Home insurance may not be mandatory in Canada, but it’s a smart investment that every homeowner should consider. All home insurance policies cover three basic aspects: the home, its contents, and liability. Although it may sound pretty inclusive, it’s a good idea to speak to your insurance representative about any gaps you may have in your coverage.
What does home insurance cover?
Most basic home insurance policies help cover expenses in case of:
- Physical damage or loss to your home’s interior or exterior
- Physical damage, theft, or loss of personal belongings
- Personal liability or damage or injury to others who visit your home or property
- Accidental damage you cause to someone else’s property
It may also cover additional living expenses, such as a hotel, Airbnb, or other rented accommodations if you can’t live in your home while it’s getting repaired due to a covered claim.
What happens if you don’t have home insurance? Without coverage, you could end up having to pay for repairs or replacements out of your own pocket. Additionally, some banks and mortgage lenders require you to have home insurance before you can take out a loan to finance your property.
What is not protected by home insurance?
Home insurance is often called an “all-risk” policy defined by its exclusions. This means that everything may be covered, in relation to your home, except what is specifically excluded. It’s important to check your policy for what types of things are excluded and confirm with your insurance representative if additional coverage is available and what is right for your needs.
Here are some things that may not be covered by your home insurance policy:
Wear and tear
Home insurance is designed to safeguard you from sudden catastrophic losses. Any damages that can be attributed to wear and tear or due to poor maintenance, including rust, corrosion, etc., won’t be covered under your policy since it’s your responsibility to keep up with home repairs and updates.
Mould is usually caused by water damage and because it’s slow-moving and preventable, home insurance doesn’t typically cover it.
Mould should be dealt with by professionals. It’s important to stay on top of leaks and perform proper restoration after any water damage.
Some water damage, like a burst pipe, may be covered even by a basic insurance policy, and most scenarios are already likely included in comprehensive plans. But flooding, in particular, is typically offered as additional coverage. Flooding insurance extends your protection to cover overland water and sewer backup damage, including those caused by overflowing bodies of water, rainfall, snowmelt, and back-up in drainage.
Vermin infestations, such as those from bedbugs, termites, and mice, usually come because of poor general maintenance, building up over time. This can be preventable with proper upkeep, so it’s usually not covered by home insurance.
Damages caused by the shifting of the earth, such as earthquakes, sinkholes, and mudflows, aren’t included in basic home insurance policies, but they’re available as add-on coverages. You may want to consider purchasing this if you live in an earthquake-prone area.
Expensive jewelry or artwork
Although home insurance usually covers the belongings you have inside your home, there are limitations. Costly items, such as jewelry or artwork, typically require additional coverage. This is because these items have a higher risk of theft and are more expensive to replace.
Getting the most protection from your home insurance
It’s always a good idea to make sure your home is protected in case of unforeseen events. If you want added protection, optional add-on coverages are a great way to safeguard things that matter to you most. Reach out to your insurance representative to discuss available options that best meet your needs.