When you read these lines, I’ll be on vacation. This year, I won’t be going very far: I’m not even planning on leaving my backyard! But this is unusual for me. Usually, we go away for a few days to visit family or friends.
For many of us, summer means vacation. For insurance brokers, it also means the busiest season because people who are moving, going camping or off to the cottage have questions. And we’re here to answer them.
When you change your place of residence, there are hundreds of details to think about. People often forget to call their insurance. Even though this should be a top priority!
Your address is displayed on your insurance contract. It is the place your insurer protects. To do so, they charge you a specific premium, calculated according to the risks of this specific residence. The insurer’s calculation is affected by the property’s neighbourhood, the type of building and additional details.
Even if you move only a block away, forgetting to notify your insurance company could result in their refusal to compensate you in the event of a claim related to your new address.
It is important for homeowners, and even renters, with above-ground pools to advise their broker. Actually, since above-ground pools are excluded from insurance contracts, you have to ask to have yours protected in case of vandalism or breakage, like if a tree branch falls on it. (In-ground pools are insured through your home insurance, as they are considered to be an integral part of your building.)
This way, you’re protected if the pool breaks and causes damage or if a swimmer gets hurt. Your civil liability is included in your home insurance policy.
Cottages and camping
Insurers understand that our property is not always in our homes. We sometimes go out with our cameras, golf bags, etc. This is why, on insurance policies, property that is temporarily outside the insured address (your home) is covered, wherever it is. You should check with your broker, but normally, “temporarily” covers a fairly long period of time. Weeks or even months are often accepted.
When you go camping, it is surely not forever. And anything you bring along tends to come back home with you. These goods are therefore insured, even when on a campsite.
On the other hand, to be covered, cottages must be declared to your insurer and appear on your insurance policy. Most of the time, vandalism and theft are not insured, since cottages often go without surveillance.
It is important to note that both the cottage and the property it contains are rarely covered at replacement cost. In any case, cottages are rarely filled with new furniture and we usually don’t leave valuable belongings behind. The things we bring with us from home are insured at replacement cost since they are only temporarily out of our main residence.
As I always say, if you have any doubt about what is covered, contact your broker! As for me, I’m temporarily out of the office for a few more days of vacation.