When I was a teenager, I remember a house in my community burnt to the ground. It was a beautiful vacation home, that belonged to what appeared to be an affluent family from out-of-town. The home was on the water, within a well-known gated community that most couldn’t afford.
When the house burned down, the community learned that the owners of the home didn’t have insurance on it. They still, of course, owned the land, but they lost everything in the walls of the home as well as the structure itself. I’m sure this would be devastating for any family, wealthy or not, but apparently this particular family was going through some financial hardships at the time and having an asset burn to the ground without insurance I’m sure made it so much worse.
I believe that home insurance should be mandatory for every home owner. Unfortunately it’s not mandatory once the mortgage is paid off here in the great white North, and some people go without to save some cash. This can have big,m ugly consequences, and can end up bankrupting families as a result.
Importance of Home Insurance
Most of us think that we’re invincible to disasters, and don’t need to be insured. That’s why parents go without life insurance, drivers go without auto insurance, and people suffer as a result. However, even if you make no errors – even if you haven’t been in an accident in your life, and don’t smoke or allow flame near your home, or live a risk free life, what about things beyond your control?
As we have been seeing more and more, natural disasters happen every day, and so do crimes. Your house may be broken into, there are arsonists and car vandals. Insurance isn’t just meant to protect you from anything that you may do wrong, it also protects you from the outside world.
Researching your needs
If you live in an area that is prone to floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes, make sure that you get the appropriate insurance. If you aren’t sure whether it’s likely to happen in the near future and you’d like to save money on home insurance for the time being, be sure to research whether or not a natural disaster is on the docket. For instance, in BC, it’s likely that we’ll have a large earthquake in near(ish) future. As a result, the city of Vancouver has been upgrading schools and other buildings seismically.
If the city is preparing for a natural disaster, you should follow suit. Don’t be stranded without insurance when your house is flooding.
I would never recommend going without home insurance regardless if nothing looks to be looming in the near future, but if you live in an area which never floods, you can opt out of the flood insurance piece.
Deciding on Your Coverage
One of the difficult things about insuring our home is the content insurance piece of the puzzle. I have no idea how much it would cost to replace our possessions if we had to, because I accumulated them, like most people, over the course of many years.
Start by pricing out the larger items, like furniture and electronics. By taking an inventory of those things and writing out a list, you’ll get a better idea with where you are at.
Remember, setting the amount at a bit higher is better than too low, because you don’t want to be stuck without the funds to replace your belongings.
Finding the Right Provider
Many people who have had to use their insurance will tell you that insurance companies can be sketchy. You’ll hear very few stories of good experiences with insurance companies, but you can avoid unnecessary hassle by comparing rates, shopping around, and even asking your friends and family members for referrals.
There are many different types of insurance, but home insurance should never be looked at as optional.