February 1, 2013
(Vancouver, BC): If you’re like most Canadians, you buy insurance to protect your home. After all, your home is likely your biggest asset. With home show season upon us and spring just around the corner, you might be thinking about renovating your home. Vancouver-based home insurance provider, Square One Insurance, warns that even the smallest renovation could affect the coverage provided by your home insurance policy.
“Insurance protects homeowners against a wide range of losses,” states Daniel Mirkovic, President of Square One Insurance. “But all policies have provisions that may limit the coverage you receive. To ensure you are properly protected, you should notify your insurance provider of even the smallest renovation to your home.”
Square One Insurance advises homeowners contemplating renovations that most policies require that you notify your home insurance provider immediately of any renovation costing more than $5,000. If you fail to do so, you will no longer qualify for the “guaranteed building replacement cost” coverage included in most policies. This critical coverage guarantees that your home will be rebuilt even if it costs more than the limit of insurance on your policy.
Owners of condos should be aware that while condo corporations are responsible for buying insurance on the condo building, unit owners are responsible to insure the cost of any improvements that have been made to their units. According to Square One Insurance, it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to insure any improvements. Condo owners can contact their insurance providers to add “building improvements” coverage to their condo insurance policies.
Wondering what happens if you’re not satisfied with the work completed by the contractor you hired? Worse yet, what if the contractor accidentally puts a screw in a pipe that causes water damage to your home or belongings? While your policy won’t cover costs to correct faulty design, material or workmanship, it may cover the water damage caused by the contractor. To be as protected as possible, make sure the contractor has proper licenses, solid references and both workers’ compensation and commercial general liability insurance coverage.
If you plan on doing the renovations yourself and you have a comprehensive home insurance policy, your policy should also cover any damage that you may accidentally cause to your own home or belongings, or to those of your neighbours. For example, if you live in a condo and you’re the one who accidentally puts a screw in a pipe that causes damage to the units beneath you, your personal liability coverage should pay for any resulting damage to your neighbours’ property.
For more information on how renovations may affect your home insurance coverage, speak with one of Square One Insurance’s licensed agents or visit www.squareoneinsurance.ca.
-30-Established in 2011 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Square One Insurance offers the only à-la-carte home insurance policy in Canada. That means you only pay for the protection you need. Square One Insurance is also one of the few providers to automatically include earthquake and broad water protection in its policy. No paying extra. For more information about Square One, or to get an online quote, visit www.squareoneinsurance.ca. For more information, please contact: