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Everything you need to know about insurance for your first home

Published on June 10, 2024


About to buy your first home? Shopping for home insurance is a must.

Here’s everything you need to know about this essential coverage. This way, you can make an informed decision.

The prelude to home insurance

First thing you should know is that you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to actually purchasing home insurance. The financial institution providing your loan will require it. As long as your home is not entirely paid off, it remains the property of your financial institution and must be adequately covered.

Your home insurance covers:

  • Your property
  • The cost of rebuilding
  • Injuries caused to others
  • Damage sustained by others

Which coverage is right for you?

Typically, insurers will propose two levels of home insurance coverage:

  • Specified Perils (or basic)
  • All Perils

It all depends on your risk tolerance. The former protects you against theft, fires, vandalism, and sometimes, water damage. This option is for those who wish to pay the least possible for their home insurance.

As for the All Perils coverage, it does exactly as its name suggests: it covers more risks. Of course some risks aren’t included, so we recommend you read your contract thoroughly.

You can also add riders to your contract for extended coverage. For example, for damage caused by water seepage through the roof or sewer backups.

Your insurance contract also includes civil liability insurance (if you have one of the two property coverages). This covers you if you cause involuntary injury or property damage to another person. This could come in handy if, for example, the postal worker slips and falls on your icy steps.

Note that civil liability is not limited to incidents occurring on your property. It provides coverage throughout the world if you cause:

  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Water damage

For a better understanding, contact your broker, who can asses your needs and propose the coverage that’s right for you.

Are the swimming pool and spa covered?

Your home insurance covers water damage caused by a swimming pool or spa. However, it doesn’t cover your pool or spa if they get damaged.

That’s why you need to add a rider to your contract to protect them. Adding this coverage is recommended, especially if you own a new above-ground swimming pool.

Inventory of your property: a must

Determining the value of your property can be trickier than you think. So it’s best to draw up a list of everything you own. You might be surprised by what you actually have!

This inventory of your property allows you to evaluate the full value. You can then be sure whether the amount of insurance you have for your property is adequate.

Do you own valuable property?

Inherited your grandmother’s jewelry or have vintage wines in your cellar? These items are considered valuable property.

The coverage amount for some of these types of items is limited:

  • Bicycles
  • Collectible cards
  • Wines and spirits
  • Jewelry, precious stones and watches
  • Art
  • Etc.

Take the time to ask your insurer whether your valuable items are in fact covered.

An insurance contract that meets your needs

Has the purchase offer on your first home been accepted? It’s time to purchase your home insurance. Do so before you visit your notary.

Before contacting your broker, you’ll need some important information:

  • Year of construction
  • Building dimensions
  • Age of water heater
  • Type of heating system
  • Year roof was redone
  • Type of siding

Now all you need to do is follow our tips for moving.