coverages and know what you are looking for before you shop on line. Before you accept a policy, review the coverages, extensions and exclusions and ask for a copy of the special limits in the policy. This way you will know if you are fully covered the way you want to be.