Ever Changing Calgary Home Insurance

Our homeowner’s insurance policy renews once per year. When was the last time you actually took the time to read your policy and fully understand the coverage you have? It’s time to crack open that fine printed document that normally gets filed away without a glance. Changes have occurred in this industry post flood and the thought is, there are more to come.

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Facts about your Calgary Homeowner’s Insurance:

  • Your Homeowners Insurance Policy is a legal document. It needs to be clearly understood by you.
  • Our home is one of our largest assets. We need to ensure we have adequate coverage for loss
  • Home Insurance coverage in Calgary has changed post the flood of 2013. It will continue to change in response to the unprecedented increase in claims companies are incurring from weather related disasters.
  • Insurers differ considerably in terms of coverage they provide. Make sure you are with a company that provides the protection you want or need.
  • Homeowners should consider these changing policy terms when choosing materials of construction for their homes and emergency preparedness measures they are putting in place. The more protected your home and its materials are against disaster, the more likely it is that insurance protection will cover any loss you have. Check out Service providers on Who To Call that can assist with these projects.
  • There is talk of risk related premiums being assessed to homeowners in the future. This has already started with homes that were impacted by the flood.
  • Many families travel over the summer leaving their homes for days or weeks at a time. Insurance policies will not cover loss unless your home is checked while you are away. The frequency of these home check requirements vary by policy and insurer. Know what the requirement is for your policy and ensure you adhere to it. 

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 Post Flood Insurance Changes

  • Homes located in the flood zone now have very different coverage than before the flood. “Flood Zone” is defined differently by different insurance companies so ensure you know where your home is located as per your insurer.
  • Overland flooding occurs when water enters your home from sources like vents, cracks, and windows. Canada is the only G8 country that does not have a federal flood insurance program to cover off on any overland flooding losses. One Alberta company, Beaufort Group, has decided to enter the market and offer at risk Calgary homeowners overland flood insurance. Premiums and deductibles vary widely, and are based on several factors including previous water damage, the value of the home and its proximity to the river.
  • In response to the claims that were settled in 2013, policy terms around overland flooding have been revised. In most policies, water entering your home will be considered a result of overland flooding, if water reaches your property line within 48 hours of having entered your home.

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The Future of Calgary Homeowner’s Insurance

No matter where you live in Calgary, your insurance policy has, and will most likely continue to change in the years to come. Insurance claims caused by weather related events have sky rocketed in the last several years and the industry is looking for ways to limit its exposure to floods, wind and hail, while still providing adequate coverage to its clients.

Some potential changes to watch for:

  • Replacement of “old for new” clauses in policies with depreciation tables. These tables would take into consideration the age of your roof, for example, when determining the coverage that will be granted if damaged by hail.
  • Potential for a new pricing structure that does a better job of matching the risk with the cost. Lower prices and/or deductibles might be available for houses that have a roof made of material that resists hail damage. Only by having risk-sensitive pricing can consumers have sufficient information to make smart decisions.
  • A wider range of choices about our property coverage.  There is talk of offering a base policy that has only basic coverage for storm-related damage (water and hail).  Consumers would be offered a richer policy of storm coverage for a higher premium.  Similarly, the base policy might include $10,000 of coverage for basements – those who need more, pay more. It is the same principle that limits the coverage now on jewelry, stamp collections and computer equipment to modest amounts that are found in an ‘average’ home.

We need to pay attention to the changing landscape of Alberta home insurance now, more than ever, so we can protect the investment we have in our homes. Take time to read and understand your policy.

 

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Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen, founder of Who To Call Inc. Taking care of a house with three boys I always needed a good drywaller on speed dial. When I moved to Calgary I quickly discovered it was an Olympic sport to find home service businesses that provided the quality service and advice I was looking for. This experience inspired Who To Call – a website dedicated to helping Calgarians find quality home service repair companies. Sign up to post your project and find quality companies today!
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