Living in Rural Canada: Why You Need Homeowners Liability Insurance
Home insurance is only legally required in Canada if your home is not paid for in full. Your lender will require proof you have insurance before the closing date. They will own a stake in your home and therefore want to know it is insured to protect their interests. All homeowners should have home insurance as fire, vandalism, burglary, and other types of damage are very costly.
In the worst-case scenario, where you lose your home due to fire, you will need to have the money to cover replacement costs or repairs. One element of home insurance many rural homeowners overlook is liability insurance. This extends your coverage to include issues that occur, such as injuries suffered by people visiting or working in your home, or damage you might cause to other people’s property. Here we explore the reasons people living in rural Canada should include homeowners’ liability insurance in their coverage.
What is homeowners’ liability insurance?
Homeowners’ liability insurance extends your home insurance coverage so you can have financial protection against liability claims due to accidents caused on your property or by you, your children, or your pets. It also covers damages you cause to another person’s property. Although this might seem unlikely, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Liability insurance provides peace of mind for the many varied and unexpected situations that can arise when living in rural Canada.
What is covered by homeowners’ liability insurance?
Your homeowner’s insurance covers property and liability protection. While property insurance protects your home as well as everything in it, personal liability coverage extends your coverage to property you might be found legally responsible for damages. It also covers the costs associated with accidental injuries someone suffers due to your actions, whether you’re at home or away from it.
To be more specific, here are examples of situations in which your personal liability insurance might come in handy:
Injury on your property
Whether someone is invited to be on your property or not, if they are injured, you could be held responsible for paying their medical bills and other costs associated with their injury. This could include falling down the stairs because the banister is unstable, tripping or slipping on your property because of ice or snow or damaged walkways, or being injured by something unsafe on your property indoors or out. Your policy will cover the damages if you are found legally responsible. If you think it isn’t possible to be sued for personal injuries, it is!
Negligent acts of children and others
Both your children and people visiting your premises can cause damage to your neighbour’s home or property. For example, if your children are playing hockey and the puck goes through a neighbour’s window or puts a hole in their garage, you are liable for those damages. Accidental damage such as this can happen at any time. Even though it is clearly accidental, you can still be held financially responsible for covering the costs. With personal liability insurance, you will be able to cover the damages without being out of pocket.
Personal liability insurance is even more critical if you have dogs. If your dog attacks a person or their pet, you are responsible for costs such as vet and medical bills. Although there are some limits to this type of coverage, you can speak to our team to find out if you meet the criteria to qualify for coverage.
As you can see, there are many possible scenarios where liability insurance will come in handy.
What Isn’t Covered by Homeowners’ Insurance
While your personal liability insurance protects you in many situations, it doesn’t cover the following:
- Your own family member’s medical costs if they are injured on your property.
- Intentional harm caused by you, family members, or visitors to your home.
- Costs above the capped amount of your policy.
Because all policies have maximum coverage, you should discuss what coverage is available. You can choose the coverage you feel will offer the best protection based on your needs and budget.
If you want extra protection, umbrella insurance provides an additional layer of liability coverage. This means that if you go above your policy limit, you still won’t be out of pocket. Your assets will be protected if a claim exceeds your liability limits.
Of course, there is no way of knowing what costs might arise from accidents on your property, but you can discuss what makes the most sense for your unique situation.
For more information about homeowners’ liability insurance, call Oegema Nicholson at 613-224-1455 or contact us here.