Update Your Insurance
One in three Canadians believe insurance pays whatever it costs to rebuild a home. However, many factors determine what your property insurer will pay in the event of a loss.
With severe weather on the rise, it’s more important than ever to review your current property insurance coverage. All homeowners should insure their home according to what it would cost to rebuild it in the event that it is destroyed. This amount is called the replacement cost, and it differs from the market value of your home and even from your tax assessment value. An accurate assessment of your home’s replacement cost is essential to making sure you have enough coverage.
Know Your Home
What year was your house built? What type of foundation does it have? How old is your roof? These are the types of details your insurance provider will need in order to calculate the replacement cost of your home and make sure you have adequate coverage. Watch IBC’s Home Replacement Cost video to learn more about the importance of an accurate replacement cost calculation for your home.
IBC’s home assessment checklist can help you and your broker or agent ensure you have the correct information.
Consult a Pro
Your insurance professional can help you calculate an accurate rebuilding value based on the details you provide about your home. You may also wish to hire a professional appraiser.
Take Stock of Your Stuff
A complete inventory of your belongings will help you get the right coverage and make it easier to file a claim. Use IBC’s Know Your Stuff online to complete a room-by-room inventory of your possessions. IBC’s Home Inventory application can also help you take stock of your personal property.
A current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.
Why Keep a Home Inventory?
Severe weather is on the rise across the country, making it more critical than ever to ensure that your property and contents are properly insured. With flooding and sewer backup occurring more frequently, it’s crucial to be prepared for the unexpected. If your home is damaged or destroyed, it’s important that it has been insured for its accurate replacement value.
A thorough inventory of your home’s contents and the associated value of the contents will help you and your insurance representative confirm adequate coverage. If you need to make a claim, your home inventory will help you receive proper compensation.
5 Tips for Making a Home Inventory
Print a copy of IBC’s Personal Property Inventory Checklist to track your possessions room by room. In taking stock of your contents, consider the following.
Keep the bills, receipts, warranties and instruction manuals for your more valuable possessions – these can serve as proof of ownership.
Store your records and receipts in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or a secure online option.
Review your home inventory every year and when you make new purchases. The value of your possessions will increase the more you acquire.
Take photographs or video footage of all of your valuable possessions.
Store records of credit cards, taxes, government and other important household documents in an off-site location.
When to Create and Update
During spring cleaning as well as before a move are ideal times to prepare or update your home inventory list. When you increase the value of your home through a renovation or purchase expensive furniture, art, jewelery or other valuable items, notify your insurance professional.
A thorough and current inventory of your home’s contents and associated value will help confirm adequate coverage and, in the event of a loss, proper compensation.
What Your Insurer Needs for a Claim
Losses happen. If your property or contents are damaged, contact your insurance representative as soon as possible. Have on hand reference materials such as:
Home inventory or similar records
Credit card records (some creditors provide limited insurance for purchases)
You are obligated to report home renovations or additions to your property insurer that may materially change the nature of the risk accepted by the insurer. It is important that you inform your insurance representative or insurer of any changes which may impact your insurance requirements.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada