If you’re applying for Home Insurance, you might want to factorin some conditions so it can provide coverage for any changing situation:
Work from Home
Even before the pandemic forced us to login to our workspace from our private homes, many Canadians had already adapted to the situation. If you are working from home, you should know that the equipment provided by your employer is generally covered by your employer. If you’re working with equipment that you have bought, even then the insurance policy provided by your employer will cover a basic amount. EG: at iA Auto and Home Insurance the coverage amount is $2000. Also, since you’re working from home, you might want to consider taking your vehicle out for a drive now and then. This is to ensure that keeps running smoothly when you really need to use it.
School at home
Virtual classes have become the norm nowadays and if you’re one of the students who’s attending school from home then you might need some new equipment such as a computer and monitors. This equipment will also be covered under Home Insurance and the maximum value would be provided.
And Finally, Renovations
If you’ve carried out some major renovations for your property, you should make sure that the improvement costs are adequate in your policy. When we mean is, if you have used high-quality materials to renovate your home, then the costs would be high and that’s why you should make sure that the rebuilding cost in your policy is sufficient to cover that cost. You might have more queries about Home Insurance and we ask you to contact an advisor to resolve them.
Safety measures to prevent fire from hot ashes
As per a statement made by the Quebec ministry of public safety (ministère de la SécuritéPublique), on average, 140 building fires are cur to improper storage of hot ashes. These fires could’ve been prevented by taking certain precautions. To ensure that this does not happen with your property, here are some safety measures that can help you prevent hot ash fires.
You should always place the hot ashes in a metal container with a double bottom with the help of a shovel. The container should have a metal lid to prevent the ashes from blowing away.
As hot ashes give off Carbon Monoxide, the container should be store outdoors
You should ensure that the container is not stored on a combustible surface even if it is covered by snow. The ashes stay hot for a long while and a fire can break out in this manner
Always place the container at least one metre from hedges, fencing, carport and buildings. This is done to avoid any risk of fire.
The ashes can stay hot for as long as a week, so you should leave them in the container for at least 7 days and ensure they have completely cooled off before disposing of them.
You can check with your municipality to learn more on how to safely dispose of hot ash. In the meantime, you can follow these safety measures.
To find out more about wood-fire heating, click on this link on everything you need to know about wood heating.
Prepare your property for the coming winter
During the cold months, your home may suffer damage due to the bad weather. Strong winds and snowstorms can leave your property in disarray. That’s why you must take all the necessary precautions to prevent any type of damage and leave nothing to chance.
Check the exterior foundation
Inspecting the exterior foundation of your property is a good start to ensure that your home is in a good condition. You should check for cracks and if you do find any, seal them immediately to prevent water and frost damage to the foundation.
Make sure the pipes don’t freeze
Make a note in your daily timetable that you have to empty your hoses and store them in a dry place before the frost sets in. It is very important to do this so you don’t have to pay for frost damage repairs for your plumbing.
Clear the guttering
If there’s any type of blockage in your gutters, whether it’s because of debris or leaves, you should clear them off so the water can flow without any issues. Blocked gutters can result in water damage to your home. Also, make sure the gutters are anchored so they don’t become loose and cause damage.
Set aside your BBQ and the propane tank for the summer
You should store your BBQ propane tank outside in an upright position and also turn off the valve. If you do plan to use your BBQ in the winter, keep the entire set-up a reasonable distance away from your home. You can read this article for more information on How to properly winterize your BBQ.
Prune the trees of your property
Check the health of the trees around and on your property. If the branches look unhealthy then prune them so they do not fall and cause damage due to snow or strong winds.
Repair your temporary garage
If you have a temporary garage, a fall is a good time to repair any damages. If you don’t have one, then you should install this temporary structure at this time. You can anchor it to the ground so it can withstand the strong winds during the cold months. For the canvas, you should wait till the first snowfall to install it. You should clear the snow throughout the winter to prevent it from collapsing and also do a regular check on the tension of the canvas, the nuts and the anchors.
Winterize the pool
Closing your pool for the winter is a good way to prevent cracks, breakage or any type of damage to it. Consult a professional and get this done without any hassle.
Worried you may forget something? Here’s a handy checklist made just for you that can be downloaded. You can always go back to this list and check to ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything.
8 helpful fall outdoor cleaning tips for you
Combined with torrential rains and frequent snowstorms when the temperature decreases to extreme lows, winters in North America can be very harsh, and the weather can take a severe toll on your home. However, if you do a complete fall cleaning, ensuring that every part of your property is ready for the cold months, can help in maximizing insulation from the cold and also prevent any type of damage that can potentially lead to water infiltration. Here’s a checklist for you so you can don’t miss anything during a fall cleaning
Maintenance check for all doors and windows
Clearing the doors and windows from all the dirt and debris can increase their longevity. You should also check for cracks and ensure all the joints are sealed. If they are not, apply caulking and seal them. Consider weather-stripping, it can keep your home better insulated from low chilling temperatures and save you money on heating bills. If you want more tips on how to lower your electricity bills during the winter, click here. Make sure you clear all the leaves from window wells to drain water from the melting snow that can cause water damage. And last of all, clear snow from your basement windows to prevent water damage from the melting snow.
Keep your chimney clean
If you have a fireplace, it’s your responsibility to get the chimney inspected and cleaned during the fall. By doing this, you can reduce the risk of fire. Read our article on what you need to know about wood heating for more info on how to use this method.
Clear your guttering system
Remove all leaves and any kind of debris to prevent clogging in your gutters. If they are clogged, it may result in water damage to your home’s roof as well as siding and wood trim. Also, see to it that your gutters are anchored properly to withstand the weight of the snow. If it is not, it can collapse causing more damage to your home.
Take care of your watering systems
The pipes that lead outside are not always well-insulated as those on the inside. That is why you should disconnect them and store your watering systems. Shut off the hose and drain them properly. If they have too much water left in them during cold periods, the pipes may burst.
Check the roof, walls, foundations and joints of your property
Before the start of winter, take one Sunday and inspect the exterior of your home. You should pay attention to the walls, the visible part of the foundation, the roof of the property and check for cracks or any type of damage. Water can sip in even through the smallest of cracks and gaps and therefore they must be sealed. When the winter sets in, you should remove icicles from the edge of the roof as their weight can cause damage to the roof. If you remove the snow before it melts, you can prevent the icicles from forming and thereby prevent ice build-up near the edge of your roof.
Drain your pool and water basins
Before the winter sets in, consider winter-proofing your pool, fountain or water basins if you have any. Here’s what you can do:
You can lower the water level to 1feet or 30 cms below the skimmer and add antifreeze
You should disconnect all the pipes, drains and hoses
Drain and clean the motor
Install a winter cover and store away all accessories from the cold temperatures
Keep your outdoor lighting under check
Make sure all the outdoor lighting is working properly. If you have installed any new bulbs, install them before you in the winter months. Well-lit walkways are safer to walk on when they are covered with ice. You will be able to avoid accidents and unnecessary medical expenses. However, just to be safe, you can apply for personal accident insurance.
Clear the vents
Ensure that your dryers, range hood, bathroom vents are cleared from lint or dust. Consider installing screens to prevent small rodents from entering your home during the winter.
Finally, if your fall cleaning has revealed that the house needs some improvements, get in touch with the insurer and get them done. Keeping everything from your roof to plumbing and heating system in tip-top shape can reduce your Home Insurance premium.
Moving homes? Here are some tips to make it easy for you
Moving houses is always a stressful task. However, if you plan beforehand, it can be done as quickly as possible, and without any hassle. We have created a checklist just for you so your move can be as stress-free as possible. Have a look:
Remember to change your address
To start off, you can request a mail forwarding from Canada Post. Also, schedule an appointment with your telecommunication services. Have a look at our checklist, it can help you make all the necessary arrangements.
Ensure your insurance is valid
Get in touch with your insurance company and ensure that our property and residence are covered. If you are moving gradually, you should check if you have adequate insurance on your old home and as well as your new home. Keep your insurance company informed about the changes and see to it that your property is ensured if it needs to be stored somewhere. Consider applying for tenant’s insurance if you’re moving out of your parents' home.
Packers and movers: keep them ready
It would depend on you whether you want to hire movers or just rent a truck, we would like to advise you to make the move on a weekday or any day other than the first of the month, this will help you get the best prices. There will also be more truckers available and fewer movers on the road. If you have been living in an elevator, bool the elevator beforehand for the moving day. If you’re hiring movers, make sure your valuables are insured. Ask the insurance company name as well as the policy number before the move. Check what kind of coverage you have if you’re using a moving truck and whether you’re covered during transit. Additionally, if you’re borrowing a truck or a vehicle, check if your car insurance will cover any mishaps.
Always be ready
For a successful move, keep everything packed and ready the night before the move. You can follow our tips on pack up your belongings properly for help. If you have access to your new home, consider painting and cleaning it a few days before. By doing this you can save time and you won’t have to face the hassle of moving furniture during painting. You can also slowly move all boxes from one place to another and save money on the moving day when you’re using the movers.
There are online tools available to help you manage your move from start to finish. The website iammoving.ca, for example, can support you through every step of the process.
Home Insurance, trailer insurance and more
Permanent Home Insurance
If you’re choosing a tiny house or a cottage for a primary residence, then you will have to apply for Home Insurance
Tiny house on wheels
If your tiny house is on wheels, then trailer insurance would be ideal for you. Register your tiny house on wheels registered and get the paperwork started today.
Advantages of mortgage insurance
Buying a house is a major financial milestone in your life and alongside you will purchase Home Insurance to ensure that you don’t face any financial crisis while you payoff your mortgage. However, before you unpack, we advise you to apply for mortgage insurance as well.
Why? I already have insurance
That’s Home Insurance, if anything happens to your home and it's damaged, Home Insurance can offer coverage for that. However, what would happen if something happens to you or you face a situation when you can’t make your mortgage payments. If you have mortgage insurance, you can rest easy as your mortgage would be paid by the insurance company on time every month till you are financially stable again. Mortgage insurance enables you to still maintain a healthy lifestyle and protects you from a financial crisis.
Benefits of mortgage insurance
Whether to purchase mortgage insurance from a bank or financial institution may seem like a difficult choice. We can help you make that choice. Have a look at the advantages you get if you purchase it from a financial institution:
You will be the owner of the contract
If you purchase mortgage insurance from a financial institution, you will be the owner of the contract and you can name the beneficiaries. With a bank, you will not have this option as the bank will name itself the beneficiary. If you choose your beneficiary, they can choose to repay the loan or debt in your absence or use the benefit they receive on something else.
Fixed premium and guaranteed benefits
If you buy the insurance from an insurance company, the insurance will remain the same throughout the lifetime of the contract, unlike banks where the coverage amount decreases as you pay off your mortgage.
You will be allowed to convert your mortgage insurance
With an insurance company, you can convert your mortgage insurance to permanent life insurance throughout the term of your loan. You won’t have to worry about your premium increasing and won’t have to pass any medical exam as well. The policy will be viable till your death.
All insurances under the same policy
You will have the option to link all your creditor insurance contracts under one policy. This means, that you will only have one policy for your auto, home, mortgage, line of credit and more.
Less shopping around
When you buy your mortgage insurance from an insurance company, you won’t have to shop around for mortgage insurance for the lifetime of the contract. The cost will also not increase over the years. If you buy the insurance from a bank, you will have to negotiate new mortgage insurance and the premium may be higher based on your age and any changes to your health in the meantime.
Here is how you can reduce your Home Insurance premium
Factors that impact your insurance premium
Building age, location, materials used for building the property
The proximity of a fire hall and a fire hydrant
The fire statistics and the crime rate of the neighbourhood
Your claim history
Type of insurance policy and coverage you choose
The market value of the property
Your credit profile
How can you lower your insurance premium
Combine your insurance policies with the same insurer: Most insurers generally offer a discount if you insure both your home and your car with them.
Install an alarm system that is connected to a remote monitoring centre: This reduces the risk and may lower your premium.
Keep your insurer informed about major renovations: Updating your roof, plumbing, electrical system or heating system could lower your premium.
Increase the amount of your deductible: Increasing your deductible will ensure that you can afford to pay the higher amount in the event of a claim and calculate whether the money you’ll save is worth saving
Purchase Home Insurance that meets your requirements
When you’re looking for Home Insurance policies in the market, you should do the research first to know all your requirements and ensure that they are met. Take inventory of all your possessions such as furniture, appliances, electronics, electrical appliances, shoes clothing, jewellery etc). Do this to understand how much you have and how much all is worth.
Inventory your possessions
It is important that you inventory your possession, it will help in processing the claim in the event you lose something.
Take photographs and make videos of everything
Keep a list of all your possessions ready
Keep all the receipts
Keep a note of all the dates and locations where you purchased all your possessions
Keep a copy of your inventory list in a secured location
You can download the property inventory form provided by the Bureau of Canada to make itemizing everything easier.
When you submit the application for the policy for a quote:
You will have to indicate the cost equivalent to the value of your possessions
Determine the value that would be allotted in the event of a loss
Make sure that the allocated amount would enable you to replace your valuables
You have the option to purchase specific insurance of the value of your possessions is much more than the allotted amount for the policy
You should also be ready with the following information
Your existing insurance policy
Itemize and take inventory of all your possessions
Complete details of all previous losses and claims
The distance between your home and the fire station as well as the fire station
Renter vs Homeowner
If you’re living on rent, then you should provide all the details of your building such as the number of units, the exterior condition of the building and the type of heating it has. If you’re the owner of a condo or a house, have a look at our reference sheet with respect to your application for a Home Insurance quote. It can assist you to have an idea of all the information needed to submit your application for a quote.
Is the whole family covered?
When your insurance policy kicks in, you would be pleased to know that your family and children also come under coverage. However, in the case of roommates, your home and renter’s insurance must name all roommates if their possessions should also be covered.
Wondering if your insurance company covers fire department charges as well?
The general idea is, if you contact the fire department you will be billed a service charge automatically. That’s not true. To know even if the fire department charges are included in your policy, please read on.
What if the fire department bills you for a service charge if your car catches fire?
If your vehicle catches fire in the municipality you live, you won’t have to pay the fire dept. service charges as you already pay them as a part of your municipal taxes, you will not need to pay extra. In case the fire is not in your municipality, you may have the pay the service charges to put out the fire.
Does your insurance offer coverage for fire department service charges claimed by a municipality?
If you’re living in Quebec, the insurance company does cover such charges under the Act respecting Municipal Taxation and its regulations.1 For coverage, your auto insurance policy should include protection for the loss of damages and it must include the following clauses:
Under Chapter A, legal liability resulting from damages or injury to a third party (mandatory)
Under Chapter B, damage to insured vehicles (optional)
Eg: if your car has been in a collision, causing a fire, you must have insurance for the damages to your vehicle (Chapter B) to be covered for fire-fighting charges. This will also apply to motorcycle and snowmobile insurance (form Q.F.P. No.1) policies.
Coming to Home Insurance policies, because in most cases, your municipalities fire department team will likely be the ones to put out any fire and they will attend to the charges as well. If the fire is in a different municipality where you do not live, such as a hotel stay, or which arrangement is made, the charges will be covered as well. However, the amount of the charge may vary based on the type of insurance policy you have. You will receive a maximum reimbursement of $1000 in the event of an insured loss on the grounds of your property. The charges may be higher depending on the type of Home Insurance policy have and your insurance company.
Why is Home Insurance important for tenants?
Maybe you think that you don’t own anything of value, so there might be no need for insurance. However, if you make a quick inventory of your belongings, it might surprise you to know of the value. Also, not getting any insurance is never a good idea, any disaster such as fire can severely damage all your belongings and you may have to replace everything. So start on the inventory list now, and get an estimate of the value of all your possessions.
A Home Insurance policy can cover your living expenses as well. In the event that you have to relocate because of floods or a fire, then you can make a claim for your living expenses and the insurance company can take care of it. This can also include, stays in hotels while your apartment is being repaired.
With respect to Home Insurance, if you’re living on rent, please note that you’re not covered by your landlord’s insurance if there is any damage to your apartment.
If you are responsible for the damage, for example, damage due to bathtub overrun (which would cause damage to the apartment beneath yours as well) you will have to pay for all the repairs; but if you have tenant insurance, you won’t have to worry about anything as the insurance company will take care of it.
You should also know that civil liability coverage also applies when you’re away from your home. What this means is, suppose you accidentally damage the hotel room you’re staying in; you will be covered by the civil liability provisions of your Home Insurance policy.
Although you are not required by law to purchase a Home Insurance policy, consider buying the policy, it won’t cost you that much and if you lose everything in a fire or disaster, this policy can help you avoid a financial crisis. You can contact a general insurance provider and get all the information you need for this policy.