You are starting a new life and moving to another city, province or neighbourhood... Whether it's to take a new job, attend a new school, or just a change of scenery, you need to make sure that you manage your move to reduce your risk and to make sure that you have the coverage you need for your home, contents, and potentially for your vehicles.
What coverage issues do you need to know about?
Insuring Your Property While It's Being Moved
First, are you renting a truck to move your stuff? If you initialed and signed yes to the insurance questions on the rental form then you're covered. That's because you purchased optional damage waivers and supplemental insurance from the truck rental company.
It's good to check with your insurance broker, though, to make sure your renters or homeowners cover your belongings while in transit. Many auto policies will not extend coverage to a vehicle unless it is a private passenger-type vehicle, so be careful about making assumptions about coverage.
Again, check with your broker prior to the move to make sure you're covered; especially since you're driving a vehicle you're probably unfamiliar with.
You may not be used to driving a larger vehicle like a rented moving truck so you'll have enough to worry about without the stress of having an accident. Also, depending on the size of the vehicle, make sure your licence is the right class to operate a larger rental truck.
If you've hired a professional moving company, be sure you are clear on who is responsible for insuring your contents while they are being moved. Sometimes, movers policies cover goods by weight, which is not a great scenario for small valuable items. Check with your broker to understand what coverage you have on your policy and what limits may apply.
Contact Wedgwood Insurance Limited for a thorough review of this situation. We will give you peace of mind about your insurance coverage.
Now That You're Moved In, What About Insurance?
Different provinces have different insurance systems. Different areas, and even neighbourhoods, will have different rates. If current broker doesn't have a representative in your new area, you should consider getting a referral to a local broker since they know they new area best and can give you advice you need to make sure your new policies are appropriate.
You can contact your current broker for a referral in your new province or find an broker on your own. But most likely, you'll need to get another broker (unless your broker is licensed in your new province).
If you move within your province, report your change of address to your broker. Since where you live impacts the rates, it may make a difference in your insurance costs.
Buying a first home or a second or third is a big, exciting decision, which comes with choices about your insurance policy.
If you own a home, you'll have to keep your insurance in force until the house changes ownership. For your new home you'll have to supply proof of insurance prior to purchase.
Umbrella Insurance is another layer of coverage in the event you're a victim of our litigious society. The umbrella coverage kicks in after your homeowner or car insurance policy liability limit is reached.
If your new home is part of an association - a condominium for example - you should consider loss assessment coverage, which pays for a loss the association might assess its homeowners for. For example, if the association gets sued and the judgment is greater than the association's policy limits, they might ask the homeowners to kick in that coverage.
Combine Your Insurance Policies
Consider having one insurance provider handle all your needs - from homeowners' insurance to car insurance - to simplify the process and to get a better price.
Contact us at Wedgwood Insurance Limited today to discover how a one-stop insurance provider can simplify your insurance. As a leading independent broker, we have many highly rated insurance companies to choose from to ensure you get the right auto and homeowner's coverage for your new surroundings.
Your newly renovated home is going to look amazing! New counters, fixtures, appliances,, along with the newest colours, flooring and an open concept... who needs to buy to get a dream-home? You may already be living in it...
While the end result may be amazing, remodelling your home can be a laborious, stressful process, especially if you have to live in your home while it's being remodelled. Too bad you can't flick a switch to make it happen!....
Remodelling allows you to make a place your own and while your insurance policy is usually not part of the to-do list when it comes to planning a home remodel, it can help with the process and should start with a call to Wedgwood Insurance Limited.
Hiring a contractor? Check Their Insurance!
Congratulations! A home remodel is an exciting undertaking and a professional contractor can definitely help. But what does this have to do with your insurance?
Quite a lot, actually.
Check the company's insurance (and yours, too), to ensure you're both protected should there be an injury on the job, significant damage to the house or other unforeseen events.
Look for the contractor's responsibilities when it comes to employees or potential sub-contractors.
It is absolutely OK to ask for an insurance certificate from your contractor. Also confirm your contractor's status in these important areas.
Protect yourself. Only hire a licensed and bonded contractor. And don't take his word... ask to see the insurance policy so you can make sure that it is in force and that the limits are adequate. (It is absolutely OK to ask for an insurance certificate from your contractor. The contractor and his/her insurance broker should happily provide it. The problem is that not many people are aware of this right to see their contractor's policy, and therefore don't ask for it.)
There are three major areas you should be concerned about when hiring a contractor, with regards to insurance.
- Worker's Compensation: Applies when an employee or sub-contractor gets injured on the job site. It covers medical/rehabilitation expenses and lost wages for the worker. If the contractor is not paying Workers Compensation premiums for it's workers, you could end up responsible for injuries to workers on the job.
- General Liability: Covers negligence on the contractor's part which causes injury or property damage to others.
- Builder's Risk: Covers damage to your home and materials while under construction, including materials that haven't been installed yet.
Are you your own General Contractor? The risk may be greater than the savings!
You know that this is the perfect time to renovate your home. Based on the way homes are selling, you are sure the value of your home will appreciate even more than the cost of your renovation. Even better, you can lower your costs by taking the General Contractor's profit margin out of the project by managing the project yourself. You'd never have to actually do any of the work, just hire the right people, manage the paperwork and get the project done. Makes sense, right?
Things are never as simple as they appear. By hiring individuals and managing the project yourself, you may also be taking on the liability for workers who could get injured on the job, or for negligent actions of your employee/contractor which results in an injury to others. (Your contractor drops his hammer on the neighbours foot, who came over to admire your renovation!)
You may have some coverage under your homeowners policy, but in reality this is NOT what your Homeowners Insurance is designed to do.
Since this is a very complicated topic with many variables, you should speak with your broker before hiring anybody.
All in all, you might be better off both financially and risk-wise if you hire a licensed and bonded contractor who has the insurance and the experience. It may save you a lot of hassle and worries during an already stressful time.
D-I-Y (Do-It-Yourself) Project? Some Are Covered, Some Are Not!
But not because you did it yourself!
You've been putting off the new tiles in the bathroom as well as new paint. You are working at it all weekend. Finally finished, you gather your materials, cleaners, solvents, rags and everything else you used and put it away.
You are exhausted. Rollers, brushes, drop cloths, the works go into a bag and you store it in your porch to bring to the dump the next day.But you forget that crumpled up, paint-stained drop cloths and chemicals are highly flammable.
What coverage would you have if this caused a fire?
In this situation, yes, there would be coverage. A fire loss that happens suddenly and accidentally, even if caused (as in this example) by negligence, is covered by your homeowner's policy.
Here's another scenario...
While you are putting the new tile in the bathroom, you decide that you may as well replace that 20 year old plumbing while you are at it.... The new plastic pipe is so easy to work with - it's a joke! You install it all, put the gyproc back in, paint, and admire your newly renovated bathroom, complete with jacuzzi and walk-in shower stall.
Now, it's 2 months later and you think you may have a small leak. Darn!
You keep finding a small puddle of water next to the toiled every day and while it's hard to tell, you think that the moulding at the bottom of the vanity looks slightly darker than the rest. Yep, there's definitely a small leak in a pipe.
You did the work yourself, would you have coverage under your Home Insurance policy?
The work on most DIY projects would be covered however, in this case, where there is a gradual leak with damage over time, there will probably not be any coverage. Damage covered under a Homeowners Insurance would have to sudden and accidental for coverage to apply. In this case, there would not likely be coverage.
And that's the problem in this example.
There are workmanship exclusions on a homeowner's policy which apply whether the work was done by a contractor or the property owner. If the damage was caused by faulty workmanship, not by a sudden and accidental occurrence, the loss would not be covered by your homeowner's policy.
If an insured contractor had done the work, you would have the option to hold them responsible for their faulty workmanship and be compensated for your damages.
If you ever see signs of a small leak, investigate it right away. Since damage that occurs over time is excluded, it's in best interest to fix this type of problem right away before it become a large, uninsured claim!
Major Remodel? Insure the "After" before it's too late
That second story you were talking about? Yup. It's done. Two more bedrooms, a bathroom, and a family room, just like you had planned. About an extra 1,000 square feet. Yeah, it's such a relief. You can't even imagine going back to living on one floor with the two boys, the cat, and the dog. None of you remember how you did it. But luckily, you don't have to!
If you plan a major remodel like an addition, a new deck, or a significant upgrade, contact Wedgwood Insurance Limited to inform us about the scale of the remodel you are planning.
The replacement value of your home may now be significantly greater than it was before, and your homeowner's policy limits might not be enough to cover your house if you have a total loss.
Additionally, if you have a guaranteed replacement coverage endorsement your policy contract requires that you inform your insurance company of any significant change in value; typically any improvements valued at more than $5,000.
If you have a significant amount of building supplies stored on your property, you should also consider coverage of those.
So, don't let your excitement be dampened by unforeseen incidences. Give us a call before the 'After', and get the peace of mind you deserve.
How Certain Remodels Can Save You Money On Your Home Insurance
Whew! That was a major project... updating all the electrical in your turn-of-the-century craftsman. No fun... but it sure feels good that it's done now. For all you know, the place could have gone up in flames years ago, due to the outdated wiring. So this gives you some peace of mind.
If you did a major remodel that included updating certain systems like:
- Putting on a new roof,
- A security system, or
- Other features improving the safety of your home;
Call Wedgwood Insurance Limited at 709-753-3210 as you may qualify for a discount on your Homeowners Insurance policy.