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How to shop for home insurance – 5 quick tips

Home insurance is a must for homeowners with a mortgage. While not a legal requirement like auto insurance, most banks and mortgage lenders will insist you have it, and require proof, before lending you money to buy a home.

When shopping around, affordable premiums are important, as is your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. For example, if you choose a $1,000 deductible, you’ll likely have a lower premium than someone with a $200 deductible. Decide how much you can afford to cover if something were to happen.

There are a lot of other things to consider as well. Here are five tips to keep in mind when you’re shopping for home insurance:

Ask a lot of questions

Make sure you understand the details of your policy. You Financial Advisor can answer your questions and figure out exactly what kind of coverage you need to protect your home and its contents.

There are different policies available. Some offer basic coverage of named perils including fire, theft, some types of water damage, smoke damage and vandalism, plus things you may not expect: lightning, explosion, falling objects and even aircraft impact. Others are comprehensive policies that generally cover most risks to a building and its contents, but still have some exclusions.

Find out what's excluded

All policies have excluded perils. Ask your Financial Advisor what isn’t cover in your policy. It’s imperative that you know in advance, so there are no surprises when you make a claim.

It’s also important to understand what’s included in your policy. For example, as a condominium owner, are you covered if your washing machine floods and damages the unit below?

Liability coverage protects you anywhere

The liability portion of your policy covers incidents occurring at home, and also any legal responsibility arising out of unintentional actions that harm others, wherever they occur. For example, if you have a swimming pool on your property, you absolutely need liability insurance.

Do you need additional coverage?

If you have expensive jewelry, collectibles, musical instruments, computers or a home business, you may need additional coverage to be fully protected.

Insurance needs can change

Home insurance is not static and your needs change over time. If you increased the value of your home through additions or renovations, it’s important to let your Financial Advisor know so they can make sure you’re not underinsured.

Contact your Financial Advisor and explore your home insurance options or review your current coverage. You can access your active Co-operators policies simply by signing in to your Online Services account. If you don’t have an account, follow these steps. It’s an easy and convenient way to stay organized, start claims and update your personal information.