FAQ / Resources

If my home is under construction, do I still need insurance?

How important is it to document my valuables?

How do I take a home inventory?

Should I claim every loss?

Are there other discounts available on insurance premiums?

Why are premiums going up?

I understand the water damage coverage varies very much from one policy to another. What should I know?

How often should I have my home checked if I am away on vacation during the winter?

 

 

If my home is under construction, do I still need insurance?

Yes. If you begin construction or renovations before you notify your broker, you may accidentally void your policy. A home under construction is still subject to loss or damage and perhaps increased exposure to injury. Your Orr Insurance Broker can help you with what you need. Similarly, you should advise your Broker if your home is under renovation – before you begin any major changes.

How important is it to document my valuables?

In the event of a claim, the insurer will ask for a list of affected personal belongings and a record of their value. Original receipts are the best way to verify ownership and value. Photos are also helpful and can speed up the claim process. It’s a good idea to keep a detailed inventory of your personal belongings and keep the list in a different location. You might take digital photos, save them to a storage device, and keep it off premises, such as at work, with a family member, or in a safety deposit box.

How do I take a home inventory?

It might not seem like a top priority now but in the event of a claim this list will be one of your greatest assets. Here are some suggestions:

  • List all items of value in your home.
  • Include serial numbers.
  • Take photos or video and store the information off site.
  • Update your home inventory as you acquire new items.
  • If you have the receipt, keep it.

Should I claim every loss?

Before making a claim, compare the cost of the deductible with the extent of the damage – you might elect not to make a claim that would affect a “no claim” discount on your premiums. Your Orr Insurance Broker can help you weigh that decision.

Are there other discounts available on insurance premiums?

Often. Which is why you should ask your Orr Insurance Broker. As examples, many insurers offer discounts for newer homes with installed safety features like smoke detectors and burglar alarms, or if there have been no claims over a period of time. Some insurers discount non-smokers, homes that are mortgage-free and mature applicants.

Why are premiums going up?

Rates can be affected by inflation, rising building costs, and more. Your limits of coverage automatically increase with inflation to accommodate increases in labour and material. This usually accounts for 5-8% of premium increases.

And then there are weather patterns. In Ontario, we've been experiencing weather extremes in both winter and summer. Changes in weather, i.e. windstorm, sudden thaw, sudden freeze, hail and thunderstorm, have generated more claims. In particular, there has been an increase in water damage claims caused by up-and-down winter temperatures.

I understand the water damage coverage varies very much from one policy to another. What should I know?

That’s true. You really need to have your Orr Insurance Broker explain the various options to you. In many cases, water damage caused by overflows, burst pipes and frozen pipes could be covered, but not from continuous seepage, sewer back up, etc. Check with your Broker to find out what your policy covers, and what is excluded.

How often should I have my home checked if I am away on vacation during the winter?

During winter or the usual heating season, if you are away from your premises for more than four (4) consecutive days, take the following precautions to ensure your policy coverage remains intact:

  • Arrange for a competent person to enter your home each day you are away to ensure the heating is properly maintained.
  • Or shut off your water supply and drain all pipes and domestic water containers.