Everyone is familiar with the idea of car insurance, life insurance and house insurance — but what about protecting the personal items you own?
If you think about it and tally up the total of all the material things you have in your house, gathered over the years, it can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
That’s where content insurance comes in. It can usually be included as part of a package with house insurance, but it’s important to specify what the policy actually covers and with what stipulations.
Contents insurance covers everything from the major appliances like the fridge or washing machine, clothing, sports gear, jewellery, and artwork. Essentially, it covers all of your personal property.
Like all insurance policies, a lot of the cost comes from how much value is covered and the deductible that is set for a pay out.
Ideally, the policy should be “all-risk”, which means that the items are covered in all circumstances except for exceptions specified beforehand — so if a flood, fire, burglary, or anything else happens, the belongings are covered by insurance. Oftentimes, even items stolen out of a car would be covered by the policy.
The other option, the “named perils” policy is usually not as comprehensive but can be cheaper. Just make sure to think about all the situations where you might lose your possessions and make sure you’ve got all bases covered.
So who should get contents insurance? Essentially, everyone.
As homeowners, contents insurance is usually tied in with house insurance policies and, for an extra few hundred dollars a year, a huge amount of liability is lifted.
Renters can also get contents insurance, which is often sold as a stand-alone policy.
Keep in mind that contents insurance often only covers the person named on the policy and their immediate family they live with – so if you are renting out a room to a friend, for example, they might not be covered.
Guests, on the other hand, typically are covered as long as their stay is within a certain time limit.
So where can you buy contents insurance from? Any third-party insurance agency, like BCAA, or Westland, or Square One, offer different forms of it, and some banks like TD or RBC, also offer competitive deals.