Coverage for all Types of Homes
Depending on where you live – a house, apartment or condominium – the right home or tenant insurance policy can provide you with peace of mind through the knowledge that should anything happen to your property, you will have the means necessary for repairs to or replacement of your belongings. And in the unfortunate event of an accident on your property, home insurance will also cover you if someone is injured and wishes to find you liable for reparations.
What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Their Insurance
Home insurance in Alberta carries seven major areas of coverage.
Coverage A: Dwelling and Building
Under most home insurance policies, in the case of a catastrophic loss such as a fire, dwellings are covered for their replacement cost. It is always important to remember that replacement cost is not the same as market value. Replacement costs reflects what it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch to the same level of habitability as before, and market value refers to what you could actually sell your home for. In strong real estate markets like Calgary, quite often the replacement cost of a home is less than its market value.
Municipal property assessments are also not necessarily a reliable indicator of the replacement cost of a home. They are often not updated yearly, and do not necessarily take into account any improvements you may have made to your home or property (unless the work was required a city permit to complete).
Working with an experienced broker is critical in determining the correct limits of insurance. The account managers at Lane’s have the tools and experience necessary to guide you through the process of choosing your coverage. We have specialized software to estimate the appropriate replacement cost of your home while ensuring adequate limits in the event of a loss.
Coverage B: Detached Private Structures
The detached private structures section of your home insurance policy covers outbuildings such as a detached garage, pool house or shed. It is very common for homeowners policies to assign an initial replacement cost percentage ranging from only 10 to 20 percent for detached structures, so ensure you discuss with your insurance company or broker whether you require added coverage.
Your Alberta home insurance policy also provides built-in protection for landscaping elements like shrubs, trees, hedges and gardens, as long as damage to these elements was caused by named perils in your policy. Common examples of perils include fire, vandalism and extreme weather. Of course, it is your responsibility to keep your trees and shrubs maintained properly, as if a limb from your tree falls and damages your neighbour’s property, you could be liable. It is always a good idea to be proactive about preventing such events.
Coverage C: Personal Property*
The contents of your home are also included in your home insurance policy. Most all risk policies derive the insurance amount for belonging as 70 to 90 percent of the replacement cost of the building. Recommended policies provide replacement cost coverage for your belongings, which means if they are damaged or stolen they will be replaced with new comparable items. It is imperative to know the difference between replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage, which refers to the current market value of items in your home. It is calculated by taking the item’s original purchase price, then factoring in any subsequent appreciation or depreciation.
You should also be sure you are aware of any limits your policy may have with regards to items of potential high value. If you own expensive jewellery, sports equipment, a collection, and so on, we always advocate scheduling the items with special limits on your policy.
The great thing about home insurance is that your stuff is covered anywhere you are. So if your car gets broken in to, or your professional camera equipment is stolen from your luggage, you can take comfort in the knowledge that you will be covered.
Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses and Fair Rental Value*
Our expert insurance brokers at Lane’s always perform a comprehensive review of the construction details of each of our policy holders’ homes to determine the correct amount of insurance coverage. Our top priority is to ensure your coverage is adequate to cover your home and everything in it should an unfortunate incident occur.
Another excellent aspect of home insurance coverage is that if your residence becomes uninhabitable following a covered loss, your policy will cover any additional living expenses you incur – such as for a hotel room or a rental home – while repairs are being carried out. Home insurance guarantees a roof over your head at all times.
Coverage E: Legal Liability*
This part of the home insurance policy covers you for bodily injury or property damages that a third party may suffer as a result of your negligence. The amount of the liability is the amount covered up to the limit of your policy in the event of legal proceedings brought against you.
With lawsuits continually on the rise a higher limit of liability is always recommended, or consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy. This coverage protects you anywhere in the world while acting as a private citizen.
Coverage F: Voluntary Medical Payment*
Everyone knows that accidents often happen at home, and your home insurance policy also provides coverage for your medical expenses for minor incidents that occur on your property involving a visitor. If a guest slips and hurts him or herself in your home, your home insurance will ensure the victim receives proper care and medical attention until they are recovered. You can make a claim under this coverage even if you are not liable for the event. Each policy designates a different maximum amount payable by the insurer, so speak with your account representative at Lane’s to confirm yours is high enough.
Coverage G: Voluntary Payment for Property Damage*
This section of your home insurance policy covers you for accidental material damages to the property of others, with the stipulation that they resulted from your personal activities or occurred on your insured premises.
Just as with Coverage F, even if you are not liable for the incident, you can make a claim under this coverage. Again, each policy is subject to a maximum amount payable by the insurer, which can vary from one company to another.
High Value Homes
Lane’s Insurance works with a number of providers with specific insurance programs specially tailored for homeowners and condominium unit owners in higher-valued properties who want and need special coverage. Designed to reflect your lifestyle and the way you live, these programs offer superior protection, enriched coverage and exclusive and innovative value-added elements specifically designed for those individuals and families in pursuit of security and unparalleled peace of mind.
Keep Your Insurance Company up to Date
It is essential to keep your insurance company up to date on anything happening with your property. Perform annual reviews of your house, land, outbuildings and belongings to guarantee your coverage accurately reflects your situation.
At Lane’s, you will be partnered with a specialist who will be your personal contact for all things insurance. Even though we may not be your provider, we are always your source for good information, and no obligation quotes.