What kinds of changes should you tell your home insurer about?
Here are a few examples (that you might not think of!) that you should notify your home insurer about.
It’s important to change your address as soon as you have it, since your home insurance is very much connected to where you live. Your insurance coverage needs and premium depend on many factors, including:
- Type of building
- Year the building was built
- Where the building is located
- Type of heating
- How close it is to a fire station
- Local crime rate
When you move, many of these factors are likely to change, so it’s very important to let your insurer know. They generally allow a 30-day period after you move during which your personal property stays insured despite the change. Ideally, you’ll want to notify your insurer of the change as soon as possible.
You’re renovating your home
You don’t need to report all of your home renovations. For example, it’s not necessary to inform your insurer that you’re installing new windows. However, if you’re renovating your basement or adding on to your home, it’s important to let your insurer know. These kinds of renovations could change the value of your home and require additional coverages.
You buy an above-ground or in-ground swimming pool
You might need additional coverage for this purchase. It’s best to be covered for water damage!
Your son or daughter is renting an apartment while away at college
Your home insurance might cover their apartment.
You get a new roommate
You could ask your insurer to add them to your policy. Since they’ll have their own personal belongings, it would be wise to include the cumulative value of all your personal effects and to increase your coverage accordingly so that you’re insured in the event of a loss (e.g., certain water damage, fire).
Tip : If you insure your personal property on the same policy, you and your roommate can split the bill. See our article, Tenants insurance: get informed, get better coverage!
You buy something valuable
It’s a good idea to check your insurance policy or contact your insurer to find out if there are limitations on these personal effects or to check if the amount you’d determined beforehand is still adequate.
Let’s say your coverage for your personal property is $50,000 and you inherit a ring worth $15,000, along with other items, for a value of $20,000. In this case, you’ll need to notify your insurer—first, because your jewellery is covered for a maximum amount of insurance, and you’ll need specific coverage to insure the full value of your ring. And second, because you’ll need to review the amount of insurance for your personal property to make sure the amount is sufficient to cover your new and old property in the event of damages.
Your home insurance only covers personal use of your property. It does not cover your professional activities, even if you work from home. In that case, it’s a good idea to get insurance to cover business use.
You’re storing your furniture
Storing means putting your personal property somewhere other than in your home—whether that’s your parents’ basement, your friend’s shed or somewhere else. If that’s the case, it’s important to tell your insurer as soon as possible so they can review your insurance needs.
You installed or deactivated an alarm system
Having an alarm system could lower your insurance premium. Conversely, you should let your insurer know if you deactivated one.
Other topics of interest
Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply.
The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.
The information provided is meant to be illustrative only, and Desjardins Insurance assumes no liability with regards to how such information is used. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.