Your home is likely your biggest financial investment, so protecting it and its contents should be a priority. Whether you own a house, townhouse or condo, home insurance will cover your biggest assets are covered in case of an accident or loss.
But did you know there are common activities that could impact your home insurance policy and its coverage?
Check out these four common activities and make sure you remain covered:
Thinking of adding an addition to the back of your house? Perhaps adding a pool to cool off in during the summer? Or updating your powder room with a new vanity and toilet? Renovations and upgrades can change the value of your house. Inform your insurance company before any renovations are done, no matter how big or small, to ensure that you have adequate coverage. Your insurance company may ask you to purchase additional insurance during the time of the renovation to ensure you have coverage in the event of an accident or loss.
If you will be leaving your home for the duration of the renovation, let your insurance company know. They may request you or someone else check on your home while you’re away to ensure it hasn’t suffered any damage.
Going on a business trip for a week? Taking a long weekend vacation up north? Staying with family over the holidays? If you’re away for an extended period of time, make sure someone you trust is checking on your house. Leaving your home unattended can make it susceptible to break-ins and theft, and if something happens, like a burst pipe, the damage could worsen over time, leaving you with thousands of dollars in repairs that might not be covered by the insurance company.
If you plan on being away during the winter, you should turn off the water supply and drain your pipes before you leave to make sure they don’t burst while you’re gone.
3. Neglecting maintenance
If you don’t maintain your house and complete repairs as needed, any resulting damages may not be covered by your insurer. For example, if you don’t clear away the lint and debris from your clothing dryer’s exhaust duct, a fire could result, damaging your dryer, walls and anything within the area of the dyer. Your insurance company may not cover the repair to the damages, may chose not to renew your insurance policy or may choose to increase your insurance premiums. Check the internet, which has endless lists of home maintenance tips and recommendations.
4. Starting or continuing a home business
Do you provide income tax services out of your home? How about a small side gig job like jewellery designing or candle making? Regardless of how small you think your business is, your insurance company should know so they can provide the most suitable protection for both your home and your business.
Losses that result from business activities, as well as losses to the business itself (damaged inventory and resources, theft, inability to use the work space) will not be covered under your home insurance policy unless you inform the insurer and buy the coverage. In fact, your home insurance policy may become void in the event of a loss due to business activity without the proper coverage. If you run a business out of your home, be sure to inform your insurance company so they can provide you with business insurance options.
Your home insurance is there for you when you need it, but the above activities can impact the validity of your insurance policy. It’s important to be honest with your home insurance company in the event of an accident or loss, so your insurance company can process your claims quickly and efficiently.
To learn more about home insurance, visit the Financial Services Commissions of Ontario’sUnderstanding Home Insurance webpage.
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