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Your Home is Your Castle – Guard it!
 
If your home is truly your castle, then house insurance is the moat that protects you. As your biggest investment – and biggest purchase you'll ever make – your home requires insurance coverage that is both affordable and responsive to your particular needs.
 
House insurance in Ontario can protect you in a variety of ways. Foremost is the financial coverage it provides against the welter of incidents that can cause damage to your property – everything from fire and explosions to vandalism and theft.
 
A policy can also have add-ons that protect you from situations that might be unique to your property. For example, you may have other structures, such as a detached garage, guest cabin or fence that you want to protect. In the event that your home is damaged, you'll need insurance that can pay for out-of-pocket expenses like hotel accommodation and food. You may own objects of particular value that require specific recognition in the policy, like jewelry, a coin collection or antiques.
 
Accidents occur. It is possible to be held liable for events that happen to people while on your property or you may yourself cause damage to other people's property while it's on your property – or even off.
 
Also, at a time when increasing numbers of Ontario residents are working from home, it is important to have your home business recognized in the policy. A standard residential policy will provide limited coverage on a business property or may not cover it at all. You need to ensure that the added value of your business equipment is covered and that your liability insurance reflects the possible increase in activity in your home. More people visiting your home business means more third party risk.
 
The extent of house insurance coverage is your first consideration, but you should also consider the amount of Deductible that you want to pay. The Deductible is what you pay out-of-pocket should you file a claim. A lower Deductible generally means you must pay a higher premium.
 
Finally, insurance providers will provide discounts on your house insurance if you have deterrents to damage – from theft alarm systems to sophisticated smoke alarms.
 
Not Everything is Covered!
 
We've all heard the rather scary expression, "Acts of God.” They are unavoidable natural disasters that are not automatically covered in a policy. Flooding is one example that seems to be much in the news; sometimes protection can be purchased for an increased premium, but there are regions where flood coverage simply cannot be obtained due to the size or risk.
 
Exclusions – including avoidable damage from termites or rodents or high value items, for example – can be listed in a policy. An insurer will want to be informed about any change in the occupation status of your home. If you are absent for an extended period of time this will affect your policy. At the very least you will be required to arrange for suitable maintenance checks.
 
Choosing a Suitable Broker is Vital
 
House insurance is a complex and vital component to maintaining the integrity of your "castle.” Free online insurance quotes are available, but there are also advantages to choosing an independent broker from your area.
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