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We know, insurance isn’t sexy and may seem like a waste of money, but when you need it most, you will thank us.



Numerous Quotes

Not only do we get you quotes from numerous insurance companies, we also summarize what the differences are. We do the work so you can sit back and relax.

Discounts

There are a lot of unknown discounts available and we know exactly how to get them for you.

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You aren’t a number to us. You are a real person who may be going through a difficult ordeal. We understand. We will be there for you.

House Insurance

Like yoga, home insurance seems very rudimental in its nature; however, it is filled with intricate nuances that have a drastic impact on the result.

Extreme weather such as floods, fires, and hail are just a few examples of the drastic changes that have been happening with more regularity than any other time in history. What is covered and what is not under your policy in the event of a claim comes down to understanding the intricate nuances. This is our practice, and we are specialists in it … plus our yoga isn’t bad either.


Choose your Plan

A home has many different definitions, from the one you own and reside in, to one you rent, to one you vacation in. The same applies to the insurance you can purchase to protect it; there are many differences and not all are created equal.

When deciding which company to use as your insurer, take a close look at the fine print and be careful to not make a decision solely based on the best rate. What is your deductible? Does it cover sewer backup? How is their claims record? What are the dollar limits of your claims?

In addition to protecting the physical structure of your home, your homeowner’s insurance could also include jewelry, collectibles, and other scheduled items mentioned specifically in your policy. Homeowners insurance could pay for repairs on damage caused by fire, severe weather, frozen pipes, and theft. Your homeowner’s policy will include some liability coverage as well; that could protect your assets from lawsuits for libel or slander.

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This is also called renters’ insurance and covers the following that is NOT included in your landlord’s insurance:

Contents: This cover your personal belongings that might be damaged by and insured event or stolen from your unit. If you do not have this coverage, you need to pay out of pocket for the items you own if they get damaged or if you become a theft victim.

Third-party liability: This is one of the most important reasons to have tenant insurance. It applies both at your home but also anywhere in the world.  It covers you for any injury you unintentionally inflict on a person or to their property. For example, you throw a ball and hit somebody, knocking out their tooth, you are personally liable for the medical costs. If you have renter’s insurance, your policy will pay for this.  It also covers you in case you are sued for damage to other parties, such as flooding other units or causing a fire that spreads to other apartments. We highly suggest at least $1M in coverage, as medical costs can easily escalate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Additional living expenses: If the unit you are renting is damaged due to an insured event and you are unable to live it, this will cover some of the additional costs you incur for living elsewhere during repairs.

Accidental Damage/Tenant Liability: This is not the same as the liability coverage discussed above. Tenant legal liability insurance covers you for damage you unintentionally cause to the property you are renting, usually as a result of fire, explosion, water escape and smoke. For example, while cooking, you are also watching the evening news. You doze off, and next thing you know, your kitchen is filled with smoke. With tenant’s insurance, you’ll have coverage for the cost of repairs; without tenant’s insurance, you’ll be on your own to pay out of pocket to repair the damage.

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As a landlord you need to cover the home for fire, lightening, vandalism, and various other events. This insurance will protect the building, and in some cases, it might also protect the fixtures and furnishings that you included as part of the rental, such as the fridge, stove, washer, dryer, some window coverings, and furniture in the case an insured event happens.

It also, covers your defence costs in the event of a lawsuit should tenants or their guests suffer injury or damages on the property.

Protect the income you receive from it. The landlord can also purchase coverage for their rental income in the event the landlord is not able to collect rent due to an insured peril (risk).

Renter vandalism. Although vandalism is covered under your standard policy, it does exclude those acts that are done by your renter but there are some insurance companies that include this.

Home sharing & short-term rentals. Home sharing and short-term rentals are just that, when you rent out a portion, or the entirety, of your home, condo or seasonal property for short durations of time. This is commonly done using networks such as Airbnb, VBRO, or HomeAway. Your standard house policy does not cover any short-term rentals and some insurance companies may even void your policy if they are not notified. You can purchase this coverage which will offer:

    • liability arising out of the short-term rental
    • loss or damage to buildings
    • loss or damage to personal property caused by any tenant
    • theft or attempted theft by a short-term tenant
    • intentional or criminal act or failure to act by any tenant
    • loss or damage to the uninsured property of short-term tenants up to $1,500
    • fair rental value (loss of rental income)
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While a vehicle has a trailer attached, its insurance coverage from that vehicle extends to it. What about when it is not attached? This is where you home or a stand-alone trailer policy can kick in.  It includes:

    • 5th wheel trailers
    • Travel trailers
    • Camper units
    • Tent trailers
    • Toy haulers
    • Horse/stock trailers
    • Park model

It is important to note that your basic auto insurance policy may not offer towing and roadside assistance package for your travel trailer. A specialized travel trailer insurance policy might be something that you want to inquire into. It is important to note that any of the contents that you temporarily have within the trailer (such as clothes, computers, etc) that normally reside at your home will be covered under your home insurance policy.

Motor Homes: A motor home is a different situation from a travel trailer as it is not towed behind a vehicle, it is a vehicle in its own right.  Due to this, it will need its own insurance policy and will be treated as another vehicle by your insurance company.

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Seasonal homes create a unique situation when it comes to insurance – it is not your primary home where you go to every day, yet it is not a vacant property as you intend to return it. The risk associated with its part-time occupation, can make it more difficult to obtain coverage for certain risks, such as water damage or vandalism. This is why, it is important to ensure you look around for proper coverage and read the fine print of your policy. Some of the optional benefits you might be able to get:

  • Seasonal homes create a unique situation when it comes to insurance – it is not your primary home where you go to every day, yet it is not a vacant property as you intend to return it.  The risk associated with its part-time occupation, can make it more difficult to obtain coverage for certain risks, such as water damage or vandalism. This is why, it is important to ensure you look around for proper coverage and read the fine print of your policy. Some of the optional benefits you might be able to get:
  • Extensive coverage - protect your cottage and items such as sheds, decks and hot tubs, with protection in case of theft or vandalism as well as damage by bears, squirrels and raccoons
  • Coverage for varied uses such as seasonal, secondary or rental usage and even for seasonal trailers

Be aware that even a fixer-upper that is of low value still requires third-party liability coverage. This coverage protects you in case someone is hurt on your property or if you cause damage to a neighbour’s property.

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For the most part, homeowner’s and mobile home insurance are pretty much the same thing, keeping in mind that those who own mobile homes often have different needs than those who own a regular house. Whether you live there year-round, rent it out or keep it as your seasonal getaway, get the right protection for your manufactured, modular, mini, mobile or double-wide home.

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Property that has been vacant for 30 days and there is no intent on returning to live there or in the case of a newly constructed house, where no one is living in it yet, it is deemed to be vacant. Insurance policies offer limited coverage for vacant properties due to the increased risk of potential damage. Policy conditions vary widely but there is typically no coverage for vandalism, theft, water escape, or glass damage starting on the first day of the vacancy. A vacancy permit offers basic protection against damage caused by fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail and vehicle impact but still won’t provide coverage for vandalism, theft, glass damage, water escape or other perils. The permit may increase your premiums and can require you to pay higher deductibles in case of a claim. There may be also a requirement to inspect your vacant properties regularly, so your insurance remains valid. It is important to note that if you have renters in your home, you should educate them about the risks of leaving the property vacant and encourage them to keep you informed of their travel plans.

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Want Worry-Free Coverage?

There are different ways in which to protect your home, rental property, and contents – all of which can be simple, if you have the right guidance. Below is list of some of the coverages that will keep you worry free (at least when it comes to insurance).

  • Flooding

    The insurance definition of flood revolves around the source of the water: did it ORIGINATE inside or outside your home?

    With a standard house insurance policy, coverage for any sudden or accidental discharge of water the orginiate inside your home is included. This includes coverage for water line breaks or if any of your appliances overflow or leak. You are also covered if hail or wind causes a hole in your home through which water enters and causes damage.

    If water originates from outside your home, via ground or sewer, the damage is causes is NOT  covered unless you specifically add it.  Water has become the top cause of home-insurance claims so we like to add this coverage to every policy we sell. The types of water damage sources that you can add coverage for are:

  • Guaranteed Replacement (GRC)

    If your home is completely destryoed due to an insured event, a standard insurance policy will cover the cost to rebuild it up to the policy limit. What if the estimated value of your home was incorrect or the cost of the materials to build your home is signifianctly higher and now exceeds the limit of your policy? This is where the GRC steps in and will ensure that it will be re-built, even if it costs more than the policy limit.

  • Identity Theft

    Identity theft is when someone else uses your information, such as your credit card, Social Insurance Number, or name without permission. It can take months or even years to restore your good name, credit rating, and legal standing from someone creating false lines of credit and making purchases using your stolen bank or credit card, etc.

    If someone used your credit card without permission, the credit card company will most likely reimburse you for the charge. What if it was your identity that was stolen?  Your credit card will not help you recover it.  This optional coverage will reimburse you up to up to the limit of the policy (typically $10,000 - $40,000) for expenses including legal fees, the cost of notarizing affidavits or sending certified mail, and potentially any earnings lost due to time away from work. An identity theft claim does not have a deductible and will not increase your premiums in the following years.  Also, identity theft protection covers not only you but also others living in the same household: your spouse, your relatives and any person under 21 in your care.

  • Bylaws

    When your home was constructed, it complied with the bylaws of the time; however, building codes and zoning laws are constantly changing.  If your home was damaged beyond repair, the insurance company should pay for everything such as clean up, tear down, and rebuild of your home, EXCEPT for the cost to comply with the updated bylaws.  This optional coverage will pay for those costs up to the limit stated in your policy.

  • Liability

    This is mandatory on every insurance policy but the limit of coverage can vary. This is an increasingly important component as it provides for a defense if you are sued, and can pay damages to injured persons up to the limit of liability. It is important to note that this not only covers laiblity for accidents that happen in your home but also while you, or a family member who lives in your home, is away from the house. For example, you hit someone with a golf ball while teeing off, your home policy should step up to cover the damages to the person you injured. Our standard amout of coverage is $2,000,000.

  • Rental Income

    Do you own a property that you rent out? If that property becomes damaged due to an insured event, your insurance policy will most likely pay for all the damages. What if the damages are severe and your renters are unable to live there during the repairs? You can add Rental Income protection to your policy that will cover the rent that you would have earned if your renters where able to live in the property.

  • Home Repair

    This provides coverage for repairs to the following systems products and their components, after the product warranty has expired. As an added bonus, a claim for one of these will not affect your future premiums …. and even better pest removal is included.

      • Air Conditioning/Heat Pump
      • Heating System/Built-In Wall Unit
      • Interior Plumbing
      • Interior Electrical
      • Internal Gas Supply Lines
      • Owned Water Heater (excluding tank less)
      • Roofing

Vacant vs. Unoccupied

Two words that their only difference lies in intent. Do you intend on living in the property again? It really is that simple but the implactions from that difference are immense. If you have no intention of returning to live in the property (regardless of the presence of furnishings), it is deemed to be vacant.

This applies to a property that you personally live in or have tenants for.

Unoccupied

If you are leaving your property but have a set return date, then it is deemed to be unoccupied. The duration you are way is not important as it could be a week-long vacation or travelling for several months.

There is one BIG stipulation that you must comply with to keep your insurance coverage while your property is unoccupied. You must take steps to prevent damage. This can be done one of three ways if you are going to be away from the property for longer than 4 days (check with your broker or policy as this may differ between insruance companies and your specific policy):

  • Have someone check on your home every day

    It is important to note that the person that is checking on the home is reliable, it is not enough that they promise to check on the home every day, they actually have to do it. If you are thinking of paying someone for their help to check on your home, they need to be aware that if the visitor lets you down, your insurer could sue them to recover the cost of repairing any damage to your home.

  • Get an alarm

    Have a professionally managed alarm that centrally monitors your plumbing and heating on a continuous 24 hour surveillance.

  • Drain your water lines

    In our opinion, this is the easiest. Before you leave, turn off your water supply and empty your pipes by running a taps until no water runs out.  Most people focus on the heat going out and pipes freezing in winter, but fridges have icemakers, and water heaters fail and leak. When [you] shut off the water, you virtually eliminate the most significant exposure."

Vacant

Property that has been vacant for 30 days and there is no intent on returning to live there or in the case of a newly constructed house, where no one is living in it as of yet, it is deemed to be vacant. This also applies if you have bought a second home and moved into it but still haven’t sold your first residence. Because you have no intention of returning back to the first residence, it is considered vacant dwelling (even if it still has furniture or personal effects in it).

If a property is deemed to be vacant, contact your broker to get vacancy permit from your insurance company. Although the coverage for vacancy insurance is not as comphrehensive your standard home policy, if does offer protection against major incidents, such as fire. Note: there is generally no coverage for vandalism, theft, or water damage.

What can affect a claim?

Renovations

Renovating your home? Home insurance policies provide coverage to protect your home and personal belongings from unexpected events. A renovation is not an unexpected event; they can change your square footage, features, and of most concern to insurers, replacement value.  If you are renovating and do not tell your insurance company, it could void your coverage or impact a claim. Here are a few important things to understand:

  • The changes you make may or may not impact your premium
    Many people avoid telling the insurance company of any renovations as they assume their premiums may increase. This is not always the case. Your premium could remain the same, increase, or even decrease your rates (for example: if you are improving the wiring, roof, or plumbing). Tell your insurance company of any changes; you have it in place to protect your investment, don’t cut corners and find out too late that you voided your policy when you need it the most.

  • Your home may not covered during renovations
    Many assume their home is covered in all situations, renovations included. This is not true and here is a few reasons why insurance companies do this:

    • Vacancy: If you vacate your home durign the renovations, it could void your policy.  Home insurance policies typically require you to occupy the home while it is insured. If you are required to vacate your home during the renovation for an extended period of time, you could be breaking this policy rule. You can avoid this by requesting a vacancy permit from your broker.
    • Theft: Someone could burglarize your home. Between all the people coming in and out of your home, burglary is a larger possibility.
    • Damage: any damage that may occur due to the changes you are making in your home, such as if a pipe bursts during a bathroom remodel and ultimately destroys the floors on your second floor, your claim may be denied.
    • Contractor liability
      You could be liable for injuries caused to contractors on your property. The more coverage the worker has, the more protection you will have if they are hurt, but this may not omit you from any liablity.

Lack of Maintenance

Poor upkeep of property can be grounds for denying a claim. A home insurance policy is not a maintenance policy, it is there to protect you from unexpected events. Not maintaining your property results in an expected event – for example: If you have cracks in your foundation that you do not repair and water seeps into your foundation, that was caused by neglect, not an event that was out of your control.

The same goes for damage inflicted by pests. Most policies exclude this. For example: if squirrels have picked away at your attic to the point where a new roof is needed, it is unlikely that your insurance will cover the costs.

Certain High Value items

There are certain items that you may own which have a cap on how much and insurance company will pay for an insured event.  This does not mean that you can’t cover those items, we simply mean that you have to specifically add them to your policy (and there is an extra premium your will have to pay).

  • Money or cash cards ($1,000)
  • Business property, only while on your premises ($5,000)
  • Securities ($6,000)
  • Watercraft, equipment, and motors ($3,000)
  • Utility trailers, spare auto parts ($1,000)
  • Jewelry, watches, gems, furs ($6,000)
  • Coin, banknote, stamp collections ($1,000)
  • Each bicycle ($1,000)
  • Collectible cards ($5,000)

Note: the dollar limits shown above vary by insurance company.