Moving Into a New House & Home Insurance
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Moving into a new house can be a very exciting yet stressful time. If you’re moving out on your own for the first time, moving for a job, or have found your forever-home, congratulations! At BIG, we know that there are so many moving pieces that must come together to ensure the process goes smoothly. It’s easy for your property insurance to be put on the back burner with everything else going on during your move. While you plan the process of moving, be sure to give your home insurance broker a call to find out how moving into a new house will affect your property insurance.
Do I need to change my home insurance when I am moving?
Yes. Your home insurance coverage is based on your location and the many risk factors involved. For a homeowner, the replacement cost of your building affects your insurance premium as well as the types of utilities and any extra safety measures in place such as a monitored alarm system or automatic water shut-off. The bottom line is that a new home means a new set of risks, and they must be re-evaluated. If you are currently renting a space or living in a condo and are transitioning into home ownership, you will need to change from a tenant or condo insurance policy to a homeowners policy or vice versa. When moving into a new house in Ontario, you must inform your insurance provider to update your existing policy. If you’re moving outside Ontario, ask if your company provides coverage in another province, otherwise you will likely need more time to set up a new policy.
Talk to your broker before moving into a new house!
Contact your broker as soon as you have confirmed the purchase of your new home. They will need to know when you will be handing over ownership of your current home and when you will take ownership of your new place and make sure you have the best coverage throughout the transition phase. You’ll need to set a date with your broker to cancel the policy (if you’ve sold it), or inform them that your home is now vacant (if the home will sit empty) or if you’ve got renters moving in. Your broker will also need information about your new home for your new policy for things such as: address, construction type, roof type, exterior finish, plumbing, and electrical.
Am I still covered while I am moving into a new house?
Many insurers will cover both your insured location and personal property while you’re in the process of moving to a new house, up to 30 days or until the policy expires. As each policy is unique to your individual needs, talk to your broker to see if your policy covers this transition phase. There are plenty of reasons why dates may change in handing over ownership and moving in – extreme weather causing delays, closing dates conflict with schedules, moving companies overbook, etc., in any case, so communicate any changes in scheduling with your broker to ensure that there are no gaps in your coverage from one location to the other. Your home insurance will also provide liability coverage in the event that someone is injured on your property during the moving process.
Is my personal property covered when I am moving into a new house?
Most insurers will cover your personal property while it is being moved, as long as you’re moving within Canada. Your home insurance coverage would likely cover you if your items were stolen, but only some policies will cover damage to items in the moving process such as marring, scratching, abrasions or chipping to personal property. When you’re planning your move, ask your broker whether your insurer will cover damage to items. In the event that you are setting up your new policy with a different insurance provider, ask them if their policy will cover your personal property during the transition. If you decide to use a moving company, they may offer insurance coverage for your items during the move, but definitely read the contract thoroughly before signing anything.
If you plan to use your own vehicle to move instead of renting a vehicle or hiring a moving company, pack everything carefully and ensure you can still see out the rear-view mirror. If you are planning to store any of your personal property in the interim, contact your insurer because there is a possibility that your policy will not cover damage to your personal property in storage.
Make an inventory of your personal property
While it can seem like a daunting task, moving is a great time to take inventory of your personal property. If you need to make a claim due to items being stolen or damaged during the move, or at another time, your insurer will ask you for a list of items and their value. Since you’re poring through everything you own during the moving process, take the extra time to make an inventory. Start with the bigger items – appliances, furniture, jewellery and go on from there. There are home inventory apps for your phone such as Encircle or fill out a printable inventory sheet for each room in the house. You may also consider taking photos or a video of your valuables in the home before you move.
Consider Life Insurance when moving into a new house
If you are starting into a new mortgage, your lender will likely recommend mortgage insurance to protect this significant financial investment. What many homeowners don’t know is that life insurance can actually provide better coverage. Mortgage insurance ends with each new house you purchase whereas life insurance will continue after you move to a new house and will still protect you after you’ve paid off your mortgage. Learn more about the benefits of life insurance here. If you already have life insurance, be sure to update it with your insurer so that you have proper coverage for your mortgage amount.
Will moving into a new house affect my car insurance?
There is a possibility that moving to a new location can change your auto insurance premium so contact your broker to review your policy. Your car insurance is based on many factors, but location is one of them. Insurers will consider your new commuting distance, theft and accident frequency in your new location, as well as the type of parking available at your new home. If you are moving in with a spouse or common-law partner, you may be able to combine your insurance for a better price and potentially qualify for multi-line discounts.
At BIG we want to ensure that you have a smooth transition when moving into a new house. Give us a call or contact your broker to discuss your situation so that we can get you’re the best coverage for your new home and your personal property in the process.