Whether you’ve bought a house or condo, or rent, your home insurance covers so much more than what you own. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from coverage.

Your belongings

Your computer, TV, jewellery, clothes, collectables — if your belongings are damaged, lost or stolen, your insurer will likely provide the Replacement Value for them. You’ll get back what it costs to buy a similar item (not what you paid for it originally) within a specified period of time.

Your belongings are also covered while they’re outside the home — your camera while you’re on a road trip, for example, or your child’s laptop while they’re living away from home to attend university or college (to a maximum dollar amount).

Note, however, that your policy also includes “limitations” for certain types of valuables. For example, you may be covered for up to $500 if you want to replace a stolen bike, or $200 for a coin collection. Some policies will include a lump sum for all your valuables. It’s important to understand these limitations so that you’re not disappointed should you file a claim.

Your personal or third-party liability

If you’re legally found liable and must pay damages to someone, then your home, condo or renter’s insurance policy will protect you if:

  • Someone gets injured on the property you own or rent. For example, someone slips on a loose rug in your hallway, injures their back and can’t work temporarily and sues you for lost wages.
  • You damage another person’s property accidentally. Your child tosses a ball through a neighbour’s window and breaks a valuable item.
  • Voluntary payments. Your policy includes coverage for payment to a third party for some medical expenses and property damage, even in the absence of liability.

Additional living expenses

Sometimes you’re forced to temporarily leave your home due to damage — a fire, for instance. When that’s the case, your insurance policy will specify a dollar limit to cover reasonable and necessary expenses, such as hotel and food costs.

Extra coverage for condo owners

Condo owners have additional coverage in their policy:

  • Improvements and betterments protection. Protects any investment you’ve made to your unit, above what the builder originally provided.
  • Supplemental coverage. Protects your condo if the condominium corporation’s insurance doesn’t fully cover your unit. It is essential that you fully understand what's already covered, so you can ensure there are no holes in your private insurance.
  • Loss assessment. Protects you when you share responsibility for common property, if the condominium corporation’s insurance coverage isn’t enough.

Get the right fit

You can build on your policy to include extra coverage if you live in an area prone to sewer backups or earthquakes, or want more for your valuables. Your insurance provider will be able to go over options that make the most sense for you. Remember that getting the right fit may mean changing your policy over time; for example, if you renovate. And when it’s time to renew your policy, it’s also a good idea to revisit your coverage and finesse it if necessary.

Watch and learn

Visit the TD Insurance YouTube channel for quick tips and advice, including: