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With all the options available, from brokers to digital insurance providers, it may be easier to buy home insurance and choose the coverages that are right for you — but before you get that far, you might stop and ask yourself: what should I look for in a home insurance policy?

Take a look at these things you need to know about home insurance before you make the commitment. 

Do really you need home insurance?

In Ontario, home insurance isn’t required to own a home, but most financial institutions and mortgage lenders require that you have it before granting a mortgage. Home insurance isn’t mandatory for renters either, but landlords may require proof of insurance from tenants before allowing them to move in. 

All that said, your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, and you’ll want to take appropriate measures to protect it. Insurance will safeguard your home against those things you just didn’t see coming, and give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re prepared for the unexpected. 

What type of home insurance do you need?

There are a few different types of home insurance policies that you can purchase, depending on the type of home you have, and whether you own it:

  • Homeowners: This type of insurance covers private residences, and protects the contents of the home, as well as the homeowner’s liability. A typical policy will usually cover damage and losses as a result of fire, theft, hail or windstorm. 
  • Renters: Tenant or renters insurance is property insurance for those who don’t own their home. It’s used to protect their belongings, and to provide liability coverage. 
  • Condo: Condo insurance will protect individual units within a condo building. Purchased by condo owners, this type of policy will protect the contents of the unit, like appliances, clothing and furniture. It’ll also cover additional living expenses, in the event that you need to relocate while your condo is being repaired. 
  • Seasonal: Insurance for seasonal homes will typically cover the outdoor structures on your property, the contents of your seasonal home, and provide liability coverage. 

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How much home insurance coverage do you need?

Depending on the type of policy, you’ll find that most home insurance policies will come with similar basic coverage. Common standard coverages include dwelling, contents, and personal liability coverage. 

Dwelling coverage will cover damage or loss to the actual building (your home), whether it’s a house, apartment, or condo. The insured perils – events that put your home at risk that you’ll be covered for — include things like fire, theft, lightning strikes, and more. Contents coverage will protect the items inside your home, and personal liability will cover you if someone is injured on your property, and you’re held responsible for the associated legal and medical costs. 

Aside from standard coverages, insurance companies offer additional coverages (or endorsements) that you can add onto your policy for extra protection. These are optional, and policyholders can add them at their own discretion. Common endorsements can include: 

  • Flood
  • Sewer backup
  • Earthquake 
  • Windstorm

These additional coverages vary from provider to provider, so it’s a good idea to shop around to find a company that offers endorsements that best suit your needs. 

You can get discounts 

Just like auto insurance, you can get discounts on your home insurance premium. Many insurers will offer home insurance discounts if you have multiple policies with them (ex. If you bundle home and auto), or take the extra step to protect your home with a security system. Discounts vary among providers, so it’s worth shopping around to see which company offers discounts that favour your situation. 

Learn about Onlia’s home insurance discounts here.

Once you get to searching, you’ll find that there are many options available to you when it comes to choosing the right home insurance. Our advice? Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

If you have questions about Onlia Insurance, feel free to reach out

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