Ever wanted to pick the brain of a financial advisor? They have so much valuable knowledge to share, yet many of us put off calling or booking an appointment.
Village Media’s Content Studio reached out to Jeff Viotto, Financial Advisor, and Jordan Forbes, Associate Insurance/Financial Advisor at The Co-operators. They shared the ins and outs of home insurance—everything you need to know about protecting your home for your family, including why it pays to stay on top of your coverage.
How much insurance do homeowners typically need to have in place for their homes? Is there a ballpark figure we should be aiming for?
There is no one-size-fits-all coverage. At The Co-operators, we use a tool that creates a replacement cost based on the individual characteristics of your home. It is very important that you have an accurate value to ensure that in the event of a claim you will not be out of pocket to rebuild your home; that’s why you pay for insurance. We also offer a guaranteed replacement cost clause to protect our clients in situations where the cost of building materials may have greatly increased—as this is something we are currently experiencing.
What types of extra, optional home insurance might be worth thinking about?
For people who still have a mortgage, we also offer mortgage life insurance alongside our home insurance offerings. This product is far superior to coverage you’d get from the banks and can save you a lot of money over the life of your mortgage.
What are some of the different factors that can affect your home insurance premiums?
There are a few. They include location, such as proximity to fire hydrants and fire halls, and proximity to water. Flood risk and prior claims also come into play. The size of your home factors in; the greater the size, the greater the replacement cost. The age of your home also plays an important role. The older your home, the more expensive your home insurance premiums are, generally.
Are there any tried-and-true ways homeowners can reduce their home insurance premiums? What works?
Having increased deductibles in place, being a non-smoker versus a smoker, and having alarm systems in your home can all help. Any updates you make to your home, such as installing a new roof, heating system, electrical and plumbing, are beneficial.
We recommend paying close attention to your coverage. We complete a step-by-step review of your policy to see if you’re paying for things you may not need or missing things you do. Flood coverage has become a major factor in the increase of home insurance rates. It is important that you are getting the right advice and customizing it to meet your needs.
If homeowners have jewellery, sports equipment, artwork or other items they consider valuable, is additional insurance required?
Our policies do include coverage for these items, but only up to certain limits. It is important to know what these limits are and if we need to add riders.
What advice can you offer new clients?
Historically, home insurance was a stagnant product, the rates were stable and the product was generally the same. Now we are in a market of rising rates, so our office is committed to reviewing and customizing your plan. In a lot of cases, our new clients find a lot of value in this process, as they are able to customize their plans to only pay for what they need.