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Renovating your house? Know what precautions to take!

Reprinted from L’Unique General Insurance’s Prevention newsletter, September 2015 When you embark on a major renovation, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by all the questions and choices you have to make. In addition to the colours and finishes, you may ask yourself questions that have a bigger impact, such as “Who will do the work?” and “Should I inform my insurance broker?” Here is our advice to help you make the right decisions. Protect your investment: hire certified experts Some work is risky and will not be protected by the law in the event of defects if it was not completed by a certified expert. So leave the plumbing and the electrical to the experts! That way you know you are not putting your family or your investment at risk. Before you hire an expert—whether it’s a contractor, plumber, electrician or other—make sure they have:

  • Appropriate, valid liability insurance

  • A contractor’s licence from the Régie du bâtiment (RBQ)

  • An appropriate licence for the work they are doing (for example, an electrician must be licensed by the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec)

Remember too that if you or a family member living under your roof is injured during the renovations, your home insurance will not be able to compensate you for the consequences of those injuries. Something to think about if you are considering doing the work yourself! When and how should you inform your broker of your renovations? It is important to inform your broker if you are having work done that might require an adjustment to your home insurance coverage. There are two types of work that would qualify:

  • Renovations that increase the cost of rebuilding your home

For example: adding a level, building an extension, finishing the basement, etc.

  • Renovations that reduce your home’s risk of damage

For example: modernizing outdated systems (plumbing, electrical), replacing the roof, replacing the water heater, etc. If you follow this advice, you will minimize the risk that your renovations take a nasty turn and ensure that your home is properly covered. Your insurance broker is here to help you prevent accidents. Feel free to get in touch!

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Civil liability and travelling abroad

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 17 March 2016

Civil liability and travelling abroad: when your standard contract isn’t enough, here are some solutions If you think you are well protected because your home insurance includes a civil liability clause for one or two million dollars, then watch out, because that might not always be enough, especially if you travel a lot.

Civil liability insurance: what is it? According to section 1457 of the Civil Code of Québec, every citizen has the legal obligation to not cause harm to others. If, however, by negligence or lack of attention, you cause physical, material or moral damage to someone, your civil liability insurance can protect you. This coverage is not mandatory but it is strongly recommended, and it’s generally included in home insurance contracts for up to $1 million or $2 million, depending on the coverage chosen. Do you travel a lot? Do you like to get away to Cuba for a couple of weeks in January or rent an apartment in Provence in spring? If you inadvertently set fire to your hotel you may not be able to leave the country until you settle the damages you caused. Imagine that happened and you didn’t have civil liability insurance. Or what if the million dollars in your civil liability clause wasn’t enough? “Consumers are not always aware that the ruling is made where the incident happened and that they may not be free to leave until they have paid their debt,” explains Julie Pellerin, a training provider for property and casualty insurance representatives. “They may lose their whole estate (house and automobile) or even have their wages garnished.” Someone who travels often can increase their civil liability coverage to $2 million. They can also ask their certified insurance representative to provide umbrella liability insurance. This insurance would only be used if required, covering damages that surpass the limits of their basic insurance coverage. Taking your car to the US Unlike home insurance, the civil liability section (Chapter A) of an auto insurance policy is mandatory and establishes territorial limits. In Québec, bodily harm is covered by the public auto insurance plan that is administered by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). The SAAQ compensates all people residing in Québec for bodily harm resulting from an automobile accident, wherever they are in the world, and whoever was responsible. So if you drive to Plattsburgh to go shopping, or if you fill up the tank in Vermont and have an accident on American soil, your auto insurance will cover the damage to your vehicle according to the coverage you purchased, and the SAAQ will cover you for bodily harm. However, if you are found to be responsible for the accident, your civil liability coverage has to be enough not just to cover property damage caused to a third party, but also to cover all the physical damage to people injured in the accident, a cost that could far surpass the value of your standard civil liability. “Before leaving Québec make sure that you contact your insurance broker, who can advise you on increasing your coverage,” concludes Julie Pellerin.

Who are certified property and casualty insurance representatives? When you purchase P&C insurance products, whether it’s auto insurance, home insurance or business insurance, you can count on the advice of an agent or broker to help you choose the right coverage. These professionals work directly with you and are certified by the Autorité des marchés financiers and governed by the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages.

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Civil liability and social media

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 10 April 2012

If you think you are covered because your home insurance includes a civil liability clause for one or two million dollars, then watch out, because that might not always be enough—especially if you or your children use social media. Civil liability insurance Every citizen has the legal obligation to not cause harm to others. If, however, by negligence or lack of attention, you cause physical, material or moral damage to someone, your civil liability insurance can protect you. This coverage is generally included in home insurance contracts, up to $1 million or $2 million, depending on the coverage chosen. Think twice before you post! Your mother may have told you to think twice before you speak. The same idea can apply to social media, because there is often a very fine line between freedom of expression and defamation. You’re better off thinking twice before writing and sending your message out into cyberspace. Chirping away on Twitter does not give you the right to say any old rubbish! You could be held responsible for comments you made, or threats that your teenager posted “as a joke.” Certain preventative measures should be taken with children: you can install parental control software on the family computer or place the device in an open area. Unfortunately, your kid may find a way to get around the safeguards you put in place, or use the computer of a friend with more permissive parents, and post something on Facebook that could lead to a lawsuit. Additional coverage “The consequences of slander, derogatory comments or violations of privacy are expressly excluded from the home insurance forms suggested by the Insurance Bureau of Canada,” warns Julie Pellerin, a training provider for property and casualty insurance representatives, “so you should protect yourself against lawsuits.” If you or your child share your opinions on social media, it would be wise to discuss your situation with a representative who belongs to the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages. They will be able to offer extra civil liability insurance, also called umbrella coverage. This coverage protects you for $1 million to $5 million in the event a lawsuit is brought against you or one of your dependents. “This type of coverage also offers consumers the services of a lawyer, since the insurer has the obligation to defend the party insured with them, if the lawsuit relates to protection provided in the contract,” adds Julie Pellerin. “The cost of this insurance is minimal compared to lawyer’s fees or the compensation you would have to pay for damages.”

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Important information for insuring a syndicate of co-owners

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 06 January 2016

Insuring a syndicate of co-owners (known as a “condo corporation” outside of Québec) can be a real headache: there is so much information you need to provide. Here is an overview of the most important items. Insuring a condo building can be a real headache because it is such a complex process. Any syndicate of co-owners that wants to sign up for, renew or compare insurance coverage must work with a certified insurance professional with experience in the matter. To make certain you are obtaining the right coverage, the professional should ask the syndicate of co-owners a lot of questions. Here is an overview of the relevant documents and information for an insurance professional. First: the declaration of co-ownership When you want to insure the syndicate of co-owners, the notarized declaration of co-ownership is indispensable. Why? Because this is the document that creates the co-ownership. It includes the act constituting the co-ownership, the building’s by-laws and the description of the common areas and private areas. It can be used to determine what is necessary to cover the building, the communal property, the syndicate’s civil liability toward others, and even the civil liability of the board of directors. The declaration of co-ownership also governs the relationships between co-owners and imposes certain obligations related to preserving and protecting the property. In order to identify what coverage the syndicate might need, the insurance representative will consult the declaration of co-ownership, looking specifically for the following information: • Divided or undivided co-ownership: whether the co-ownership is divided or undivided will affect what insurance is offered, because depending on the type of co-ownership, the syndicate will have certain specific obligations, such as insuring the building at replacement cost according to the Civil Code of Québec (section 1073). • Civil liability for the syndicate of co-owners: the syndicate of co-owners is required to have this coverage as indicated in section 1073 of the Civil Code of Québec. Some declarations of co-ownership mention the minimum amount of insurance required. The professional may also need to check that the amount indicated in the declaration is still sufficient, by asking further questions to determine the appropriate coverage amount.

When can the syndicate of co-owners’ civil liability be incurred and why should insurance be purchased to protect it? In addition to the classic example of the visitor who gets hurt in the building’s parking lot because the snow was not cleared properly, it is important to remember that the syndicate of co-owners’ civil liability could also be incurred if a maintenance or supply contract is breached and the wronged parties file a lawsuit against the syndicate. If the syndicate of co-owners does not have civil liability insurance, the co-owners may have to pay.

Civil liability of the board of directors: this coverage is optional but some declarations of co-ownership require it. This insurance protects the board of directors from any financial consequences if a co-owner or a third party sues the board of directors for an error, an omission, a management offence or a bad decision. Although the Civil Code of Québec does not make it mandatory, this coverage is strongly recommended. Purpose of the co-ownership: residential, commercial or mixed-use? A mixed-use building including a bar or a restaurant in one of its commercial spaces could be exposed to noise, zoning concerns, liquor permits, etc. The insurance professional will be able to recommend the relevant coverage in these cases. Renting out residential units (condos): is it allowed and if so, what are the terms? Once again the professional will be able to advise the syndicate of co-owners on the appropriate coverage, as needed. The above list is not exhaustive. The declaration of co-ownership contains a lot of information that can help ascertain the risk and determine what other coverage to include in the insurance contract. Professional appraisal and property inventory: determining the cost of rebuilding and replacing its entire contents In order to insure the syndicate of a divided co-ownership, the value of the building and the property belonging to the co-ownership must be determined. A professional appraisal is necessary to accurately establish the building’s replacement value (the cost to rebuild). The appraiser also calculates the costs of demolition, bringing the building up to code, taxes and professional fees. Unfortunately, these related costs are often overlooked and can account for up to 20% of the reconstruction costs. The board of directors is probably not qualified to assess these amounts and the appraisal is not a service provided by insurance agents. Your best bet to get the whole truth: hire a professional appraiser. In addition, the building may have decorations in the hallways, such as paintings and furniture, a carpet in the entrance hall, and, for the grounds, tools or a lawn mower. The syndicate of co-ownership should also insure that property. The insurance representative will ask for a property inventory. To facilitate the claims process, the inventory should be kept up to date, and should indicate the exact placement of each item. A building inspection report, maintenance log and claims history complete the picture Even though the building inspection report is not required, it is very useful and therefore recommended. A bit like the inspection you get before buying a house, the condo building inspection is done by a professional and will list all of the building’s components and systems (heating system, electricity, foundation, roof, envelope, etc.), their condition and the potential repairs or corrections to be made. It also allows you to check compliance with current code (for example, is the building subject to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec standards applicable to buildings with more than five storeys?). According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, about 60% of the compensation paid to syndicates of co-owners is used to pay for water damage caused by pipe issues and water seepage. This kind of damage is often due to poor maintenance and low quality construction or repairs. Keeping an up-to-date maintenance log and setting aside sufficient resources in a contingency fund are the first steps recommended to try to reduce claims. The maintenance log allows you to see what work was carried out in the past and what needs to be done, as described in the inspection report, which will help prevent certain types of damage, such as water damage from a leaky roof or an old water heater. The contingency fund is used to pay for this work (see below for more on the contingency fund). By looking at all of this information, the insurance representative can tell if corrective measures have been put in place to reduce the risks of a claim. This information is important in insurance, because risk level is one of the factors that have an impact on the premium. To measure the risk level, the certified insurance professional will ask you for the recent claims history. It is important to be honest and not try to hide anything, at the risk of voiding your contract and seeing your claims rejected if you do experience a loss. Remember that every condo building has its own particularities. If you have any questions or would like information on a particular situation, contact the certified insurance professional responsible for your syndicate of co-owners’ insurance.

The contingency fund The contingency fund is the condo building’s “nest egg” to pay for major maintenance work such as putting on a new roof, changing the waterproofing membrane or replacing the elevator cables. Emergency repairs are also paid out of the contingency fund. And yet, in a 2015 survey by two industry associations, the Regroupement des gestionnaires et copropriétaires du Québec and the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec, 41% of respondents said that their contingency funds turned out to be insufficient when they needed to draw down on them for certain major repairs or replacement work on their building’s common areas. In 61% of those cases, a special assessment was required. Such an assessment, which is by nature unexpected, can reach astronomical heights and be a blow to a co-owner’s budget. To avoid ending up in that situation, syndicates of co-owners should protect themselves with an analysis of their contingency fund. The report submitted to the syndicate will give a complete description of the work that should be planned for the next 25 years, with an estimated budget to carry it out, so the syndicate can tell with one look how much to assess for the contingency fund. Of course, that may mean an increase in monthly charges for each co-owner, but those amounts would be planned for in the budget and they would also contribute toward maintaining and even increasing the value of the building. Last but not least, since the claim risk would go down, there may even be a positive effect on the insurance premiums.

Chambre de l’assurance de dommages

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What’s the right type of insurance for students?

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 08 September 2015


To save money, some students don’t get insurance. However, the consequences of being uninsured outweigh the cost of the right policy. Many college kids on their own for the first time have a tight budget and must choose what they spend on carefully. To save money, some students don’t get insurance. Others don’t even see a need for it. But the financial consequences of being uninsured in the event of a loss are significant and greatly outweigh the cost of insurance. All students have at least some personal property, such as a computer, clothing, maybe even a few pieces of furniture or a bike for getting around. If that property is stolen or destroyed, would they have the money to replace it? Furthermore, despite the greatest care and precautions, an accident can happen to anybody, causing damage to others (for example, you accidentally start a fire while cooking and damage a neighbour’s apartment). This is called civil liability and the amount claimed against you, if you are found responsible, can be quite large. That’s why it’s important to be insured. 2. HOME INSURANCE FOR STUDENTS Home insurance provides protection for personal property. Civil liability is usually included in home insurance contracts, covering you against damage caused unintentionally to others. Every year, young people leave their parents’ home to pursue their studies and become renters—by themselves or with roommates. Depending on their situation, students have two options for insurance: they can be insured through their parents’ policy or they can take out their own insurance. A “dependent child” who temporarily leaves the parental home to study full time at a cégep or university may be able to rely on their parents’ home insurance for property and civil liability coverage. Every insurer has their own conditions, eligibility criteria and coverage options, so check with the insurance representative to find out the scope and limitations of your parents’ insurance contract and ask for extended coverage if needed. 3. TENANT INSURANCE However, if you don’t want to use your parents’ policy, or if you want to sign up for a policy in your own name for any other reason, you can look for tenant insurance to cover your property and civil liability. An insurance agent or broker will be able to recommend the appropriate coverage based on your needs, including the need to spend as little as possible to cover everything. 4. WHAT IF YOU HAVE ROOMMATES? If your roommates aren’t on their parents’ insurance, some insurers will agree to add one or more roommates to the same insurance contract. 5. HOW ABOUT CAR INSURANCE? Auto insurance has its own specificities, so head over to http://www.infoinsurance.ca/en/vehicle/automobile/insuring/choosing-insurance/ for answers to many common questions. In Québec, civil liability (Chapter A) is the only auto insurance that is mandatory. Chapter B (damage to insured vehicles) includes several protections covering damage to your own vehicle. Note that before you borrow your parents’ car, you have to inform your insurer to make certain it is properly covered. Otherwise, if you have an accident the bill may be hefty or compensation may even be refused.

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Ready for a condo?

By: Insurance Bureau of Canada, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 11 February 2016

Owning a condo gives you certain rights—and certain responsibilities. Make sure you know before you buy. Yes! You are about to buy your first condo! This is just the kind of home you are looking for: you own without the hassle of maintaining the place, and the price is more affordable than a house…or is it? It’s an attractive picture, but it’s not the whole picture. Becoming a co-owner also means getting involved in how the property is managed to ensure the buildingand your own condois well maintained and does not lose value. Make sure you’re fully insured Rights and responsibilities: here is one of the latter. You must carefully read the declaration of co-ownership. Each condo building has its own rules and you may have to sign up for certain insurance coverage as specified in the declaration of co-ownership. Two insurance policies are necessary to protect your condo: Your own policy, which covers: • your property • your civil liability • improvements made to your condo since its construction The syndicate of co-owners’ policy, which covers: • communal areas • the portion of the building included in each condo • civil liability for the syndicate and its board of directors • a “replacement value” clause for the building Recurring fees In addition to the purchase price, you also need to pay attention to the condo fees. Fees go toward regular maintenance of the building, paying for insurance, taxes, etc. It is also important to have a contingency fund, which acts as a “cushion” for major work that will need to be done (such as a new roof) or for emergency repairs. If the condo fees are appropriately set and the contingency fund has enough money in it, your investment will not lose value due to poor maintenance. To learn more about condo insurance, visit infoinsurance.ca.

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Not responsible? Ask for a refund of your deductible!

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 22 May 2012

You are celebrating your fifth anniversary with a romantic evening in front of the living room fire. Before you know what’s happening, however, the flames have spread into the room, are out of control and your house is on fire. Your insurer compensates you according to the clauses in your home insurance policy, apart from the deductible, which you paid. After an investigation, the claims adjuster sent by your insurance company to manage your claim determines that your indoor fireplace had not been safely installed. The fireplace installer’s insurance company accepts that their client was responsible and reimburses your insurance company for the payments made. Knowing that the fireplace installer is considered responsible for the damages you suffered, can you ask for a refund of the deductible that you had to pay? Until very recently, claims adjusters usually attempted to claim reimbursement of the deductible in the name of the policyholder when it was proven that a third party was responsible for the damage. They did this in good faith, intending to assist their clients. But this practicean act of subrogation, in legal languagedoes not comply with the claims adjusters’ code of ethics or the laws regarding the Québec Bar. The nub of the matter is that a claims adjuster cannot represent the insurance company and the insured person at the same time, and neither can they send a formal request on behalf of another person. “But we don’t just abandon the client,” specifies Carole Chauvin, an agent at the Chambre de l’assurance de dommage (ChAD) and member of the sub-committee on subrogation and claims adjusters. She continues, “The ChAD has prepared a model letter that claims adjusters can refer their clients to.” How do you get your deductible refunded? The claims adjuster will give you the model letter and will go over it with you to make sure you understand it. If you have suffered other damages that have not been compensated by the insurer, such as trouble and inconvenience, you can adapt the letter accordingly to also claim reimbursement for these additional damages. The claims adjuster is authorized to give you the details of the third party or their insurer, but they should not write or send the formal request, or handle the response: you have to do that yourself. If you do not feel comfortable with this process, the claims adjuster will recommend that you speak to a lawyer. Carole Chauvin also recommends cc’ing your claims adjuster, so they will be able to follow the case in detail. The claims adjuster not only has the right, but also the obligation to explain to you that the formal request must be sent within an appropriate timeframe. They will inform you of the window of time that you have to file your claim and, if you do not receive a response within the period specified in the letter, the possibility of consulting with a lawyer or professional services providing assistance and legal protection in order to assess your rights. Download the model letter at ChAD.ca.

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Renting your home can be a great idea, but watch out for these risks!

By: Insurance Bureau of Canada, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 19 June 2015


With the summer season coming up, many people will be lending or renting out their homes. Just remember: it’s important to contact your insurer before leaving your keys with strangers. While most insurance policies cover the use of the insured residence by relatives or friends from time to time, the insurer must be informed if the residence is rented to third parties. The insurer can then decide whether or not to cover the property, and under what terms. Vacation home swaps and rentals have become popular in recent years. While these options allow people to travel more affordably, or make a little money, they’re not without risk. The media regularly publish stories about the horrible experiences of homeowners who were not adequately insured when they rented out their homes. So before you give it a try, we strongly recommend calling your insurance representative. It is important to review your insurance contract to make sure your property inventory is up to date and to ask questions to see if you have enough insurance to meet your needs. This advice is especially relevant as summer vacations approach and many travellers are preparing to rent a home or car during their trip. Getting paid for rides? You need to tell your insurer You may also be tempted to give rides—for a fee—using your own car during the tourist season. If you want to transport passengers in your vehicle in exchange for remuneration, you absolutely must contact your insurer first, to find out if they agree to cover you. Remember that the basic auto insurance contract excludes that type of activity. Questions? Visit our website at infoinsurance.ca or contact one of our agents at the Insurance Information Centre at 514-288-4321 (in the Montréal area) or 1-877-288-4321.

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Insuring your recreational vehicle

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 04 May 2015

Every season has its recreational vehicle in Québec. Here is some info to make sure you get adequate coverage so you can enjoy them to the full. Every season has its recreational vehicle in Québec: winter’s snowmobile trails become ATV trails in warmer weather. Here is some info to make sure you get adequate coverage so you can enjoy them to the full. What is a recreational vehicle? Recreational vehicles include snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, pocket bikes, etc. Check with your insurer to see how they define recreational vehicles. Motorhomes, pop-up trailers and motorcycles are sometimes considered recreational or leisure vehicles. Insuring your recreational vehicle The law requires all owners of vehicles on Québec roads to have civil liability insurance. That is the only insurance that is mandatory. Other coverage is available and will vary with the type of recreational vehicle, its value and how you use it. It is important to describe clearly how you use the vehicle to your insurance representative, in particular if you plan to: • use your vehicle on trails or public roads • use a pop-up trailer as a seasonal home, for example at a campsite, or regularly change location • compete with your vehicle • store your vehicle during certain periods • stay in Québec, travel around Canada or the United States or travel somewhere else in the world. For example, if you plan to travel in the US with your recreational vehicle, take the time to check that your policy will cover you there and what conditions apply. Also make sure to tell your insurance representative how long and how often you plan to do so. It is also good to check if you need additional coverage against bodily injury to yourself or others. Additional coverage may actually be necessary even if you only use your recreational vehicle on private property. For example, if your passenger is injured while you are driving your ATV on your own property. If you plan to drive a long distance with your motorhome or motorcycle, ask your insurance representative if your contract includes roadside assistance or how to get a replacement vehicle if yours breaks down or is stolen. How is the premium calculated? There are a number of factors that go into determining the premium, including the age and model of the vehicle, how and where it will be used, and the driver’s profile: age, gender, claims history and driving record. The coverage you select and the deductible are also taken into account when setting the price. Ask around at different clubs in your area. In addition to advice on using your recreational vehicle, they also sometimes offer discounts on specialized insurance products. Note that many insurers provide discounts when you bundle multiple policies together, and recreational vehicles may be considered for this type of discount. Better informed, better insured Before choosing any coverage, ask your insurance representative about any limits or exclusions to the contract. These professionals are specialists and they will be able to answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision.

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Insurance quiz: fact or myth?

By: Chambre de l’assurance de dommages, partner of Protégez-Vous.ca

Published: 26 January 2016


Some insurance myths die hard. Test yourself with this quiz. • Is it true that my car insurance will cost more if I buy a red car? Myth. The rationale behind the cost of an insurance policy is spreading of risks. “If an insurance company records more accidents with a particular model of car, it is quite possible that the cost of a policy to insure that type of car would be more expensive,” says Michel Archambault, professor at Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. The primary criteria for determining auto insurance rates are: marital status, age, gender, type of vehicle, place of residence, how the vehicle will be used, your driving and claims records and of course the type of coverage desired. That said, the industry does not take the colour of your car into account, whether it’s red, blue, striped or plaid. But rates do vary between insurance companies, so shop around. Does the floor you live on affect the cost of your home insurance? Myth. Many factors influence the price of a home insurance policy. If you own your property, the insurer will consider whether the home is a single-family home, an apartment or a multi-unit building. They will also consider its location, size, age, construction materials, heating system and distance from a fire hydrant. And of course the value of the home will also be taken into account. However, if you rent, the floor you live on has zero impact on your tenant insurance premium. • If my neighbour’s house is broken into, will my home insurance go up? Myth. It’s a myth that your premium will increase if your neighbour’s house is robbed. However, your premium could go up if there are repeated robberies in your neighbourhood. Your insurer may even decide not to insure you anymore if they consider the risk too high. • An above-ground pool isn’t covered by home insurance, but an inground pool is, right? Part fact, part myth: it’s all in the details. To protect either type of pool, you need to add an endorsement to your standard contract that will override exclusion 15 of the home insurance policy, which stipulates that your contract does not cover “damage caused to pools, hot tubs, outdoor saunas or their equipment.” However, there are some nuances. The above-ground pool endorsement will cover damage caused to the pool walls and liner. But ask your insurance representative about the depreciation rate, because after several years the pool’s value may not warrant the cost of the endorsement. An inground pool, on the other hand, is considered in the cost of rebuilding your home. So when you sign up for home insurance, the cost of your pool is included in the value of your home. For example, if you have insured your house for $200,000 and you put in a pool, you need to call your insurance representative to increase your insurance to include the value of the pool. With either type of pool, the water damage it could cause if it were to break would be covered in your standard policy, but not any damage caused by freezing or thawing. • My luggage is covered by my home insurance policy. Fact. Your home insurance covers you against theft of any property you are carrying with you, for example luggage or the camera you left in your car, as long as you have signed up for coverage against theft. Check with your representative to see if there is a coverage limit. Some standard policies cap the indemnity at 10% of the total insured amount of your movable property. For example, if your movable property is insured up to $25,000, your belongings will be covered up to $2,500 in the event of damage or theft outside your home.

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