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Home Insurance Misconceptions

Many people aren’t aware of these home insurance misconceptions. Did you know some things are not covered on your home insurance?

Here are a few exclusions every homeowner should know:

30-day vacancy rule
Snowbirds beware. Your home can only be vacant for 30 days without notifying your insurance company. After that, technically the homeowner coverage is void. If say your pipes burst from the cold, the damage may not be covered if the home was unoccupied. Don’t confuse vacant and unoccupied. let your insurance agent know if you plan on being away for more than a month.

Antiques & Jewellery
Home insurance only covers for the theft or loss of precious jewelry up to a “sub-limit” that could end up vastly undervaluing your precious items. It’s recommended you get fine jewelry and antiques appraised and purchase an extension to the policy. You will probably have to provide supporting documentation such as photographs to prove the worth of their high-valued possessions.

Sewer backups not covered by basic policies
People are often surprised to learn that a sewer backup isn’t included in their basic policy, but only through a specific policy extension. Up until a few years ago, sewer backups were a part of many basic policies. Some areas in Windsor and Essex County are considered high risk flood zones and additional policy riders are not even available.

Maintenance exclusions
Poor upkeep of property can be grounds for denying a claim. If you have cracks in your foundation, according to the insurance company, your home is not maintained properly. If water seeps into your foundation, it may not be covered.

If you have a hole in your roof, you can’t make a claim for damage to your ceilings and walls. Keeping damage from happening is a homeowner’s responsibility.

Upgrades could affect policy
If you’re adding an addition or special features, such as a grant countertop, you’re adding value to your home. You need to let your insurance company know so they can assess your home value and replacement costs. Don’t wait until there’s a tragic event to notify them.

Extensive alternations can also change the policy classification, bumping up the replacement cost of your home, thereby bumping up your premiums.

Anyone with questions can also consult the Insurance Bureau of Canada (http://www.ibc.ca/on/) or contact their insurance agent.

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