Home insurance FAQs

Get answers to your home insurance questions from our FAQs

What perils aren’t covered by comprehensive home insurance?

Water damage, flooding, and earthquakes usually aren’t covered by a comprehensive policy. If you live in an area prone to extreme weather or unstable geological conditions, ask your provider if you should top up your comprehensive plan with additional coverage.

For example, some providers offer special earthquake insurance for properties in areas susceptible to potentially dangerous geological activity. Premiums can be high and deductibles even higher, sometimes equalling 10% of the total damages, but at least you’ll be covered.

What's the difference between the market value of my home versus the replacement cost quoted by my insurance company?  

A home’s market value is the price the home would sell for on the market. The list price covers the value of both the building itself and the land that the building sits on. Unlike in the marketplace, the replacement cost doesn’t factor in the value of the land; it’s based on the cost of replacing the structure alone.

Does a tenant require home insurance?

As a renter, it’s up to you. When you rent a property, your landlord or property management company usually covers certain damages, like broken appliances and building repairs. But if you want to protect your personal possessions, you need to buy insurance.

In the event of a robbery, what should I do?

Report the incident to the police immediately. You need to have a police report to file a robbery claim. Next, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible; they’re available 24 hours a day.

Your insurer will ask you to provide a record of all your stolen items. That’s why it’s important to use photos and receipts to compile an inventory of the items you’re insuring.

Can I use my own contractor?

If damages to your house are covered by your insurance policy, you should hire a contractor who’s been approved by your insurer.

Most insurers have a list of approved contractors who specialize in certain areas of home renovation and who likely have a track record of high quality work. Not only will they get your repairs done, they’ll also be accountable to the insurance company.

Your insurer’s recommended contractors won’t always be the cheapest option, but repairs usually get done quickly and your benefits typically get paid without delay.

Will adding a pool — or even a pond — increase my home insurance premium?

It very well may. In general, insurers have misgivings about home pools and water features — the probability of injuries, or even trespassers, increases with their presence, and that in turn could hike your premium. In some instances, insurers may even decline an application if a home has a private pool. However, plenty of residences have pools, and the right amount of insurance to boot. It’s best to talk to a broker, who can offer you a quote based on the specifics of your situation.