The Dos and Don’ts of Home Insurance

Home insurance may help to protect your house and belongings against most instances of accidental damage or theft and is often required by mortgage companies, bank lenders and landlords. But how do you choose the right coverage for your unique needs?

Here are some basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for home insurance.


Understand what’s included in your insurance policy

It’s important to know what your insurance policy covers so that you can have peace of mind if you ever need to file a claim. While most policies cover claims related to fire, theft and storm damage, you may need to purchase additional coverage for:

  • Damage caused by some natural disasters, like earthquakes
  • Damage caused by an escape of fuel oil (if you have an oil tank on the premises)
  • Damage or theft of particularly valuable possessions like jewellery, furs, collections or works of art
  • Water damage such as sewer backup or flood coverage

Keep an inventory of your possessions

Make a list of all your belongings, keep your receipts, and record any appraisals of their value wherever possible. This may help expedite your claim if you ever need to replace them. It’s also a good way to help determine how much insurance coverage you actually need.

 Review your home inventory and insurance coverage annually

It’s important to carve out time to review your policy each year because, if you renovate or make any major purchases for your home, you may need to adjust your coverage to ensure you’re properly protected. Try to choose the same time each year to complete your review so it’s easy to remember – your policy renewal date is a good option, but the first of the year or another key milestone could work too.

Keep your home secure

You may be able to reduce your insurance premium by installing additional security features in your home, like a security system or an alarm that connects to a monitoring system.

Ensure your home is properly maintained

If you can do it safely, inspect your roof, water pipes, furnace, and major appliances regularly or hire a professional to do it for you. This could prevent unnecessary damage, which may help you avoid a claim and save more on your insurance premium. 


Automatically opt for the policy that costs the least

Being underinsured can cost you much more in the long run. Make sure you choose the coverage that best suits your lifestyle, the value of your possessions, and any unique risks associated with your home’s location, like an increased likelihood of flooding.

Underestimate how much you own

When making your home inventory, be sure to include all the small things that would add up quickly if you had to replace them. Your total coverage amount should exceed this combined value so you’re not on the hook for any out-of-pocket costs if something happens to your home and its contents.

Omit information when talking to your insurer

Failing to provide your insurance company with accurate information may jeopardize your coverage if you need to file a claim, so do your best to answer all the questions on your quote to the best of your knowledge.

If important things change after your policy is in place – like you get a new roof, for example, or you replace your furnace – you’ll need to let your insurance company know so they can update your policy and ensure your coverage is still appropriate.

Home insurance is an essential requirement to protect your house and your belongings, so take the time to choose your coverage carefully. Plus, don’t forget that if you ever need to make a claim, you can get in touch with us any time – day or night.

To find out more, call 1-888-476-8737.

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This article is being provided by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers on behalf of The Personal which has a group sponsorship agreement with regards to home and auto insurance for our members.
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages or losses arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting with experts with respect to the proper use, installation and storage of any products referred to herein.

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