A guide for home insurance virgins…

How do I protect my property against loss or damage?

What insurance do I need for my home?

There are specific insurance packages for homeowners, tenants, and condo owners. Most cover these three things:

1. The building(s) on your property

– Includes your house and other buildings like a separate or detached garage, or workshop.

– If you rent your home, or own a condo, your landlord or the condo company provides insurance for everything from the drywall to the outside.

2. The contents

This is the cost to replace the things you value in your home.

Most policies cover your belongings for up to 70% of the insurance you put on the building.

Example: If you insure your house for $200,000, your policy will cover 70% of that total, or up to $140,000, to replace everything inside it. You can add more if you want.

3. Liability

This covers any claims against you if someone is hurt or killed while on your property.

What extra coverage can I get?

You can:

– Add extra contents insurance. The amount you need to cover your personal possessions depends on their value to you. Here’s how to decide how much you need:

– Create a record of everything you own, the date when you bought it, what it cost, and what it may cost to replace the item now. You may also keep some photos or a videotape record. The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada provides a Home Inventory Form that you can use to list what you have in your home and the value.

– Add up the value of everything you want to insure.

Look at how much insurance you can afford. Do you want or need to cover everything you own fully? The more you cover, the more you’ll pay.

Cover more dangers. You can get insurance to cover almost any kind of problem you can think of, and many you may never have imagined! There is coverage for everything from sewer backups, to earthquakes, to losing all the food in your freezer during a power outage. However, you will pay more for extra coverage.

Some people choose only theft, fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, and certain types of water damage. If their homes or belongings are damaged for some other reason, they won’t get any money for those losses. That’s the drawback of getting lower coverage.

Remember: The more coverage you get, the more you’ll pay

When you look at different policies, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. To reduce your costs, ask yourself: Do I really need this much insurance? How much am I willing to spend to cover losses myself? Then decide what’s right for you.

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