Types of Insurance For Your Home
Updated: May 8
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 to protect it.
Primary Home Insurance
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.
Tenant or Renters' Insurance
This is also called renters’ insurance and covers the following that is NOT included in your landlord’s insurance:
Contents: This covers your personal belongings that might be damaged by an 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 in 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.
Rented Property and Home Sharing Insurance
As a landlord you need to cover the home for fire, lightning, 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 defense 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 and Short-Term Rentals. Home sharing and short-term rentals are 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 or VRBO. 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)
Seasonal Home Insurance
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.
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.
Mobile Home Insurance
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.
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 also be 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.
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. Give us a call to get a no-obligation quote!