6.2.5 Property insurance

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Your home is probably the largest single financial investment you have ever made. Most people could not afford to replace everything they own, or repair the building itself, in the event of fire, theft or other disasters. That is where property insurance comes in.

Home or property insurance

Home or property insurance pays for damage to or loss of your house, condominium or property. It may cover:

  • damage, theft or loss of your personal possessions
  • personal property stolen from your vehicle
  • damage or injury to others who visit your home or property (for example, if someone falls in your driveway and is injured)
  • accidental damage you cause to others' property (for example, if a fire that starts in your house causes damage to your neighbour’s house).

Most financial institutions require you to get home or property insurance before giving you a mortgage.

There are many levels of home insurance, ranging from comprehensive or "all perils" insurance (which covers both the building and the contents for all risks that are not specifically excluded), to basic or “named perils” insurance (which covers you only for specifically named risks). Talk to an insurance agent or broker to determine the best type and level of coverage for you.

Condominium insurance

If you own a condominium, the condominium corporation (called the syndicate of co-owners in Quebec) usually carries insurance on the building itself, but that insurance does not cover your property in the building or any improvements you or previous owners have made to your suite. You need your own condominium insurance for that. Condominium insurance can also give you the extra coverage for damage to others, or damage to your property outside of the building, that home insurance gives you. Talk to an agent, broker or customer service representative to find out what coverage you need.

Tenant (renter's) insurance

If you rent your home, you should look carefully at how tenant insurance could protect you.

Tenant insurance may cover:

  • damage to or loss of your possessions
  • damage to or loss of your possessions outside your home, such as personal property stolen from your vehicle
  • accidental damage you cause to any part of the apartment building or home you are renting (for example, if your bathtub overflows and floods your apartment or causes damage to the apartment building or other tenants' property)
  • injury caused to visitors to the building by an accident you caused
  • additional living expenses for a period of time if your apartment becomes uninhabitable due to some reason covered under your policy.
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