Home Insurance

Home insurance does what it says it does: it insures your home, whether that is your apartment, your condominium or your house.

The biggest question with home insurance is how much do you need? Well, keep in mind that you arent just insuring the structure (and in the case of a condo, you arent insuring the structure at all), but you are also insuring the contents of your home.

Surprisingly, many people will find that they may actually need more insurance for contents than they need for the structure, especially if they have expensive belongings like antiques, high-quality jewellery, high-end electronics or other costly personal belongings. In the case of a disaster, the whole-scale replacement of those contents can be a significant cost - and much more than most people expect. It's a critical area where people underestimate their needs particularly with regards to the replacement value of their goods.

In addition to covering your home and contents, home insurance also provides liability coverage in case someone is hurt on your property. In a litigious world, it pays to have liability coverage. Government does not mandate it, but you should have it. Such liability insurance will cover you if someone is hurt on your property or in your home. If you live in parts of the country where you have winter ice and snow, you probably know how easy it is to slip and fall on a walkway or set of stairs. Liability covers you in just such a case. Do keep in mind that liability covers you for visitors to your home. You should check your policy to see if it also covers family members or those living in the home, if they have an accident on the property.

Usually, when you buy a home, insurance is a condition of your mortgage. However, if you rent you may not have though much about home insurance. You should. Unless you are living in a furnished apartment, you should budget for this. In the case of a disaster - say fire or flood -- you would need temporary lodgings and money to replace your things. Renter's insurance can cover that.

For those of you who are in the process of buying a home, you should also consider title insurance. It's a new insurance product and can save you a considerable amount of money if there's ever a problem with the title of your property. Unfortunately, this happens even on new properties in new subdivisions (it happened to us!). For a relatively small fee (in comparison to the cost of your property), you have coverage to ensure your title is accurate. Title insurance covers all costs associated with fixing a title problem, including Lawyer fees.

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