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Optimized storage, cool design, different lifestyle—small homes are increasingly becoming all the rage in Quebec! They can be a great option, whether for your main residence, your cottage or even your motorhome! However, you need to be sure that it has the right insurance coverage.
This article discusses the different insurance coverage options available depending on the use you make of your small house.
The small home craze!
Many Quebecers have set their sights on this solution, which makes home ownership more accessible. Small homes are a good way of reducing the expenses that come with owning a home. They cost less to build and their municipal property taxes are lower.
Moreover, they allow you to reduce your environmental footprint because they use less material to build and consume less energy.
Many of these small homes are designed to recover their own energy. They can also run on solar power and some even offer new ways of harvesting rainwater or treating wastewater.
For many Quebecers, small homes offer an opportunity to experience something close to self-sufficiency. A life of independence and freedom!
Small homes provide ingenious ways of streamlining living spaces without having to make too many compromises. Storage space under the staircase, a compact but functional bathroom, a kitchen sink hidden under a removable counter: designers of small homes use all their creativity to make the most of small spaces.
There is a growing trend in municipalities to either reserve entire neighbourhoods for small homes or allow the construction of such homes within their territory, in accordance with their municipal regulations.
Micro, small, tiny: what’s the difference?
These low square-footage dwellings come in different categories. Micro homes have 300 square feet of area or less. Small homes range from 300 to 600 square feet in area and tiny houses can have from 600 to 1,000 square feet of living space.
The surface area of your small home will have an impact on the price you pay for your home insurance policy. If your house should burn down in a fire, for example, the replacement cost would vary depending on its size.
What insurance coverage should you choose for your small home?
This is a good question, but the answer depends on what use you make of it. If it’s your main residence, regular home insurance is what you’ll need.
If it’s a secondary residence, a cottage or a seasonal home, our brokers will offer you the right insurance policy.
Not the type to put down roots? If you have a small home on wheels and go here and there in search of new adventures, you’ll need to purchase recreational vehicle or motorhome insurance. This type of insurance applies to anyone considering moving their home at least once a year.
If this is your case, make sure you register your small home with the SAAQ. You would do the same for a recreational vehicle or trailer.
If you live in your house on wheels year-round, you may not have a fixed residence (no permanent address). Nomad insurance will surely be the best option for you. It provides civil liability insurance coverage, just as a home insurance policy would.
Our brokers will be able to help you sort through all the details! They’ll find the insurance policy that will allow you to enjoy your life of freedom!
We all need to stick to our budget! Here are a few tips on how to reduce your car insurance premium.
- Start by contacting an insurance broker who will shop around for you in order to obtain the best quality-price ratio for you.
- Update your information with your insurance agent or broker. Here are things that can impact your car insurance premium:
- Yearly kilometers travelled;
- Kilometers to and from work;
- Vehicle use. For example, if you have used your car for business purposes in the past, but no longer do so, it’s important to let your insurer know about this;
- Change of work;
- Change of address;
- Change of drivers. For example, if you had a young driver on your insurance record who has since gotten his own car insurance, we suggest that you remove him from your contract.
- Increase your deductibles. This will likely reduce your premium.
- Install an alarm system, a locating system or have your vehicle anti-theft marked if your comprehensive coverage is too pricy.
- Reduce your coverage if you consider that your premium is too high for the value of your vehicle.
- If your spouse is insured by a company other than yours, regroup all your vehicles with the same insurer in order to benefit from a multi-vehicle a rebate.
- Insure both your home and your vehicle with the same insurer. This might offer you a rebate on your car insurance premium.
- Avoid making small claims.
- If you are 50 and over and are a member of the Fédération de l’âge d’or du Québec (FADOQ), you can obtain rebates and certain types of coverage on car insurance with Intact Assurance.
- Did you know that some insurers offer rebates if your credit rating is good? This could allow you to further reduce your car insurance premium.
- Use telematics to decrease your car insurance premium. This, however, is a relatively new tool that not all insurers offer.
- Drive carefully – this, of course, will always be the best way to reduce your car insurance premium.
As you now know, there are several ways to reduce your car insurance premium. Since insurers offer so many different types of incentives, it can be tricky to make sure that you are getting all the rebates you are entitled to when shopping around for car insurance. In order to ensure that you are getting the best available car insurance package for your needs, we suggest that you contact an insurance broker.
Each year brings a new surprise… Your insurance premium increases every year? Is that a normal occurrence? Assurances Multi-Risques understands your needs and the fact that you, like everyone else, have a budget to respect.
A yearly rise in your home insurance premium is a normal thing. Indeed, your home’s reconstruction costs increase with every passing year, and your premium must therefore be adjusted accordingly. It is possible, however, that what you are being charged does not adequately reflect this yearly cost increase.
Here are a few tips to help minimize your home insurance premium:
- Contact an insurance broker who will shop around with several insurers in order to find you the best home insurance deal possible.
- Maintain a good insurance record. Indeed, the best way to avoid a premium increase is to avoid filing a damage claim. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
- Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate for your needs.
Call your insurance agent or broker on a regular basis to update your insurance record.
Advice that can have a positive impact on your home insurance premium:
- A change of job or profession can sometimes earn you a professional discount.
- Some insurers offer rebates to non-smokers.
- Install an alarm system connected to a central to warn against fire, theft or even water damages.
- Hefty insurance rebates are offered to those who no longer have a mortgage.
- Increase your deductibles.
- Pool your home and car insurances with the same insurer.
- If you are 50 and over, Intact Insurance offers a set of specific rebates and coverages to members of the FADOQ network.
- Maintain your financial stability and a good credit rating.
- Update your home insurance record and obtain rebates for the following items:
- Recent renovations (roof, electricity, heating system, plumbing, etc.);
- New water heater that reduces the risk of water damage;
- Newly installed check valve;
- Percentage of finished basement surface.
It might be tempting to reduce your amount of insurance coverage or to cancel certain types of coverage in order to diminish your premium. However, Assurances Multi-Risques strongly advises against doing so because this might cause your problems in the future. Instead, contact an insurance broker who will bring you up to date on what you need to know about home insurance and who will make sure that you benefit from all the rebates you are entitled to.
Did you know that 15% of the population has a criminal record?
We are all equal before the law, but insurance companies are free to discriminate against people who have a criminal record. What can happen if you fail to declare that you or a person you are living with has a criminal record? Assurances Multi-Risques wants to build awareness on the importance of divulging all personal information to your insurance broker or company. We want to help you to obtain adequate insurance coverage for your home, whatever your judicial background.
Why declare everything?
We often get calls from people who are experiencing insurance problems after getting a criminal record. Here is an example of a frequently asked question: “Will our insurance company cover us after a fire if they learn that someone in our household has a criminal record?”
According to sections 2466 and 2467 of Quebec’s Civil Code: “The insured is bound to promptly notify the insurer of any circumstances that increases the risks stipulated in the policy and that result from events within his control if they are such as to materially influence an insurer in setting the rate of the premium, appraising the risk or deciding to continue to insure it. On being notified of the new circumstances, the insurer may cancel the contract or propose, in writing, a new rate of premium, in which case the insured is bound to accept and to pay the premium at the new rate within 30 days of the proposal, otherwise the policy ceases to be in force.”
For example, if you had not informed your insurance company that your new partner has been to prison for some crime or other, he could refuse to compensate you and declare that your insurance contract was null ab initio, and then proceed to reimburse you all of the insurance premiums he has received to date. This clearly illustrates why it is important to declare the fact that someone in your household has a criminal record. By doing this, you could well reduce the risk of losing your home.
Bottom line? Don’t wait until your insurance agent or broker brooches this thorny issue. Be proactive. Contact a broker specialized in substandard insurance and the management of clients who have a criminal record. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! You may have to change insurance companies and you may see your premiums go up, but your honesty will allow you to obtain insurance coverage that corresponds to your needs and your reality.
Your child has just obtained his or her probationary driver’s license and would like to borrow your car? Before allowing him or her to take the wheel, however, make sure that you are avoiding unnecessary risks. Indeed, your first reflex might be to omit telling your insurer about the addition of a new driver to avoid seeing your premiums go up. Assurances Multi-Risques advises you to immediately inform your insurance broker or company of this fact in order to avoid problems in case you have to make a claim.
What are the possible consequences of omitting to declare your child as a driver on your car insurance contract?
If your insurer is able to prove that you have made a false declaration, he may deny you coverage if you make a claim. In most cases, however, the insurer will likely follow section 2411 of the Quebec Civil Code which states that the insurer has the obligation of offering you the coverage you have paid for versus the one should have had if you had informed him that your child was the occasional or main driver of the car. This article, by the way, applies to all types of insurance contracts.
Let us therefore suppose that your current car insurance premium was $500. If you had added your child as an occasional driver, your premium would have been set a $1,000. In the following pretend case, the insurer will offer you coverage according to the premium you have paid versus the one you should have paid, taking into the account the damages claimed.
Here is a simple calculation illustrating this case:
Premium paid: $500
Premium you should have paid the insurer: $1,000
$500 / $1,000 X Loss ($20,000) = $10,000 – deductibles
As an insurance broker firm, Assurances Multi-Risques wants you to understand the possible consequences of omitting to declare a new driver to your car insurer. By forgetting or voluntarily avoiding to declare your child as an occasional or main driver of your car, you would have to shoulder a $10,000 loss according to the example given above. We are quite certain that you would not want to take such a financial risk.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid a substantial premium increase when you add your child to your car insurance policy:
- Contact an insurance broker to help you find an insurer who offers adequate coverage for young drivers;
- Increase your deductibles;
- Find an insurer who relies on telematics to evaluate the driver’s behaviour
- Lend your oldest vehicle to your child and have the insurance bar your child from using your newest vehicle.
In conclusion, contact your insurer as soon as your child gets his or her driver’s license. By doing so, you will gain peace of mind for both you and your child.
Are you are planning to build a new house for your family? If so, be warned that this type of insurance coverage is not offered by all insurance companies, especially if you are thinking of building this home by yourself! Assurances Multi-Risques brokers would like to offer a few tips to help you to make your dream come true, and to help you to avoid problems that can occur if you are not adequately insured.
Tip no. 1: Contact your home insurer before launching your project
In fact, we recommend that you contact an independent insurance broker specializing in new self-builds before you even break ground or pick up your hammer. By doing so, you will be saving yourself a lot a time as the broker will take on the task of finding a specialized insurer for you.
Be warned that most insurers will refuse to cover you if you have already started your project. If this has happened to you, a conversation with a specialized broker can help you to find an appropriate solution to your current predicament. You may also ask for more information on substandard insurance policies.
For more information on substandard insurance, visit the following page: https://multi-risques.com/particuliers/probleme-assurance-assurance-sous-standard/
Tip no. 2: Your project deserves to be well insured
Insuring a new self-build may seem complex, but it is in fact a simple task for Assurances Multi-Risques brokers. The first thing the broker will do is to insure the property as if it were owner occupied. Subscribing to an all-risk or an extended form insurance policy could also well be the right thing to do in your situation.
When talking with your broker, don’t hesitate to thoroughly discuss your insurance coverage needs and exclusions. For example, know that standard insurance contracts do not cover the theft of building materials and tools. The same goes for damages linked to water exposure or vandalism. Adding such coverage would be wise… Theft insurance is available, but water damage and vandalism coverage, unfortunately, is not offered by insurers.
Our brokers will also suggest that you add an employer civil liability and voluntary indemnification clause or a construction civil liability clause to your contract in order to adequately protect your assets.
Tip no. 3: Your project’s success depends on a trusting relationship between you and your subcontractors
Most insurance companies will require that you complete your building project within a six-month period.
In order to respect this deadline, we suggest that you plan your project thoroughly, stay within the prescribed task timelines, and hire subcontractors licensed through the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). Also, don’t hesitate to ask your subcontractors for adequate proof of insurance coverage.
In order to find out if your subcontractor is licensed through the RBQ, click here : http://www.rpe.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/GIC_Public_NET/RPE/GIC111/GIC111PR01RechercheEntrepreneur.aspx
Building your new house will require a lot of time and energy. In order to ensure that all goes well, keep a tight timeline with all of your subcontractors and contact Assurances Multi-Risques.