Do You Have the Right Home Insurance or Are You One of the 21% of Canadians Improperly Insured?
A recent study has found that one-fifth of Canadian homeowners do not have adequate homeowners insurance.
To make sure you have the right kind of coverage check your Declaration page (the first page or two of your homeowners insurance), then check your wordings (the booklet or package that should have come when you initially bought the policy). Wordings of policies contain all of the conditions, rules, andcoveragesthat will apply in the event that something happens for which you might be covered. They’re also quite complex so you should ask a knowledgeable broker to help you understand what you have, but here is a start to negotiating your policy.
There are two main types of coverage to look for in most property policies:
- If a claim occurs on a part of the policy covered underNamed Perils, the adjuster looks at the list ofcoverageslisted in the Named Perils and if what happened is on that list then the loss is likely covered providing the other conditions of the policy apply as well. Some examples of Named Perils are Fire, Explosion, Smoke, Wind, Hail, Water, Theft and so on. The list may be very short for certain policies or longer for those risks where the insurer is willing to cover more perils. For example an older remote vacation cabin may not have Water Damage or Theft as one of the covered perils, but a newer owner occupied home with good fire protection may be eligible for a much longer list of Named Perils.
- If a claim occurs on a part of the policy covered underAll Risks, then the policy will state something like – “You are covered for All Risks except…” – then there is a list of exclusions for which no coverage is extended. This is the best type of coverage available, because even with the exclusions this type of coverage responds to more kinds of losses than Named Perils coverage. The adjuster looks at the claim and if the cause of loss is not excluded then the policy responds.
Almost all property policies are either All Risks or Named Perils or a combination of these (although there may be some secondary minor “AdditionalCoverages” as well, but these are not the main part of the policy). Some insurers provide different names for these combinations or Package Policies, but commonly they are called Comprehensive, Broad and Standard:
- AStandardpackage will usually only cover for Named Perils both for the buildings and contents. There may even be only a few Named Perils. This type of policy is often used for those risks deemed to be more problematic or more likely to experience a loss (such as remote, older, vacant, etc…).
- Broad-form policies-This type of insurance may cover All Risks on the buildings but only Named Perils on the contents, although the list of Named Perils can include Vandalism and other perils that might not be found in a Standard policy.
- Comprehensive policies– This type of policy goes above and beyond the Broad form policy and is usually All Risks on both the building and contents.
Figuring out what your policy covers can be quite tricky. Insurers have developed many specializedcoveragesand comprehensive or any kinds of packages may vary quite widely from one insurer to the other or even from one type of risk to the other (for example usually a Comprehensive Home policy will be better than a Comprehensive Rental Property policy), also you may not qualify for the highest level ofcoverage, but you should always go for the best coverage available to you.
Take the time to review your policy documents; and if you don’t have Comprehensive coverage, or if you’d just like to know what you could have, contact one of our Alpine Insurance locations today. With offices in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton,LethbridgeandCanmore, we have the province covered.
Alpine Insurance & Financial Inc. – Alberta’s Trusted Advisors
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