Archive for Home Insurance

Residents Lack “Over Land” Water

Residents Lack “Over Land” Water

Have you heard about the Overland Water coverage that was introduced this past year in Ontario? The article below is a great reason why the new coverage is so important.

 

The heavy rains last Tuesday have caused many residents in Newfoundland and Labrador to file for claims for flooded basements, but the region’s insurance association reveals that many lack proper coverage to deal with the water damage.

“I don’t know what the percentages are, but a lot of people don’t have the coverage, let’s put it that way,” Insurance Brokers’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (IBAN) president Kent Rowe told CBC News.

The insurance industry classifies the flooding of basements due to rising water levels on rivers, streams, brooks, ponds and lakes as “over land water damage.” There is a specific coverage for this type of damage, but Rowe pointed out that many homeowners lack the added coverage.

“The over land water flood protection has only been available in this province in the past 12-18 months,” Rowe explained. “Not every insurance company offers it.”

According to Rowe, over land water damage coverage was created in response to the increased frequency and severity of significant rainfalls over the past few years.

“Water damage claims are the number one source of claims in our industry right now,” he said. “It used to be that fire was. Water is the new fire.”

Although many initially missed out on the insurance feature when it first came out, last week’s flooding has convinced several homeowners to finally opt for over land water damage coverage. Rowe said that while it may be a little too late for some, this is a good development—more people are likely to be protected the next time flooding occurs.

CBC News reported that the added coverage could cost $60 to $90 a year in low-risk zones. High risk zones could see costs as high as $2,500 a year. Those who opt for over land water damage coverage should expect higher deductibles, as well.

Call Moller Insurance today to speak to one of our brokers to make sure you have the right coverage! (905)642-2745 or 1(800)603-4279

Source:
Adriano, Lyle. “Residents Lack “over Land” Water Damage Coverage.” Insurance Business. Insurance Business Canada, 17 Oct. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

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Airbnb Insurance Even More Essential

The sharing economy is growing and Airbnb is one of the most popular in the industry. However, the following article might make you think twice about renting out your own place.

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Samia Bendhamane only found out that her apartment had been robbed by her Airbnb renter when she received a call from police last Friday, Aug. 12. Bendhamane assumes that the robbery took place between Thursday and Friday of last week, with the robber making off with a Canada Goose jacket, a Louis Vuitton purse and a games console.

Anyone who’s been the victim of a robbery knows how awful it feels; it’s not just the loss of material goods – it runs deeper.

But for Bendhamane, things then got weird. On Saturday she discovered that her cousin, Othmane Zniber, had also been robbed… by the same renter.

“Airbnb had hours to alert us to let us know that this guy had robbed my cousin – to let me know and anyone else know that he was a thief. And they did nothing,” Zniber told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak.

Zniber said he is charging Airbnb $8,000 for his valuables and loss of income incurred after having to cancel a visitor who wanted to rent his apartment for 20 days.

It’s just the latest in a string of sharing economy stories that has insurance implications.

“It’s a challenging space for brokers, because most insurance companies are reluctant to insure clients’ homes if they’re renting it through Airbnb,” explains Daniel Mirkovic, President at Square One Insurance. “In most cases, the broker needs to direct the customer to a commercial insurance provider. We do insure homeowners that participate in Airbnb but we don’t resell that product, we sell directly to consumers. There is a higher deductible for crime related losses.”

Mirkovic believes brokers have a responsibility to remind their clients about informing their home insurance provider if they intend to rent their property, otherwise the policy could be void. He also sees a couple of major insurance challenges in the short-term rental space. “There is an Airbnb Host Guarantee, but it’s unclear what type of protection it provides: how does it work with what a client’s home insurance provides – should it replace it?” he says. “The reality is that the Host Guarantee is meant to supplement home insurance and pick up where it leaves off. Home insurance is there to protect against sudden and accidental loss and damage caused by you or your renters. The Host Guarantee kicks in if there is intentional damage by a renter.”

So, in the case of the two unfortunate hosts in Montreal: are their losses covered? “I suspect they would be covered because this was an intentional act by a criminal,” Mirkovic says.

 

Contact a broker at Moller Insurance Ltd. if you want further information on how to protect yourself, your home and your belongings.

Phone: (905) 642-2745

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Why Older Homes Can Be Harder to Insure

Insurance Coverage Issues Affecting Older Homes

Did you know that… OlderHome Sale

If your home is over 30 years old, your insurance company may require you to upgrade the plumbing, electrical and/or heating systems in your home prior to providing you with or renewing your homeowners insurance policy.

Buying an older home

If you are looking to purchase an older home that has galvanized steel plumbing, 60-amp electrical service, knob and tube electrical wiring, a wood-burning stove or a fuel oil tank, make sure to factor the cost of necessary upgrades into your offering price! Your insurance representative will be able to advise you on what upgrades may need to be completed prior to obtaining homeowners insurance coverage.

Your insurance company’s concerns with galvanized steel plumbing

Galvanized steel pipes, commonly installed in homes prior to 1950, have an average life expectancy of 40–50 years.

Over time, the galvanized steel pipes begin to rust or corrode from the inside out, resulting in reduced water pressure and restricted water flow. This presents an increased risk of leaks or ruptures occurring in the pipes and the potential for flood damage.

Your insurance company may require you to replace galvanized steel piping with copper and plastic piping before providing you with insurance coverage.

The dangers associated with 60-amp electrical service

Insurance companies are concerned that the 60-amp electrical service, common in homes built prior to 1950, poses the threat of overuse and overheating, potentially increasing the risk of an electrical fire and a subsequent claim.

Before providing you with insurance coverage, your insurance company may require you to upgrade your 60-amp electrical service to 100 amps (the standard for new home construction) or install a switching device that allows for the operation of only one major appliance at a time.

The problem with knob and tube wiring

Knob and tube wiring, also commonly found in homes over 50 years of age, consists of parallel hot (black) and neutral (white) wires, separated by knobs (or insulators) and ceramic tubes. Knob and tube wiring is considered a higher risk than contemporary wiring installations mainly because

There is no ground wire (in contrast to contemporary wiring).

Given their age, the wires are highly susceptible to wearing and exposure, presenting a serious safety hazard.

The unintentional contact of the hot and neutral wires may potentially cause an electrical fire. As a result, you may be required to replace all exposed knob and tube wiring with approved permanent wiring material before an insurance company will provide you with homeowners insurance coverage.

Wood-burning stoves can be a hazard

If they are not installed and used properly, wood-burning stoves can pose a serious fire hazard.

To reduce potential risk, your insurance company may require that your wood-burning stove be inspected by a certified Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) technician and certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC), Canadian Standard Association (CSA) or Warnock Hersey before agreeing to provide you with homeowners insurance coverage.

Similarly, your insurance company may request that you have your wood-burning stove thoroughly cleaned and inspected by a professional sweep or technician at least once each year, prior to renewing your policy.

Why your insurance company is asking you to replace your fuel oil tank

Tanks 25 years or older are highly susceptible to rusting, deterioration and leakage and are considered environmental hazards. If a fuel oil leak occurs and goes undetected, the environmental cleanup for such a situation can be immense. A pinhole leak can spill 750 litres of oil in eight hours and have cleanup costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.

Most insurance companies will only insure a fuel oil tank provided it is less than 20–25 years old and has been inspected and certified by a Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspector.

If your oil tank is 25 years or older, your insurance company may require that you remove and replace it with a gas or electrical furnace, prior to providing you with homeowners insurance coverage.

Given the wide range of inspection/upgrade requirements that insurance companies may have, it’s always best to speak to your insurance representative about your specific situation.

Moller Insurance Ltd.

“Insurance Coverage Issues Affecting Older Homes.” Financial Services Commission of Ontario. FSCO, n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.

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The Insurance Side of a Home Explosion

The Insurance Side of a Home Explosion

Insurers Await Cause of Loss in Mississauga Explosion Aftermath

As residents begin to return home following the mysterious house explosion that destroyed swaths of a Mississauga street, uncertainty remains surrounding the blast’s cause.

Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations‎ at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says that’s the burning question for insurers and adjustors, many of whom are awaiting access to affected areas.

“Part of the question that has yet to be answered for the insurers and the community is the cause of the loss,” he says. “The impact and damages are due to an explosion – but explosions don’t just happen. What was the factor that triggered that, and might there be any liability for another third party as a result of that explosion?”

Suspicions of foul play behind the blast have arisen, as it was revealed one of the deceased residents of the house was convicted of murder in the city in the 1980s. Handwritten notes with troubling messages found at the scene are currently being analyzed as evidence by Peel Region Police. Should criminal actions be a factor, it will complicate any resulting claims, says Karageorgos.

“Like any insurance claim, if the cause of loss was due to the intentional actions of an insured, or criminal actions, then the property the insured was affiliated with will likely have its claim denied,” he says. “Neighbouring properties would be fine. But if it was determined that it was an intentional and criminal act, odds are the insurers will deny any coverage.

“If there are mortgages in place and lenders who may have a claim, that would be the next step in terms of assessing who may have a valid claim.”

The full extent of damage has yet to be determined by adjustors, as roughly 69 addresses remain uninhabitable. However, progress should move quickly, stated Mississauga Fire Marshal Tim Beckett to the media, now that response teams have entered the ‘recovery phase’. Sections of the site will be released to residents and insurers over the coming days, allowing adjustors to board up affected houses and being their assessments.

Karageorges adds the incident holds a valuable lesson for brokers, as many area residents, while knowledgeable about who their insurance was with, seemed in the dark concerning their specific policies. “It’s worthwhile for the broker community to note… this really highlights that events like this do happen, and it’s incumbent of those in the industry to continually eduate customers to help them understand what their policies have and cover,” he says.

“As an industry we have to do a better job of educating people because the types of coverages within a policy that people don’t understand such as coverage for the dwelling, the contents, the additional living expenses, there are various layers of the policy that people don’t understand and take for granted.”

Graham, Penelope. “Insurers Await Casue of Loss in Explosion Aftermath.” Insurance Business Canada. Insurance Business Canada, 05 July 2016. Web. 05 July 2016.

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Don’t Wait Until You Have A Claim

Don’t Wait Until You Have A Claim

Don’t wait until you have to make an insurance claim for damaged, lost or stolen property to make a detailed list of your household possessions. The added stress and anxiety of the moment will make it difficult to remember and make a record of all your belongings. Instead, take the time to make a home inventory list now!

Take Inventory of Your Home

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. The most efficient way to make an inventory is to go through your house, room by room. This includes your garage, basement, attic and off-premises storage unit.
  2. Write down what’s in each room. Your list should include:
    • Floor material/window treatments
    • Sporting equipment
    • Furniture/cabinetry
    • Outdoor items
    • Appliances
    • Artwork
    • Computer equipment/electronics
    • Antiques
    • CD/DVD, book collections
    • Jewellery
    • Toys/games
    • Collectibles
    • Contents of your closets, cabinets and drawers

When recording items of value, make sure to include the manufacturer (brand), model and serial number (where applicable), as well as the method of acquisition (i.e., purchased, inherited or received as a gift), date purchased or received and cost or approximate value.

  1. It’s a good idea to take photographs or a video recording of each room, with valuable items prominently displayed.
  2. Attach photocopies of receipts and appraisals for valuable items, as well as of important family documents (e.g., your will and testament, house title and deed, birth certificates, passports, credit card numbers, account numbers) to the list.
  3. Store your list, along with any supporting photographs, video and/or documents, in a fireproof/watertight safe or in a secure place away from home, such as a bank safety deposit box.
  4. Finally, don’t forget to establish a simple method for recording all new major purchases and periodically updating your inventory.

For more information contact your insurance broker at Moller Insurance Ltd. or give us a call at (905) 642-2745.

Source: “Take Inventory of Your Home,”(2016, April 05). Retrieved June 08, 2016, from www.fsco.gov.on.ca

 

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The Truth About Renters Insurance

The Truth About Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is a form of property coverage that protects a policyholder’s personal belongings within a rental property. When renting an apartment, many tenants wrongly assume that their landlord’s insurance coverage protects them from damages. This is one of the many myths associated with renters insurance—myths that may cause some tenants to avoid coverage altogether.
This can be costly, and it’s important to understand some of basics of a renters insurance policy before making a decision.

4 Myths About Renters Insurance

1. Renters insurance only covers your possessions. Renters insurance typically includes liability protection in addition to standard property coverage. This is important in the event that you are responsible for injury or property damage to others. For instance, if someone slips and sprains his or her ankle at your apartment, you are likely to be protected under a renters insurance policy.
2. It’s unaffordable. In actuality, renters insurance is very affordable for the average tenant. While policy prices will vary, most tenants can receive up to $25,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage for about $16 per month. For more savings, some policies offer discounts to those who add renters insurance onto existing coverage.
3. You only need renters insurance if you own a lot of expensive items. Personal property values can add up quickly. To demonstrate this, tenants should take an inventory of their belongings. When you start adding up things like furniture, laptops and televisions, the importance of renters insurance can become a bit more apparent. When considering renters insurance, it’s important to keep in mind that items like collectibles and antiques may be out of the scope of traditional policies and that special coverage may be required.
4. You don’t need renters insurance if your roommate has it. Renters insurance only protects the policyholder’s personal belongings. In the event of a fire of theft, you will have to recoup any losses if you are without some sort of coverage.

 

Like any insurance policy, it’s important to take your unique situation into account before committing. Contact Moller Insurance Ltd. today for more information.

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Try Our Brand New Quoting Tool TODAY!

Try Our Brand New Quoting Tool TODAY!


You could be 5 minutes away from saving on your insurance!

Getting a single quote for your home or car might seem like a time consuming task. A lot of factors can impact the amount of time it takes to get an insurance quote;for example, how many drivers and vehicles you have of details about the construction of your home. However, www.mollerinsurance.com has now made it easy to get an insurance proposal in 5 minutes or less.

You now have a choice to complete a general 10-second quote or a more detailed 5 minute quote to see where you can start saving. The detailed quote will give you a more accurate estimate though answering a few simple questions. Your answers will then be run through our 18 contracted insurance companies to determine the company with the best coverage to fit your specific needs.

Moller Quote Tool

Once you’ve completed the session, you are given the option to try an additional quote or send the data you have submitted to our insurance specialists to further assist you with any questions.

When you call, we can also inform you of potential discounts and further saving you may qualify to receive.

Try out our new Quoting Tool today and give us a call! (905) 642-2745

 

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Advice for DIY Renovations

  Helping You Build Security                                                    ca. 2001 --- Structure Wooden Frame Interior --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

When undertaking a remodeling project, people often forget to review their insurance needs, too. Whether your additional budget is large or small, you are adding both the value of your home and your exposure to risk. To ensure that your project goes smoothly and that you have the coverage you need, here’s what you need to know.

Advice for Do-It-Yourselfers

If decide to go it alone and manage a renovation yourself, you assume all the risks. A review of your homeowners coverage for liability and property is prudent, as you are assuming more risks and exposures than contemplated by homeowners insurance.

Hiring bona fide subcontractors who can provide you with a Certificate of Insurance or copies of their policies showing their general liability and worker’s compensation coverage is mandatory for your legal protection. Otherwise, if you are hiring subcontractors or paying friends to do the work, you could be subject to worker’s compensation laws, should they become injured while working on your home. If a friend or relative helps out as a favour (no money changes hands) and gets injured, your homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of their injuries, up to your policy limits. It’s important to note that a homeowners policy is not designed to provide primary liability protection for these injuries. If a helper is seriously injured, the domino effect can be financially and emotionally difficult for all who are involved. For an extra layer of protection, it’s a good idea to also carry umbrella liability coverage, which kicks in to provide liability coverage above your homeowners limits.

Top Ways to Save on Your Premium:                          DIY                           
  • Consider raising your deductible
  • Invest in a home security system
  • Update exterior locks to dead bolts
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Select an automatic payment method
  • Monitor your credit rating
  • Ask about our multi-policy discounts
Insuring the Real Value of Your Home

Experts estimate that one-fourth of remodeling projects add at least 25 per cent to the value of a home, yet often most homeowners forget to increase their coverage to protect their investment. Most homeowners insurance policies require 100 per cent of the home’s replacement cost, so it’s important to raise your home’s policy limit before your project begins.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to increase your coverage by the same amount as the cost of renovation. Often, a major cost factor in a home improvement project is labour for tearing out something old. Determining this new replacement can be somewhat complex, so contact us for assistance. We have the latest technology available to assist with this process.

Your insurance partner

Adding to your home is exciting, but poses financial risks. Contact Moller Insurance Ltd. at 905-642-2745 to learn more about all of our home, auto and life personal risk management solutions.

 

 

Moller Insurance Ltd. logo

64 Sandiford Dr Suite 1

Stouffville, ON   L4A 7X5

 

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Keeping Your Holidays Safe

Preventing Home Break-ins holidayhome

Home break-ins can be both traumatic and expensive. In addition to replacing stolen or damaged property, break-ins cost insurance companies millions of dollars in claims each year, which, in turn, increases your premiums.

By following these three simple tips, you can potentially avoid a stressful and costly burglary:

  1. Secure the Premises: Locking doors and windows at night before you leave your home is the first line of defence against a break-in. Experts recommend using deadbolt locks for added security.
  2. Use Alarm Systems: Using a 24-hour monitored system is statistically proven to lower your chance of a home break-in. As an added benefit, some systems also detect fire or carbon monoxide.
  3. Protect Your Valuables: Create an inventory of all of your valuables and keep them in a safety deposit box or other secure area.

Most burglaries occur during the day, so it’s important to make your home appear occupied at all times. Ask trusted neighbours, family and friends to keep an eye on your house while you are away.

How to Safely Host a Holiday Party

For many Canadians, the holidays are a time to celebrate. However, those throwing a party this season could be unknowingly exposing themselves to a number of risks—risks they may not have even considered.

ChristmasFood

  • Food Allergies: Shellfish, nuts and dairy are some of the most common food allergies, and these items are often found in popular holiday dishes. To ensure the safety of your guests, ask them to inform you of any allergies, and consider using labels to list ingredients.
  • Over-serving: Alcohol is a staple at most holiday parties. But, when a guest becomes inebriated and drives home, they could cause damage to property or injury to themselves and others. Be mindful of how much your guests are drinking and never let someone drive home if he or she has been over-served.
  • Decorations: Festive decorations like string lights and candles can create great ambiance for any holiday party, but they can also be dangerous. Never leave lights on or candles burning overnight, as this can cause fires. Ensure lights are in working order and that you aren’t overloading outlets.
  • Theft: You may not always know everyone at your party, so it’s important to take precautions when it comes to your valuables. Keep expensive items locked away and out of sight. Ask your insurer about coverage options for your valuables.

By keeping in mind the above tips, you’ll protect you and your guests from harm and ensure that your next holiday celebration is a success.

 

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Is Your House Properly Insured During Renovations?

Whether you are a do-it-yourselfeInsurance for Home Renovationsr or prefer to pay a professional contractor to renovate, you will need to consider some things before you start. Your first call regarding your renovation should be to your insurance broker; you need to clarify your existing coverage and what coverage is available to purchase during the renovations. In your conversation, different obstacles might come up with your current policy such as limited coverage for being under construction, no coverage for materials/tools or concerns around potential changes to by-laws in your area.

There are many options that you can consider to cover your home during renovations: a builders risk policy, an endorsement for coverage while under construction, added and/or by law coverage to name a few. Also, you need to understand if you are hiring a friend or a contractor, what the implications are for you as the home owner, and what the liability section of your policy will cover. What happens if a worker is injured on the job in your home?

Are you planning on increasing the footprint of your home during the renovation? It is important that your insurance broker is aware of any changes to your home, as this impacts your replacement coverage amount. For instance, your unfinished basement could cost $150 per square foot to replace while your finished basement could be $250 per square foot or higher.

Were you also aware that home renovations could affect the price you pay for insurance? Upgrading your roof, furnace, plumbing or electrical could reduce the cost of your insurance.

Remember to contact your insurance broker prior to your renovations and again after your renovation is complete to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home. According to the non-profit National Fire Protections Association, property losses from fires in one and two family homes during construction or major renovations increase 42% to $199 million from $140 million between 2002 and 2005. You need to verify that you are properly insured and don’t leave the insurance coverage to chance.

Call us to discuss your options 1-800-603-4279.

Published by Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
May 2014

Posted in: Home Insurance

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