Squamish Homeowner's Insurance

Note: The Garibaldi Highlands Branch (#1 -1900 Garibaldi Way) will remain open until April 25th at 4pm. Effective 9am on April 27th, it will be amalgamating with the Chieftain Centre Squamish branch.

Insuring your home

If you are like most home owners, you will probably never need to submit an insurance claim. But no one is immune from misfortune! It's good to know that the premiums of many people like you are available to pay for the insured losses of a few. Within limits, home insurance reimburses you for your financial loss arising from mishaps that are generally "sudden and accidental" and hard to predict and prevent.

Throughout Canada, private insurance companies compete for your business either directly with their own agents or through independent brokers. They compete not only on price, but also on service and coverage. There's no such thing as a standard home owner's policy. Because coverage may vary from one insurer to another, it is important to have your broker or agent explain the policy to you before you agree to coverage.

When comparing quotes and coverage, don't forget service! While good service may cost a bit more, it may well be worth it.

Your Liabilities To Others

The personal liability portion of home insurance applies at your home or anywhere in the world to bodily injury you may unintentionally inflict on others - often referred to as "third parties" - or to your accidentally damaging their property. No deductibles apply. Legal defence costs, if there is potential for a liability claim against you, are in addition to policy limits. The choice of lawyer(s) is up to the insurer, however. There is no liability coverage for disease transmission and physical - including sexual - abuse.

For example, suppose a visitor or a household employee were to be injured by slipping on a wet floor in your home, and you were judged to be legally responsible: there would be no deductible and you would be covered for the damages you were legally obliged to pay because of the injury. This coverage does not apply to injuries sustained by you or by members of your immediate household. Also, there's no coverage for "punitive" damages assessed by a court as punishment for your actions; only "compensatory" damages are covered.

Optional Coverages

Coverage for the following perils, not normally included in any type of home insurance policy, may often be purchased separately:

Earthquake - particularly worth considering in 'quake-prone regions of Quebec and British Columbia;  cost varies according to location and type of construction; your insurer may be able to advise you of techniques for reducing earthquake damage.

Furnace oil spills - consider replacing steel tanks more than 20 years old; beware of damage to concealed pipes and tubing.

Sewer back-up - useful in some low-lying areas; particularly those with combined storm and sanitary sewers; your insurer can advise you about the merits of back-flow prevention devices.

By-law endorsement - when construction codes and zoning bylaws change, existing buildings are usually exempted. But when a severely damaged building has to be substantially rebuilt, the entire building may have to comply with current standards. This could mean costly addition of a sprinkler system or even demolishing, relocating and rebuilding those portions of the structure that are undamaged. An optional "by-law" endorsement may be purchased to cover this additional expense, but the overall amount of insurance may need to be higher.