What to expect from your Thunder Bay home insurance coverage
No two Thunder Bay home insurance policies are the same, just as no two Thunder Bay homeowners are the same. That said, there are several coverage types, such as dwelling, personal liability, and contents coverage, that are fairly standard in house insurance policies throughout Ontario. To give you a better idea of what to expect from your Thunder Bay property insurance policy, BrokerLink’s team of insurance advisors outlines each main component of home insurance below:
If you purchase home insurance in Thunder Bay, chances are it will include dwelling coverage. Why? Since dwelling coverage is a standard component of most Ontario home insurance policies. Dwelling coverage is crucial since it covers the physical structure of your property. With this type of coverage in your policy, you will be protected in the event that your home is damaged by an insured peril, such as a falling object, wind, theft, or fire. It is worth noting that dwelling coverage extends only to the physical building of your home, not the contents inside of it (e.g. personal belongings), nor the land it sits on. You will need additional coverage to protect these features of your home. Without further ado, below is a list of covered perils that your dwelling coverage may protect your Thunder Bay home against:
- Car / aircraft impact
- Falling objects
Contents insurance is another type of coverage that you will find in most home insurance policies in Ontario. This coverage is designed to protect the valuable items in your home, from furniture and electronics to jewellery, sporting equipment, artwork, and more. Contents coverage is important for all homeowners, but especially for those with high-value items inside their homes. How contents coverage works is as follows: If the belongings in your home are lost or damaged to a covered peril, like theft or fire, your insurer might compensate you (at least partially) for the cost of repairing or replacing the affected items.
Personal liability coverage
Personal liability coverage is another type of coverage that Thunder Bay policyholders can expect from their home insurance plans. Personal liability coverage aims to protect Thunder Bay homeowners from liability claims, specifically third party claims alleging property damage or bodily injury. This type of coverage is important as if an incident occurs on your property (e.g. a visiting guest injures themselves), you as the property owner could be held liable. Funding a lawsuit, not to mention potential settlement fees, medical expenses, and repair bills, could be difficult out-of-pocket. However, if your Thunder Bay home insurance plan features personal liability coverage, you likely would not have to pay for these costs alone. Instead, your insurer would help cover everything from legal to healthcare bills, and more.
Extra home insurance coverage that Thunder Bay homeowners can include with their policies
Some people want greater protection for their Thunder Bay homes. Luckily, insurance companies offer all kinds of add-ons, endorsements, and riders that can be added to Thunder Bay home insurance policies, on top of the standard coverage listed above. If you want the peace of mind of knowing that you are covered, whether your washer/dryer suddenly stops working or a sewer backup causes extensive damage in your home, adding extra coverage might be for you. Keep reading to learn more about three popular types of additional home insurance coverage in Thunder Bay:
Commercial business coverage
Owners of home businesses in Thunder Bay will likely find commercial business insurance to be an important add-on. Business coverage offers financial protection if a loss or damage occurs in your home due to your commercial operations. Without this type of coverage, your policy likely wouldn’t cover you for losses relating to business use.
Equipment breakdown coverage
Let’s face it - repairing or replacing broken household equipment can be expensive. From an HVAC unit like a furnace or air conditioner to a kitchen appliance like an oven or a refrigerator, a piece of equipment breaking down can have serious financial consequences. That’s why equipment breakdown insurance is so worthwhile for many Thunder Bay homeowners. When you purchase an equipment breakdown coverage endorsement, you will be financially protected should a piece of equipment in your home suddenly fail. Your insurer might compensate you for the cost of repairing or replacing the affected equipment, up to the policy limit.
Sewer backup coverage
A sewer backup is when sewage or wastewater backs up, coming out via a sink, toilet, or drain. This type of event can wreak havoc on your home in many ways, including water damage. Therefore, it is a worst-case scenario for many Thunder Bay homeowners. Thankfully, sewer backup insurance exists to help protect you from this nightmare situation.
The following may not be covered by your Thunder Bay property insurance policy
While home insurance policies in Thunder Bay provide ample coverage, you cannot expect your policy to cover you in any and all scenarios. Even home insurance has its limits. These limits will be described in detail via the terms and conditions in your insurance contract. You can also ask an insurance broker or agent to explain the limitations of your policy before or after it has been purchased. Anytime you purchase a new home insurance policy in Thunder Bay, it is critical that you understand what is and is not covered by your plan. While home insurance policies vary widely between customers, the following is a list of circumstances that property insurance generally does not cover. This means that you will need to purchase additional coverage or possibly even a separate insurance policy if you want to be covered in the following scenarios:
Listing your property (or even a portion of your property, such as one room or a basement suite) on a home sharing platform like Airbnb may affect your home insurance coverage. Short-term or vacation rentals increase your risk as both a policyholder and a homeowner. Since more people will be visiting your home on a regular basis, your insurance provider might require you to purchase additional coverage, such as rental property insurance. If you plan on renting out your home, speak with an insurance broker about how doing so can impact your rates.
If you have long-term travel plans coming up, then we urge you to notify your home insurance provider. Empty homes are inherently riskier, which might necessitate additional coverage. For Thunder Bay homes that are vacant for periods of 30 days or longer, informing your insurer is of the utmost importance. They will ensure your home has adequate vacant home coverage while you are away, helping you avoid the possibility of having your claim rejected and being forced to pay for it on your own.
Allowing your Thunder Bay property to fall into a state of disrepair
Avoid having your home insurance coverage voided by maintaining your home year-round. In certain circumstances, an insurer might reject your claim if they suspect that a failure to maintain your home is what caused the damage or loss to occur (e.g. if your roof was missing a shingle but you did nothing to fix it and it led to a leak in your property that caused serious damage). If you do not have the time or energy to maintain your home, consider hiring a professional service to do so.
Renovations to your Thunder Bay home
Many Thunder Bay homeowners don’t realize that their home insurance policies are unlikely to cover them if damage occurs due to a home reno project. Updating your home comes with risk, and many basic home insurance policies will not cover any losses that occur due to construction or renovation, unless coverage has specifically been purchased for these circumstances. Contact an insurance broker to learn more about the coverage you need if your home is undergoing renovation.
Here is a list of ways you might be able to save money on your Thunder home insurance coverage
Saving money on Thunder Bay home insurance isn’t as hard as it might seem. In fact, there are many ways you can do so, and BrokerLink can help you achieve them. The BrokerLink Thunder Bay team has put together the following list of ways that you can pay less or qualify for a reduced rate on your property insurance policy. From reviewing your coverage annually to installing an alarm system on your property, check out a few ways to save money on home insurance coverage in Thunder Bay:
1. Review your coverage frequently
First, we recommend reviewing your coverage frequently (at least once per year). Doing so can make you aware of the coverage you are still paying for but no longer need. If your policy is almost up for renewal and you are having trouble deciding which courage is worth keeping, contact an insurance broker today.
2. Add a monitored alarm system to the premises
Installing a monitored alarm system somewhere on your property may also lead to a reduced home insurance rate. A security system discount is one type of discount that insurers may offer to Thunder Bay residents. That said, insurance companies usually have a specific list of systems that qualify, so be sure to learn more about this discount's conditions before buying a new alarm system.
3. Bundle home insurance with other insurance policies to save
Buying more than one home insurance policy (e.g. homeowner’s insurance and seasonal property insurance) or two or more insurance policies generally (e.g. home insurance + car insurance) can result in significant insurance savings. Bundling discounts vary between providers, but buying multiple insurance policies and bundling them together can save you up to 15% on each policy.
4. Make annual insurance payments
Making annual insurance payments is another way to save money on Thunder Bay property insurance (and it’s one of the quickest and easiest on this list!). Since insurance companies may charge extra fees for each payment you make, paying for your home insurance policy in one annual installment can lead to a reduced rate.
5. Do not purchase a home with a swimming pool
Pools are major liability issues, which is why owners of homes with pools tend to pay more for insurance. To avoid the higher premium that comes with swimming pools, find a home without one on the property.
6. Buy a Thunder Bay home that is situated near a fire hydrant or fire station
Thunder Bay homeowners that live near fire hydrants or a fire station may be rewarded with a reduced home insurance rate. Some insurance providers are willing to offer discounts to those located near emergency services due to the added safety it provides.
7. Inquire about other home insurance discounts
You might be surprised to learn that there are all kinds of insurance discounts available to homeowners in Thunder Bay. For example, some employers or educational institutions offer reduced rates on home insurance. Non-smokers or loyal, long-time customers might also benefit from certain discounts. A trusted insurance broker can open your eyes to all the home insurance discounts you might be eligible for.
8. Get advice from a BrokerLink Thunder Bay insurance broker
Lastly, you can save money on house insurance by working with an insurance broker in Thunder Bay. Get in touch, and you will be assigned a dedicated insurance broker who will make it their mission to find you a great home insurance policy at a fantastic rate.
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At Thunder Bay BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible.
You can reach us by phone, email, or in person at any one of our locations throughout Ontario. No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool that can provide you with a competitive quote in minutes.
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FAQs on Thunder Bay property insurance
Is it worth working with Thunder Bay insurance advisors?
No one can answer this question but you, but many Thunder Bay residents find working with an insurance broker to be extremely beneficial.
What factors do insurance providers consider when calculating Thunder Bay home insurance rates?
Insurance providers in Thunder Bay - and throughout Ontario - are likely to consider many factors when calculating insurance rates. Understanding the details that come into play and can influence your premium will be important. The following is a list of factors that are likely to be considered when your Thunder Bay property insurance premium is being calculated:
- The size of your home in square feet.
- The quality of construction of your home (e.g. the quality of the materials it was built with).
- Your home address.
- Your home’s proximity to a fire hydrant, fire station, or other emergency service.
- Your personal insurance claims history.
- The coverage types, deductibles, and limits you choose.
- The age of your roof.
- The condition of your home’s plumbing system.
- The condition of your home’s electrical system.
I recently bought my first home in Thunder Bay, Ontario. What home insurance coverage do I need?
A homeowner’s property insurance needs depend on many factors. These factors may include your budget, your risk level, your personal preferences, and the specific characteristics of the property you purchase. For Thunder Bay homeowners after basic protection, we recommend purchasing standard homeowner’s insurance coverage (this typically consists of dwelling coverage, personal liability coverage, and contents coverage). If you require more protection, standard coverage may still be sufficient but you should make sure to purchase coverage with high limits and against the widest range of perils possible. (For example, if you have high-value items in your home like musical instruments, fine jewellery, artwork, or vintage wine, increasing the limit of your contents coverage may be worthwhile). If this still is not enough, Thunder Bay homeowners can add extra coverage to their policies in the form of a rider or endorsement. Popular home insurance coverage add-ons include sewer backup, equipment breakdown, and commercial business insurance.
I rent a condo in Thunder Bay. Can I still buy home insurance?
Yes. As a renter, your landlord may already require you to purchase renter’s insurance. If this is the case, your insurance advisor will make sure your policy complies with the conditions of your lease agreement. However, even in situations where a landlord does not require the tenant to purchase tenant insurance, doing so can still be worthwhile.
What perils should I add to my Thunder Bay home insurance policy?
Certain perils, such as theft or fire, are recommended to policyholders no matter where they live. However, other perils may be more important depending on the location of your home. In Thunder Bay, which is located on Lake Superior, sewer backup coverage and flood coverage may be a good idea. Both of these coverage types can protect your home from situations that may be higher risk in Thunder Bay. For example, given the close proximity of the lake, flooding may be more likely than in a land-locked city in Canada. In line with this, sewage backups often occur during floods, which means that Thunder Bay homes may be more prone to such an incident than others. Ultimately, insurance companies offer a wide range of coverage options to Thunder Bay homeowners.
If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.
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