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Buyer Beware

The term “Buyer Beware” often has a negative connotation for people – but that’s not necessarily the case. Quite often, in fact, it means that it is important for people to fully understand the limitations of a service they are purchasing, and NOT that they are being duped somehow.

Recently, we shared a news piece from CTV television which described a woman’s dismay when she discovered the loss of her $50,000 diamond wasn’t covered by her home insurance policy. She was not tricked, or deceived, she simply did not understand the limitations of her policy when it came to jewelry.

Here at DPM Insurance Group, we strive to ensure our clients have a full understanding of their policy, and are comfortable with its limitations and confident that the property they are trying to protect is covered in the manner they expect.

Having said that, it is still prudent to follow the guidelines below, as outlined by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Informed buyers carefully review their insurance policy and policy limits. Know what to look for when reviewing all sections of auto, home or business policies.

5 Tips When Reviewing Your Insurance Policy

An insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. When you buy or renew your auto, home and/or business insurance, take time to:

Ensure the name and address of the insured individual or business is accurate. A policy cannot be transferred to another person. While typically a new application is required for issuance of a new policy, exceptions do exist.

  • Ensure coverage is as required and that the limits are adequate.
  • Check the location(s) listed to ensure they are accurate.
  • Ensure the insurance company is properly identified.

Read the conditions carefully. Many policies require the insured individual or business to comply with all policy conditions before claiming on the policy. Clarify any words that are unclear or undefined in the policy. Look up unclear words in a dictionary to understand their common meaning. If the word has more than one common meaning, ask your insurance representative how it applies to your policy.

Utmost Good Faith

Insurance contracts rely heavily on the information the insured individual or business provides. Deliberately misstating or excluding important information, or neglecting to inform the insurer of changes, could result in denied claims and policy termination.

How to Read Your Insurance Policy

Here are the four sections you can expect to see in an insurance policy:

​​Declaration

  • ​What risks are covered – a list of coverages purchased
  • Policy limits – limits of insurance, and deductibles purchased
  • The amount of premium due
  • Others who have an interest in the policy (e.g., mortgage holders, lenders)
  • A list of form numbers and endorsements that add to or alter the policy

​Insuring agreements

  • ​What losses are covered
  • The subject matter of the insurance and description of the property covered
  • The perils insured against – circumstances when the insured may receive the proceeds of the insurance
  • For a claim to be valid, it must be covered under the insuring agreement and not stated as an exclusion

Policy conditions

  • ​Requirements the insured must fulfill to maintain coverage:
  • If the insured breaches a condition, the policy can become void or the insurer may refuse a claim arising out of the breach
  • Statutory conditions that the insured or insurer must comply with
  • Understand how the law affects your policy

Exclusions and special limits

  • Certain property and perils are excluded from coverage.
  • Other insured property may be insured up to a Special Limit.
  • Understand these exclusions and limits to avoid disappointment after a loss.

At DPM Insurance Group, our brokers and CSRs are committed to ensuring our clients have a full understanding of their policy, its coverages and exclusions. If you would like a free, no obligation review of your current policies, or just have a question you would like cleared up, contact the office most convenient to you. Our contact details can be found here: https://dpmins.com/locations/

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Blenheim Office

24 Marlborough St. N., Box 479
Blenheim, ON N0P1A0

Phone: 519-676-8159
Fax: 519-676-0020

Chatham Office

250 St. Clair St.
Chatham, ON N7L 3J9

Phone: 519-352-4343
Toll Free: 1-800-561-4949
Fax: 519-352-6484

Essex Office

29 Talbot St. N, Box 69
Essex, ON N8M 2Y1

Phone: 519-776-6457
Fax: 519-776-7400

Harrow Office

65 King St. W., Box 790
Harrow, ON N0R 1G0

Phone: 519-738-2277
Fax: 519-738-2279

Tilbury Office

59 Mill St. E, Box 1239
Tilbury, ON N0P 2L0

Phone: 519-682-0202
Fax: 519-682-2391

Wallaceburg Office

403 Wellington St.
Wallaceburg, ON N8A 2Y2

Phone: 519-627-1777

DPM Insurance is a BrokerLink company. The BrokerLink companies are subsidiaries of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC)