Call me Maybe? What you should be telling your insurer.

We want to celebrate every milestone with you! Getting married next month? Starting a new home-based business? Or maybe you’re building a swimming pool and starting a synchronized swimming group. Whatever your goals may be, we’re here for it! As your life changes, so do your insurance needs. Here is a list of the top things you should disclose to your Insurer

Starting a home-based business
Congratulations on being a go-getter! Before you start selling tacos from your driveway you may want to make sure you have the proper coverage and well… a health & safety license. Nowadays, people are working from home more than ever before, and although most policies are okay with you working from home with your laptop, what gets tricky is when working from home includes clientele coming to and from your house and expensive equipment on your premises. We need to make sure you are properly covered, so when in doubt, call your licensed broker.

Give us all the Updates. Literally.
Any new update to your home is SUPER exciting. New cabinets? New countertops? New flooring? Little renovations and updates will most likely not have to be reported. but bigger ticket or major renovations such as updating your roof, structural changes, or updating your plumbing should be disclosed. It is important to let your insurer know – especially if you plan on having the house vacant while the renovations are taking place. Your insurer may have it right in the policy documents such as the steps you should take so that you’re still covered if your house is vacant for many days.

Although we do not expect an invitation to your 10-day tropical wedding in Punta Cana (unless it’s free), we do want to know who is insured on your home policy. If you need to add on a spouse or a common-law, it should be fairly simple to do so. Most policies have rules around who is an “insured,” such as a common-law living with you for at least 3 years, or 1 year with a dependent (child). It is uncommon that someone who just moved in and is not related would be covered under your policy, so in that case, it’s best, to make sure he/she has their own renter or tenant policy in the case of a loss so all of their personal property is also covered.

Mortgage Free
If you’re the lucky few who have paid off your mortgage, first of all, congratulations! That is a big milestone. And secondly, you may be liable for more of a discount on your policy. Some policies offer a mortgage-free discount. Your hard work has literally been paid off.

Taking a long trip
We’ve all been there. You go on a tropical vacation to Costa Rica for one week and end up staying 6 months. It happens. If you’re going to be away for more than a couple of weeks, you should definitely let your insurer know. Your policy will have specific rules that outline measures of how to stay protected when you’re away. Most likely, you will need someone you trust checking on your property and perhaps even shutting off your water and emptying pipes. If you’re gone for months you might even need to add a vacancy endorsement. And if you’ve decided that you want to go for longer-term, you might even decide to rent out your property…See below.

Renting or Change of Occupancy
Deciding to rent out your home is a big decision. Depending on your circumstances, you will have different options such as renting out a portion of your home, the whole home, and long versus short term rental options. It’s best to check with your insurance company as sometimes they do not have the proper options for your specific needs and might even have to switch your policy so that you can have accurate coverage. If you do rent out your home, make sure your new renters/tenants have their own policy to cover their contents and liability too!

Swimming Pool
We don’t need to know about the dingy blow-up pool your chihuahua Betsy uses to cool down on hot summer days. What your insurer cares about are the bigger (potentially more dangerous) pools that are built into the ground or onto your property. This change will affect your liability in regard to what you’ll be covered for in case of pool-related incidents. You may need to adjust your liability levels. So, before you start digging, pick up the phone.

Heating Changes
Updating any heating system in your house whether it be the main or secondary heating source, can greatly affect your insurance. Because of the smoke/fire risk connected to heating, your premium will adjust accordingly. Certain types are riskier than others such as a wood stove/fireplace. Other heating systems could lower your risk and lead to a reduction in your premium.

Getting Blingy with It
Did you recently purchase the diamond earrings of your dreams?  Any big purchases should be discussed with your insurer. You will usually have a limit for your jewellery and specialty items so it’s important to check how much coverage you have and what you need to add-on for your big-ticket items. 

Our Insurely Guide’s are always around to answer your questions because let’s be honest, insurance is about as sexy as sweatpants during a pandemic. So we try to make it light and easy for you to understand. Schedule a call with us so we can answer all your questions.

February 2, 2021