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Q1. Why should I use an insurance broker?

An insurance broker will do the work for you. They can shop your insurance out with multiple carriers to get you the best coverage at the best rate.

Q2. What is an insurance binder?

An insurance binder is proof of insurance. Since insurance companies typically take some time to issue a policy, your insurance broker will issue an insurance binder as proof of coverage in the meantime for your lender.

Q3. How much home insurance do I need?

For your house, you’ll need to ensure you have enough coverage to rebuild your entire house in the event of a total loss. Insurance for things like your personal property, any outbuildings, and additional living expenses should be included in your policy but it’s always best to ensure those included limits are adequate.

Q4. Do I need earthquake insurance?

Earthquake is a tough subject. In recent years, there hasn’t been a substantial earthquake event that has caused mass damage. But experts tend to agree that the next ‘big one’ is coming – It’s just a matter of time. It’s best to get a quote for earthquake insurance and decide if you’d like that on your policy.

Q5. What is the difference between homeowner insurance and tenant insurance?

Homeowners insurance will cover the building as well as your personal contents whereas tenant insurance will only cover your personal contents.

Q6. I am buying a strata property, do I need insurance?

Yes. Your strata will most likely cover any buildings or structures, however, they likely won’t include any coverage for your personal property. Should be responsible for a loss to Strata property, you may also be liable to pay for their deductible as well, this is another big coverage to insure for.

Q7. How do I value my personal property?

Most insurance companies will pay for the replacement of your personal property. It’s best to take a tally of your property along with its replacement value. Most insurance companies will also sub-limit certain categories of personal property – Jewelry, bicycles, cash, and collections are typical ones. Check with your provider to ensure you have enough coverage.

Q8. What does a standard or typical insurance policy cover?

A standard policy is issued on an ‘All Risks’ Basis meaning that they cover all physical losses except for what’s specifically included. This essentially means that most perils are covered. Included typically are fire, theft, vandalism, windstorm, falling trees, and water damage. Check your policy to make sure all of the perils you need coverage for are included.

Q9. Do I need flood insurance?

Yes. Even if you live in a higher-up area, there is the potential for rainwater to enter your house from the surface of the ground. Flood insurance will typically include this as well.

Q10. Do I need personal liability insurance?

Yes. Lawsuits are costly and a lot of people cannot afford lawyers to defend them. Most insurers will include liability insurance as a part of your homeowner, condo owner, or tenant insurance policy.

Q11. How can I reduce my insurance premiums?

Discounts are available based on your claim history, age, whether you have an alarm system in your house, your credit history (If you consent to provide them with this information), and whether or not you have a mortgage in place.

Q12. Is the policy based on assessed value or fair market value?

Your policy should be based on replacement value or more accurately, the value it would cost to rebuild your house or replace your personal property. Assessed values or fair market values typically don’t have a bearing on insurance.

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