A properly designed home insurance policy is amazingly versatile, offering great bang for the buck in terms of protection. Many don’t realize the exact scope of their coverage, which means those same people may fail to take advantage of the many options provided. Keep these situations in mind as a small cross-section of the many different ways your home insurance can come in handy.
1. Dog Bites
Owning a dog carries a lot of responsibility. Their health and well-being is up to us, as is their behaviour. No matter how much time and effort you put into training your dog, they can still act out unexpectedly.
According to the Globe and Mail, each year an estimated 500,000 dog bites are recorded across Canada, and the majority of victims are children under 10 years of age. This is due to the unpredictability of kids, which can confuse or agitate even the best-behaved canine. Be very aware when your dog is around small children.
If your dog happens to bite someone, your home or renters insurance will cover for liability legal expenses up until the limits of your policy. In some provinces, insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own what has been determined to be a dangerous breed. In Ontario, pit bulls have been banned, and ownership of one could nullify your insurance coverage. Most insurers will not ask the breed of your dog when writing or renewing your coverage, but it is your obligation to let them know you are an owner. If your dog attacks and bites someone, it is likely you will see a rise in your insurance rates as a result.
2. Contents of Your Vehicle
Many mistakenly believe that the contents of your vehicle are covered under their auto insurance policy, but they are actually covered by your home insurance. If your car is broken into, any loss of valuables will need to be claimed under your home or renters insurance policy.
Some tips for keeping your car from being broken into include:
- Park in well-lit areas. Avoid parking in remote places and unsupervised lots whenever possible.
- Always lock your vehicle after parking, even if you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes.
- Never leave valuables in sight when you park your car.
- Consider investing in an anti-theft device.
- Close your windows all the way, and make sure your sunroof is fully sealed before you walk away.
- Keep your vehicle clean and well-maintained. Thieves are more likely to assume that a cared-for vehicle has some kind of anti-theft system in place.
3. Things Falling From the Sky
Some may remember the strange story recently in Calgary of large blocks of ice falling from the sky into a local backyard. The theory is that the ice came from a passing aircraft, and luckily in that case there was no property damage.
Most home insurance policies have an “open peril” section that would cover for a situation like this. It is a phenomenon that is no fault of your own in the same vein as a lightning strike.
4. Power Outages
After a prolonged blackout the result may be hundreds of dollars of spoiled food. This loss could be covered under your home insurance policy, but some may stipulate that the outage must have been caused by a covered loss, such as a tree falling onto power lines.
The grave markers of your loved ones are considered part of your personal property. As such, if they are damaged or vandalized their repair should be covered under your home insurance policy. They are subject to special limits, however, so ensure to speak to your provider to make sure their worth is properly represented. If not, raise the special limit accordingly.
6. Dorm Room Belongings
If you’re a college or university student living in a dorm, or if you’re the parent of a student who lives in a dorm, you should know that a home insurance policy covers dependents (i.e. children) from property damage and theft, even if they live elsewhere. However, you should be aware that such coverage generally will not extend to digital assets, so if you have a valuable iTunes collection or have paid for an impressive library of movies or TV shows, you should always back these up to ensure they’re protected from loss.
Lane’s Insurance Keeps all Your Loved Ones Safe
Our experienced brokers at Lane’s Insurance work with the best insurance companies to provide unmatched benefits for our clients. Contact us to discuss all aspects of your home insurance policy in Alberta.