Home insurance primarily covers your dwelling, its contents, and your personal liability. The vast majority of Canadian homeowners opt for a comprehensive insurance policy—which offers all risk protection on your home and personal property.
Canadian insurers offer seven standard sections (A – G) of home insurance coverage. The table below illustrates these basic categories and amounts of coverage common to comprehensive policies from the 40+ Ontario and Canadian insurers that we represent:
Learn more about Comprehensive home insurance coverage
|Coverage||Coverage Amount1||Example Home|
|1. Property Coverages|
|A) Dwelling Building2 The foundation, walls, flooring, windows, doors, and roof of your home. Learn more||Replacement Cost: A dollar amount equal to the cost to rebuild your home||Insured for $750 000 which is equal to $250 per square foot rebuild cost|
|B) Other Buildings2 Structures on your property that aren’t part of the main home, such as the tools shed, detached garage, or pool house. Learn more||10% – 20% of Coverage A Replacement Cost||$75,000-$150,000|
|C) Contents Your personal belongings inside your home, such as jewelry, artwork, electronics, furniture, etc. Learn more||70% – 80% of Coverage A Replacement Cost||$525,000 – $600,000|
|D) Additional Living Expenses To handle the costs of additional living expenses for time away from your home due to an insured loss. Learn more||20% – 30% of Coverage A Replacement Cost||$150,000 – $225,000|
|2. Liability Coverages|
|E) Personal Liability Covers injuries or property damage to any third party while they’re on your property. Learn more||$1,000,000 – $5,000,000||Whichever you choose|
|F) Voluntary Medical Payments Covers the costs should you hurt someone and want to volunteer this medical payment. Learn more||$1,000 – $10,000||–|
|G) Voluntary Property Damage Can be used to cover the physical damage you cause anywhere in the world. Learn more||$500 – $6,000||–|
|Fire Department Service Charges Reimburses fees charged by the fire dept. after visiting your home for an insured peril. Usually no deductible.||$1,000 – No limit||–|
|Counterfeit Cheques Forgery or alteration of a cheque or other document guaranteeing payment.||$5,000 – $10,000||–|
|Counterfeit Money If you accidentally accept counterfeit paper money. Typically no deductible.||$1,000 – $10,000||–|
|Credit Cards Losses caused by theft or unauthorized use of credit/automated teller/cash cards or numbers issued to you. Typically no deductible.||$1,000 – $25,000||–|
|Freezer Foods Spoilage of frozen foods caused by accidental interruption or mechanical breakdown of your freezer.||$2,000 – No limit||–|
|Lock Repair & Replacement Replacement or re-keying of the locks on your dwelling if your keys are stolen. Usually no deductible.||$500 – $1,000||–|
|Mass Evacuation Increased living expenses due to ordered evacuation from your premises.||14 – 30 days,
$2,500 – $10,000
|Reward For Information Payment for information that leads to a conviction for arson/theft in connection with insured property loss/damage.||$500 – $5,000||–|
1 The range of coverage amounts offered amongst our 40+ insurance partners
2 Homeowners only
In the unlikely event that you don’t qualify for comprehensive home insurance, e.g., 200+ year old home; 80+ year old electrical wiring; or numerous claims, you’ll still be eligible for broad form coverage, limiting you to named perils on your personal belongings.
Lenders, to protect their investment often mandate that new homebuyers maintain basic homeowners insurance coverage as a minimal protection against damage posed by fire, lightning, hail, explosions, and an assortment of other disasters as part of their financing package. Like the limited liability coverage on your vehicle however, these policies typically have a longer list of items not covered under the contract than those issues that are protected under its covenants.
For instance, rotting floors, sparking light fixtures, failing roofing systems, and malfunctioning appliances are just a few of the problems that only a comprehensive policy covers, so homeowners who believe their basic home insurance has them protected will be very disappointed.
Although comprehensive homeowners insurance carries a higher price tag, it also provides the highest level of protection against an array of disasters in addition to those listed above. From protection against liability claims in the event of a slip and fall accident to guarding against damage to freestanding structures like garages and sheds, comprehensive policies also cover:
As mentioned, this level of coverage does carry a higher price tag, so homeowners looking for peace of mind while managing their budget can choose a higher deductible to lower monthly premiums.
An affordable alternative to the comprehensive policy is the Named Perils home insurance policy. It specifically targets areas of concern that you, after assessing your property’s risk factors, are most worried about. For instance, is your home located in an area prone to severe weather events, or does the threat of a flooded basement weigh heavier on your mind? A Named Perils policy allows you to target concerns with coverage that only protects those items you specifically list or name in your policy.
Need more than comprehensive coverage? Numerous options, or endorsements are available that allow you to extend your home insurance coverage to include situations or property not covered by a standard policy. The following are examples of popular endorsements that can allow you to raise specific coverage limits for certain categories of items, as well as address some of the exclusions in your policy:
Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage pays for replacement, without depreciation, of your personal property after covered damage or loss.
Protection from overflow of the public sewage system, causing water to be pushed back into your home by such things as heavy rain or melting snow.
Coverage for damage caused by overflow of water from a lake, river, heavy rain, or rapid snowmelt.
Higher coverage limits for your valuables such as jewellery, furs, collections, and fine art.
For more details or a quick, personalized quote on your home insurance, contact one of our brokers. Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers have been helping homeowners find – and understand – the best home insurance policies since 1948. We’ll be happy to find you the coverage you need at the best rate in Ontario.
Call us today at 1.800.731.2228 to speak with one of our brokers!