Shopping for a home insurance policy is much like shopping for a new car. Each home policy of insurance offers protection from loss experienced from unexpected events associated with your property, like each automobile offers you a ride from A to B. But, just as every automobile is made differently and offers different design and operational features, so too does every home insurance policy contain different features that may or may be suited to your individual needs.
Chris Richard, a top personal injury lawyer and the managing partner of Graves and Richard, the largest personal injury law firm in St. Catharines, discussed with Lee Sterry on Legal Matters the importance of being aware of your coverage needs when considering a new or existing home policy of insurance, and choosing a policy that offers you greatest protection from unexpected events.
Chris identified certain “Do’s and Don’ts” when choosing a home insurance policy.
DO Know What Your Home Insurance Policy Includes
What is important to remember about home insurance is that all policies are different in the province of Ontario. Each insurer offers its own product, with it its own scope of coverage and its own exclusions, and even the same insurer may have multiple types of policies available.
So, when choosing home insurance, it is important to know what types of situations are covered, whether there is enough coverage available, and whether there are important exclusions that apply.
DO Read the Policy
Before purchasing a home policy of insurance, it’s important that you read the policy. A policy may contain an important exclusion that you wouldn’t want in your policy, or may not offer adequate coverage if, for example, you undertake major renovations on your home.
An Insurance Broker likely will not be aware of all of the detailed circumstances in your life, and therefore may not know how a particular exclusion could affect you in the case of an unexpected occurrence.
It is our responsibility to read through the policy and ask whether the particular exclusions contained in the policy would apply to us.
DON’T Purchase a Policy Containing an Exclusion That Would Impact You Adversely
Exclusions are events or circumstances that are not covered in our insurance policy.
For example, insurers have made a concerted effort in recent years to exclude coverage for floods. If protection from flooding is important to you, and something that you require, it is important that you know whether your policy excludes coverage for flooding, and to choose a policy that offers this coverage.
Another example is fire protection. Most home insurance policies will offer protection from fire. But, some policies will not cover loss from a fire that is caused by a specific activity or event. A good example is marijuana production. Home insurance policies may exclude coverage for fires that occur when there is a controlled substance present on the property.
The most important thing you can do when choosing a home insurance policy is to read the policy to identify what coverage is available and whether any important exclusions apply to you, and to choose a policy that addresses your individual needs.