Frequently Asked Questions for Homeowners Insurance
May 5, 2022
What types of property and losses are excluded from my policy?
No insurance policy provides coverage for everything. Typically, coverage does not apply to types of losses that are uninsurable (e.g., war and nuclear events) or to certain causes of loss that may be purchased at extra cost (damage caused by flood, surface water, water which backs up through sewers or drains, earth movement). Coverage is also typically excluded for certain property that is intended to be explicitly insured (e.g., automobiles, aircraft, powered watercraft beyond certain horsepower thresholds, etc.). Personal liability coverage protects you and your premises from claims of negligence but will not respond to bodily injury or physical damage caused by an intentional act of the insured.
What happens if I have a fire?
How do I collect for my personal property? Most policies provide for replacement costs for a loss involving contents up to the limit of insurance purchased. You will be repaid for the loss of your possessions that you can demonstrate that you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up-to-date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take pictures or videos of each room. Certain items, like jewelry, fine arts, and some collections – will have sub-limits in the policy and may require to be explicitly listed to be insured.
Am I covered if my sump pump fails due to water backing up through the sewers?
Not under a standard policy, but you can easily add a sewer backup endorsement to your homeowner’s policy to cover this type of loss.
Is my boat covered?
Theft of watercraft, including furnishings, equipment, and outboard motors, is typically excluded if the theft occurs outside your residential premises. You need a separate boatowners insurance policy to cover your boat and its accessories adequately.
I have insured antique items listed on my policy. Do I receive payment for the full insured value if I have a total loss?
To set the insured value, insurers typically want to confirm the value of the items with one or more independent expert appraisals. You should then be paid a dollar value based on the professional estimate of the worth of the antique items—the best way to insure your antiques. Get appraisals and establish the stated values in the policy.
If I have water damage from a rainstorm, am I covered?
Unless the water enters through an opening caused by the storm. A separate flood or overland water endorsement on your policy is needed to cover losses to your property caused by flooding.
During a storm, a tree from my neighbour’s yard fell and destroyed my fence. Who pays for the loss?
Generally, your policy should cover the loss and look after the repairs. Your insurer might be able to recover the amount paid for the loss from the neighbour’s homeowners’ insurance if the loss occurred due to your neighbour’s negligence.
What if I lose power and the food in my freezer spoils?
A basic policy typically does not cover this loss; however, most homeowners’ policies provide a sub-limit of coverage for spoilage of food losses in freezers.
If my stereo is stolen from my vehicle, is it covered under my auto or homeowner’s insurance policy? Automobiles and their attached equipment are excluded explicitly under homeowners’ insurance policies.
For added protection, check with us to determine if coverage can be purchased for the stereo used in your auto.