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Home Insurance

Home Insurance

For those with homes in the Lower Mainland or anywhere else in BC, we can provide insurance for a wide variety of situations, some of which you have probably never thought of.

Check out the sections below or chat with us to find out more.

The Building

Provides coverage for repairs and/or replacement of the building structure itself.

In general, here’s what’s included for repairs and rebuild expenses when you have a claim.

  • Site clean up and debris removal
  • Construction and repair costs such as:
    • The home itself
    • The home’s systems such as electrical, heating/cooling and plumbing
    • Finishings such as flooring, counter tops, paint, or wallpaper, doors, carpets and more
  • Landscaping and fencing

Guaranteed Replacement Cost coverage (GRC) ensures that your home is repaired or rebuilt even if the amount of insurance coverage stated on the policy is exceeded. This coverage is intended to repair or rebuild with no depreciation. This will protect you from rising reconstruction costs.

Outbuildings

Includes detached garage, carport, gazebo, shed or other structure that does not form a part of the home and is for personal use.

Outbuildings may be as complex as a heated green house or as simple as a garden shed. Sometimes outbuildings are so significant they require additional insurance to insure them fully.

  • Higher coverage limits are available if needed to insure for full replacement
  • Coverage is usually a small percentage of your building coverage outlined on your insurance policy
  • Coverage includes repair or replacement in the event of a covered claim
  • Personal Property kept inside these structures is included under your Personal Property coverage

Personal Property / Replacement Cost

In general, this covers your personally owned contents. What does that include?

This coverage is intended to replace new for old for most common household and personal items.

Your Personal Property can include things such as:

  • Furniture, clothes, plates, pots and pans, food, electronics, jewellery, bikes, plants
  • Appliances, including the BBQ
  • Outdoor furniture and garden tools
  • Some items such as jewellery, bicycles or wine have maximum coverage limits, but they usually can be scheduled to the full replacement value for additional premium

Additional Living Expenses

In the event of a claim that requires you to leave your home while the repairs or rebuild are being made, this coverage will provide compensation for increased costs of living during your claim.

You will continue to pay your normal monthly living costs; Additional Living Expenses will add the difference to those normal everyday costs.

  • Typical costs covered include moving expenses, additional rent, damage deposits, and in certain cases meals and costs to set up your new temporary living situation
  • Coverage can be short or long term depending on the claim
  • Coverage limit provided is usually a percentage of the building coverage outlined on your insurance policy

If you have disclosed to the insurer and purchased the appropriate rental income coverage for your rental suite, the insurer will compensate for your loss of rental income should your tenant have to move out. Coverage is usually provided until the suite is repaired and ready for occupancy.

Liability

You are responsible for the condition of your property and safety of those that enter it. Liability coverage pays damages for personal injury or property damage that you are legally obligated to pay.

Coverage provides defense and settlement costs if you are deemed legally responsible for the loss. Your liability coverage includes property damage and personal liability protection.

  • Personal liability will provide you and the covered residents financial protection for claims of bodily injury and property damage.
    • For example, if someone slips on the stairs, or driveway, you could be deemed legally responsible for their injuries and associated costs
    • Or, if you are riding a bicycle and accidentally hit someone or something, you could be sued for damages and your personal liability insurance would respond
  • Liability claims are complicated and can be lengthy, but the insurer will help you through the process
  • If you have liability exposures in your home such as a home based business, swimming pool, or trampoline you must disclose these to your insurer to ensure that you are properly covered

Sewer Back-Up

If you ever need it, this is one insurance policy you’ll be glad you have.

Sewer Back-Up coverage will clean up and fix resulting damage including:

  • Clean up of grey and black water damaged areas
  • Removal and disposal of damaged materials
  • Repair and rebuild costs to make you whole again

Overland Water

There’s a lot of water in BC. This coverage will provide protection against a variety of water damage threats.

Coverage will usually include damage from:

  • Rising waters from fresh water sources that enter at ground level through windows or doors
  • Rain water, runoff and melting snow or ice
  • Rivers/lakes that overflow their banks
  • Coverage can vary from insurer to insurer so it is important to speak with your broker about your coverage needs

Every policy will vary. However, in general, there is no coverage for salt water flooding including tsunamis, waves or tidal waves. This is not available on most residential policies.

Service Lines

The drain and supply lines on your property that service your home from the city or municipality services may become damaged leading to a water loss.

If you have this coverage, in addition to the resulting damage, the insurer will provide payment for losses and repairs up to the policy limit. If you are unable to live in your home during repairs the insurer will provide coverage for Additional Living Expenses while your home is being repaired.

Earthquake Building and Personal Property*

If your home shakes, rattles and rolls off the foundation or sustains damage in an earthquake, you can be protected…

Earthquake insurance protects you for:

  • Building – Total and partial losses that require repair or rebuild
  • Personal Property – Your Personal Property is protected as well when damaged by an earthquake
  • Additional Living Expenses – Coverage for Additional Living Expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt

This is optional coverage and is subject to percentage deductibles. They are usually in the range of 5-25% calculated on the coverage limits of your building, out building and personal property amount. Earthquake deductibles vary depending on where you live in BC based on your community’s earthquake exposure.

Building Bylaws*

Building codes and Bylaws change over time. When you have to repair or replace your home, you are required to comply with the current building codes in your municipality or city.
  • Coverage can include protection for addressing bylaw changes. Often these changes lead to an increase in the cost of repair or upgrading. Bylaws coverage limits vary by insurer, and most policies provide basic limits that may leave gaps in your coverage
  • Building Bylaws coverage is intended to cover the increased construction costs required to bring your home up to code such as interior fire sprinklers, electrical outlets, widening of doors and interior hallways
  • Most policies come with a base limit of coverage for building bylaws but can usually be increased for additional premium

Identity Theft

If your identity is compromised, then you will receive coverage for reimbursement of expenses associated with restoring your identity such as legal, notary, government fees and charges subject to policy limits.

Medical Payments

Provides coverage for expenses to pay medical bills for visitors or guests that are injured on your property from an accident regardless of who was at fault.

Home Insurance FAQ’s

My rebuild cost of my home seems high, why?

Rebuild and repair costs are much higher than people think. Insurers need to access trades, materials and suppliers and these costs have risen and will continue to rise.

How do you determine the limit of insurance?

Almost all home insurance premiums are based off of your homes rebuild price. The rebuild price of your home is calculated using specific insurance programs that take into consideration its age, quality, and construction. Insurance only looks at rebuild costs to determine the insurance limits.

How much Personal Property coverage will I receive?

Your policy will indicate the amount of coverage on the declaration page. The limit is usually between 70-80% of your building amount also shown on your declaration page.

Why is earthquake insurance expensive?

Did you know that the coast of BC is in one of the prime earthquake hot spots in the world? Our exposure to an earthquake event is much higher on the coast and thus insurers charge rates that reflect our risk.

Does having a rental suite affect my coverage and price?

It will. You will be surcharged for having a rental suite and it should be declared to ensure you get the right coverage.

I want to do renovations; do I need approval from the insurer?

This will depend on the scope of your renovation. If you are living in the premises while the renovation is occurring, then approval may be as easy as noting it on your file. If you have to move out and renovations are extensive, then yes, it will impact your coverage and price. To be safe, call your Allwest broker to discuss your renovation plans.

What discounts are available to reduce my premium?

Discounts vary by insurer but the following factors may reduce premiums in some cases:

  • Burglar and Fire Alarms / Automatic Water Shut-Off Devices
  • Higher Deductibles
  • Providing Soft Credit Consent
  • Being Claims-Free
  • Being a Mature Citizen
What is a WETT Inspection report and how do I get one?

A WETT report is a specialized inspection done by a certified inspector to inspect all elements of your wood burning technologies in the home to ensure they are installed correctly. To get one, you would contact your local fireplace service company.

I work from home, what do I need to do to make sure my insurance will cover me?

This really depends on what type of work you do from home. Please contact us so we can review your particular needs and provide you with the correct insurance requirements.

My mother and father in-law are moving in, are they covered under my home insurance?

If your immediate family is living with you, most insurers will extend coverage to them, but its best to discuss this with your broker in advance. If your family is living in a separate self-contained suite, they will need their own coverage because this is considered to be a separate living space.

Terms and conditions apply and rates, coverage, underwriting guidelines and product availability are provided by the insurance companies represented by Allwest Insurance. They are subject to change without notice.

*Indicates coverage may be optional or increased for additional premium