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Homeowner Insurance

The Home insurance, commonly known as homeowner insurance, is a type of insurance policy covering a private residence. 

Most homeowner insurance in the Canadian market is a combination of the following insurance types

  • Liability Insurance
  • The buildings, 
  • Contents 
  • loss of use (additional living expenses), 
  • or loss of other personal possessions 

Most importantly, the homeowner insurance provides some financial relief against disasters. 


As above, homeowner insurance is a multiple-line insurance policy that includes property insurance and liability coverage. It comes as an indivisible premium; that insured only pay a single premium for all that declared on the insurance policy

Liability, damage to property caused by the owner or members of his/her family to other people, and damage caused by household pets. (see homeowner with dogs)

The cost of insurance policy or premium often depends on what it would cost to replace the house, known as replacement cost, additional endorsements, and riders attached to the policy. 

The insurance policy is a form of agreement between the insurance company and the homeowner (known as insured).

This contract indemnity and return the insured back to the financial state before the loss. 

Home insurance policy, like most insurance policy, will have exclusion, including floods or war, including a nuclear explosion from any source—this exclusion, amongst other standard exclusions (like termites). In exceptional cases such as flood, separately and additional insurance can be purchase. Insurance price varies to reflect the cost of replacement, usually upon applying an inflation factor or a cost index.

All homeowner insurance packages will have liability bundled with building, contents and other extension coverage. 

Liability Insurance Coverage

For this section of liability, insurance will cover property damage caused by the owner or members of his/her family to other people and damage caused by household pets.  

Common exclusions on homeowner insurance

Insurance policies will have exclusions on liability coverage. The most common exclusions are:

  • Depreciation or wear-and-tear maintenance. (see)
  • Faulty workmanship of builder or contractors
  • Mechanical or electrical breakdown
  • Amount over the limits of the policy 
  • Vacant or empty home, or if it is rented out to tenants

homeowner insurance

Building coverage

The building coverage protects both the primary and detached structures. It may include garages, sheds, and back houses on the property up to a limit. Always ensure the property is covered sufficiently with replacement costs.

Different insurers may not cover particular structures such as boundary walls, fences, gates, paths, drives or swimming pools, so it is essential to check the specific policy wording. 

Contents coverage on homeowner insurance

Contents insurance covers personal belonging, such as furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. 

Most insurance will limit the amount of money paid out for each category of items. Each policy may vary in the amount of coverage provided. The option to schedule your personal property can be purchase separately. 

Covered perils on homeowner insurance

Most buildings and content insurance offer on a "named perils" and "open perils" types. A "named perils" policy provides coverage for a loss specifically listed on the policy. If it's not listed, it's not covered. 

"All Perils" policy is broader in the sense that it will provide coverage for losses on everything except exclusions on the insurance policy. Detail breakdown of these package follows.

"Named Peril"

There are various types of content coverage on homeowner insurance. The Named Peril is a type that describes how insurance protects against perils in a loss claim. It covers only the list of risk found in the insurance policy. This type of policy mostly protects vacant or unoccupied buildings.

Depending on the insurance policy, the wording may cover the following perils (always check your insurance policy):

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Aircraft or vehicle collision
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • All basic-form perils
  • Burglary, break-in damage
  • Falling objects (e.g. tree limbs)
  • Weight of ice and snow
  • Freezing of plumbing
  • Accidental water damage
  • Artificially generated electricity

"all risk." 

Another special form coverage, and it is the most inclusive. The difference with "named peril" policies is that they provide coverage to all losses unless specifically excluded. Insured will be cover on a peril that not on the exclusion lists. 

If something happens to your home, and unfortunately, the event is listed on the exclusions list, it will not provide coverage.

Exclusions list of homeowner insurance including:

  • bylaw or Ordinance of law
  • Neglect
  • Movement of earth or Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Power failure
  • War
  • Nuclear hazard
  • Intentional acts

So, in short, 

i) Named peril will cover only on the list

ii) All Peril will not cover if it is on the list (of exclusion)

Homeowner insurance package

Most insurance companies like to differentiate their insurance package offer with names like Comprehensive, Broad or standard. Except for features such as additional living, claim free protection, cyber and more others, the major differences are the building and content. Take a look at the comparison matrix:

Building  Content
Comprehensive     All-Peril  All-Peril
Broad  All-Peril   Named-Peril
Standard  Named-Peril     Named-Peril   

Claims process on homeowner insurance

After a loss, the insured must take steps to mitigate the loss. Insurance policies require the policyholder to notify the insurer within a reasonable time. A claims adjuster is assigned to investigate the claim. Insured may need to provide various information such as ownership, receipt etc. Filing a claim will increase insurance rates, result in non-renewal or cancellation. Most insurer company will share the claim data in an industry database. 

Check your homeowner insurance policy for wording and talk to your insurance broker. Get homeowner insurance quotes online. 

Don't forget to Download home inventory list from Here to keep track of what content you have

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