6.3.7 Case study: Reading the fine print

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Nayana and Arjuna talk to an agent about whether their insurance claim will be covered.

Nayana and Arjuna loved being outdoors in the summer and, five years after buying their house, had an in-ground pool put in. Their children learned to swim in it, and the entire family enjoyed the pool. During a severe winter windstorm, a tree fell, knocking the pool ladder out of place and damaging the side wall.

Nayana and Arjuna promptly called their insurance agent and submitted a claim for damages. They were surprised and disappointed when the agent informed them that the pool was not covered under their policy.

"But it's part of our property," Nayana argued.

"Yes," the agent agreed, "but you didn't notify us when you put in the pool. Swimming pools can be covered under an endorsement—an addition to a policy that alters the coverage, terms or conditions—but that's not included in your current policy."

Lessons Nayana and Arjuna learned:

  • It's essential to read the policy carefully and know exactly what it does and does not include.
  • You should review your coverage once a year and adjust it to include new purchases or changes to your property.
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