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10 times you'll need extra home insurance

Posted on Sept. 29, 2017

A standard homeowner's insurance policy will get you a long way, but it won't cover every mess that arises. Frustrating as it may be, extra insurance is often a necessity if you want to be covered for a number of claim situations.

Read on to learn more about what those are.

1. Renovation

Renovation is a headache on its own for homeowners, but it gets complicated even further by the fact that many insurers won't cover claims that occur during times of renovation. Vacancy goes hand in hand with renovation, and it too is something that could result in an insurer revoking coverage if a home has been vacant for a certain period of time (e.g. 30 days).

So always get in touch with your insurer to see what their stance is on renovation. Additionally, make sure to update the company on the value of major items in your home, since that could impact how much value you would recoup in the event of a post-renovation claim.

2. Home business

As Smart Coverage has previously discussed, running a business from home is usually grounds for extra insurance. If someone visits the house as a client and gets injured or damages property, there's a good chance it won't be covered unless there is business insurance in place. Freelancers who only use the house as a workspace are probably okay to go ahead without it, but everyone else—from therapists to photographers to yoga instructors—should avoid the liability risk of not having the extra insurance.

3. Flooding

It's extremely rare for a homeowner's policy to automatically cover flooding. While it will cover certain types of water damage, floods resulting from either storms or overland spillover are typically excluded. Neither of those circumstances are the sorts of events you would want to be taken by surprise by. Make sure to assess your comfort level with regard to flood insurance and decide if you want it or not before it's too late.

4. Mold

It might seem unfair that an insurer wouldn't cover all mold removal claims, but there's at least a fair rationale for it. Whenever mold growth is directly caused by a homeowner's oversight or laziness, an insurer is usually under no obligation to pay for its eradication. An insurance policy does many things, but it certainly isn't meant to act as an enabler of laziness.

5. Acts of terror

Canadians are privileged enough to live in a country where acts of terrorism—at least, domestic ones—are not a common concern. If one were to occur, however, it would be unlikely to be covered under a standard homeowner's insurance policy. To be covered in the event of a terrorist attack, one must buy a separate form of insurance.

6. High-risk dogs

Unfortunately for many dog/home owners, dogs are not exempt from the risk assessment that is done to a household when a policy is being issued. Though the specifics of what breeds are singled out as high-risk will differ by insurer, common ones include Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pincers. Owning a high-risk dog may require people to pay more for home insurance, or, they could be denied coverage altogether.

7. Earthquakes

Like serious flooding incidents, earthquakes are natural disasters that fail to make it under the umbrella of standard homeowner's insurance. Though a policy might cover the damage caused by fire, explosion, and smoke following an earthquake, it probably wont compensate for damage resulting directly from the earthquake (e.g. broken items).

8. Sewer backup

Though it's far from the most harmful scenario on this list, sewer backup is probably the most foul. Between the grossness of the backed-up water and its putrid smell, sewer backup is just godawful—and that's before you even think about the fact that it doesn't get included in basic homeowner insurance policies. You'll have to pay a bit extra for SBU coverage. It stinks, but that's just how it is.

9. Trampolines

Home insurance and trampolines: not a match made in heaven. Insurers handle trampolines differently, but it's fair to assume that they won't treat them like they would any other toy in the home. Some will decline responsibility for accidents involving a trampoline, some will demand extra payment for it, and some will insist that the owners install a safety net around it. Regardless, be sure to check out a policy's attitude on that front before buying and using a trampoline.

10. Nuclear accidents

Insurance should be the least of your worries when a nuclear accident strikes, but that doesn't make it totally irrelevant. Although it is not something that home insurance covers, affected homeowners would still be compensated for a nuclear accident because in Canada, it would fall on the shoulders of responsible third party and the government.

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