Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

March 28, 2014

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Home Insurance Renewal in 10 Questions

Article revised on 19 June 2017

Do you plan to renovate your basement, put in a new heating system or install a pool? These are examples of the types of changes you should mention to your insurance representative when you renew your home insurance. It could save you a lot of money and you can get coverage tailored to your specific needs.

To help you out, here are ten questions you should ask yourself when you renew your home insurance.

  1. During the course of the year, did you make any renovations or major repairs?To calculate your premium amount, your insurer will consider many factors such as the dimensions of your residence, the construction material used (wood, brick, aluminium, concrete) and the cost of rebuilding your home. Changes made to your house can influence the type of coverages you get and the calculation of your insurance premium.If the renovations or repairs increase the value of your home, you should probably increase your coverage so that it meets your needs. For example, your finished basement may require increased coverage against water damage and sewer backup.
  2. Did you buy goods that may significantly increase the value of your possessions?Did you buy new appliances or refurnish your living room? Verify if the amount of insurance you currently have is enough to cover all your goods, including new purchases.
  3. Did you buy computer or multimedia equipment?Computer (hardware, software, etc.) or multimedia (television, home movie theatre, etc.) equipment is usually covered by your insurance, but your contract may include some restrictions on certain categories of goods. For example, the maximum reimbursement for software may be limited to $1,000, but your computer may not be affected by this restriction. If you think your coverage may not be enough, ask for a higher amount of insurance.
  4. Did you purchase jewelry, artwork or other valuable items?Just like computer and multimedia equipment, there may also be some restrictions in your contract that apply to jewelry. Ask for additional coverage, if necessary. Take the same precautions if you have a collection you cherish or a well-stocked wine cellar.
  5. Did you install a pool or spa?Pools and outdoor hot tubs are not automatically covered by your insurance. You need to ask for an endorsement (an addition to your contract) for them to be insured.
  6. Did you install auxiliary heating (wood, gas, oil, etc.)?Your insurer can readjust your premium amount, especially if the new unit increases the likelihood of fire (wood stove, for example).
  7. Do you carry out professional or commercial activities out of your home or store any professional materials like tools?Self-employed? If you carry out professional activities from your home , the coverage on your professional material is limited to a fixed amount. It’s therefore in your best interest to get additional insurance to make sure all your goods are covered. You should also think about taking out liability insurance, especially if you meet with clients in your home.
  8. Did you install an alarm system or deactivate an existing one?Installing an alarm system that’s connected to a central monitoring station usually reduces the premium amount. On the other hand, deactivating an alarm system could increase your premium.
  9. Are you a dog owner?If so, you should notify your insurer. The latter may refuse to provide coverage for certain breeds. Find out.
  10. A new person lives in your home?This person’s property is not automatically covered, unless his or her name is on your contract. You should consider increasing your insurance amount so you are properly covered.If you have any doubts, ask your insurance representative!

Declaring all changes will pay off for you!

It may be tempting not to declare a particular change, especially if it’s likely to raise the premium amount. But it would be the wrong call because your insurer could reduce the amount of payment or flat out refuse to make a payment, even if the loss has nothing to do with the change you failed to mention.

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