Home Insurance

Below we have listed some of the general questions that people ask about home insurance. We invite you to read through this helpful information, but more importantly, give us a call and we'll answer any question that you may have.

How do I avoid coverage surprise on my home policy?

You might think you're covered when you're really not. Some policies only cover what they have listed in print. This is generally referred to as a "standard policy". "Broad policies" refer to policies that cover a broader range of risks, however, unlike standard policies they list what is not covered. Finally, a "comprehensive policy" covers all risks, yet still may have other exclusions. Confused?

At Hunt & Dopson, we'll take you through all the possible variations until you know exactly what's covered and what's not. We're experts at unraveling the fine points in insurance and financial policies. When you work with us, you'll be advised on the best options available to you. Your insurance broker should custom tailor your policy to fit your specific lifestyles and needs. If you're unclear in any way about your situation, call Hunt & Dopson. You'll get the answers you need.

What about additional or extended insurance?

All homeowner policies have exclusions or limitations like jewellery... Our job is to help you identify these items and find reasonably priced supplementary protection... For example, if we have a heavy downpour that causes the storm sewers to back-up, flooding your basement and damaging your rugs and furniture, you may be surprised to find out that your policy excludes this coverage entirely. Our professional sales team advises you about these potential pitfalls and will recommend ways to avoid "coverage surprise."

What's not covered in my home insurance policy?

All policies have common exclusions and limitations such as war, nuclear hazard, and wilful damage (to name a few). However the cheaper policies usually have more exclusions and will limit or cut coverage in areas where a loss is most likely to occur. A common exclusion on a cheaper policy would be to exclude electrical power surge to computers and appliances or limit jewellery coverage to $2,000 and cash to $200. A better policy will provide $6,000 for jewellery, $500 for cash, and include power surge. Call one of our professional sales staff for more information on exclusions and limitations.

Is there optional coverage that includes risks not normally found on a policy?

Yes. For instance, if you live in an earthquake zone you should have coverage. But don't necessarily assume that you do. Unless it is specified directly or your broker or an insurance representative has stipulated that this is the case, you may not have the protection you need. As your insurance broker, we make sure that we ask the questions you might not ask, so you'll always know where you stand.

Are there risks or hazards to my home that can't be covered?

No policy can cover every possibility. The cost would be too prohibitive. Flooding in a floodplain region for instance, generally can't be covered because in certain situations or geographic locations such damage is inevitable. The challenge is to find the most appropriate coverage that suits you.

For example, if you live in Southern Ontario, you shouldn't be paying for avalanche insurance. This might sound extreme, but many people are paying for coverage that they don't need. With Hunt & Dopson, we'll make sure you'll only be paying for what you need.

Take Inventory of your possessions now, to reduce stress later

Most people take things for granted. Over the years, experience has shown that after an unfortunate event, like a fire, it can be difficult and stressful to remember all your possessions, let alone put a value on them.

Completing these inventory sheets and keeping them updated will help you maintain a record of your belongings and their value. This inventory will also provide a check to ensure that currently you have the appropriate amount of coverage.

Tips for completing the inventory sheets and other suggestions:

  • Take pictures or video footage of the belongings in the each room.
  • Keep any bills, receipts, warranties, product manuals; they can serve as proof of ownership.
  • Retain this information along with updated inventory sheets in a safe place like a fireproof box, a safety deposit box, with a friend, or even at your desk at work.
  • Be sure to update your inventory lists from time to time.

You may also want to make photocopies of important documents and store these copies with this inventory, examples are:

    • Personal - Birth certificates, passports, insurance certificates, credit card numbers, will
    • Finance - Bank Account numbers, stocks and bonds certificates, RRSP documents.
    • Home - Deed, Title, Insurance policy, lease.
    • Tax - Copies of tax returns for the past 6 years, documents, receipts, etc.

    Most policies limit the amount of reimbursement for theft of valuable items such as Jewellery, Artwork, Furs, Coins, and Silverware. Your inventory might reveal that you need additional insurance to properly cover these items.