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Whether you live in a rental, condo or house, you need the protection of home insurance.
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Home Insurance Quickguide: Protection for your residence

Whether you live in a rental, condo or house, you need the protection of home insurance.

Whether you live in a rental unit, a condominium or a house, you should understand the ins and outs of choosing an insurance policy that best fits your needs. Keep in mind, you should always ask yourself "What's not covered in my policy."

Tenant or renters insurance


If you've just moved into your first apartment, you may think that you don't have anything of real value to insure. A computer, CD player, and some clothing may not look as if it's worth that much. But, if you ever have to replace some or all of it, it could overwhelm your finances. Consider the following scenario: Say you bought a computer on credit and it gets stolen or destroyed by fire. You're still responsible for paying off the balance owing, even though you no longer have the item.

As a tenant or renter, it's a wise decision to take out a tenant insurance policy. You see, as a tenant or renter, you are responsible for any damage you may cause to any part of the building you live in, or for any harm you may cause to other people who live or visit the building. For example, if you forgot to turn off the water in your bathtub, you could cause water damage to your premises, and also  to your neighbors property. You would then be financially responsible to repair any resulting damages.

Tenant or renters insurance can protect both your contents and your liability exposure.

House insurance


If you own your own house, then you'll want to protect not only your physical building, but all the things in your house too. A standard house insurance policy will ensure that if something like vandalism, fire, or theft occurs, then you'll be protected and your valuables will be replaced (to the extent of your coverage).

You should also think about protecting any other structures, like a detached garage or poolroom, that exist on your property. Also, in the event that your house is damaged, and you need to move out for a while, you may want to consider a policy that will help pay for out-of-pocket expenses like food and alternate lodging for you and your family.

As a homeowner, it is possible that you may be held liable for accidents that people have while on your property. Also, you may accidentally damage someone else's property,  either in your own house, or elsewhere. A well-structured home insurance plan will make sure that you're covered, should any of these unforeseeable events occur.

Condominium insurance


Purchasing a condominium, means that you own your "unit," but you also own a share of the common areas of the condominium. As a condo owner, you could be held responsible for harm you might cause to any part the building, or to others who live or visit the condominium complex. The purchase of a condominium insurance policy can remove some of the financial worries of condominium ownership.

Essentially, you need to make sure that two separate policies are in place to fully protect your investment.

  • Your own insurance policy for your unit. This insurance policy will provide coverage for your personal property, structural improvements to your unit and additional living expenses if you are the victim of fire, theft or some other disaster listed in your policy. Make sure that you have sufficient liability protection to protect you for harm you might cause to any part of the building you live in or harm you may cause to others who live in or visit the condominium complex.

And,

  • A "master policy" purchased and provided by the condominium board. This covers the common areas and things you share with others in your building, like the roof, basement, elevator, lobby, swimming pool, parking garage and heating unit from both liability and physical damage.

Take the time to find out what's included in the condominium corporation's policy. You can then decide what to include in your personal insurance policy.

For instance, sometimes the condominium corporation is responsible for insuring the individual condominium as it was originally built, including standard fixtures. In this case, you'd only be responsible for insuring your personal property and any alterations or additions that you or a previous owner have made to the original structure of the condominium. Upgrades like remodeling the kitchen or bathroom would be your responsibility.

In other cases, the condominium corporation is responsible for insuring only the bare walls, floor and ceiling. You'd be responsible for insuring your personal property, plus things like the kitchen cabinets, built-in appliances, plumbing, wiring and bathroom fixtures.

Limitations of your house, condo or tenants insurance coverage


Your standard policy will likely have limitations in theft coverage for jewelry and furs, silverware, business property, bicycles, cash money etc. If you wish to fully protect any of these types of  items, it's a good idea to consider adding additional coverage to your policy.

The deductible


If you should have to make a claim, a small portion of the claim is always paid by you first. This is called your deductible. Your insurance company then pays the rest (up to the limits of the policy). The amount of your deductible affects the price of your insurance policy. The lower your deductible, the higher the premium and the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Consider the impact of having to pay a high deductible in an unfortunate situation. Just because it will lower your premium now, does not necessarily mean that it is automatically the right thing to do.

The price of coverage


The best advice anyone could get when they are trying to get the best price for the coverage they need, is to compare several quotes before they purchase. It's surprising how often there is a considerable difference in price for essentially the same coverage from one insurer to another. Get several quotes through Kanetix, and don't forget to read and understand the policy before you buy.


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Disclaimer - The above description/explanation is intended as a guideline only, and is not to be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance products, or to provide legal or financial advice of any kind. Also, Kanetix Ltd. does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed.

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