Beyond Basic Coverage

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How to better protect your home and belongings

Beyond the standard types of home coverage, there are several options that can give you an added level of protection.

Replacement Value Coverage
Coverage for Specific Valuables
Jewellery and furs
Fine art
Other Additional Coverage
Added protection for your home
Sewer back-up coverage
Earthquake coverage
Aboveground water damage coverage
Belowground water damage coverage

Replacement Value Coverage

This is the most common option that people add to their home coverage. That’s because home insurance policies usually include replacement value coverage for the building, but not for its contents.

  • Typically, the contents of your home are only insured for Actual Cash Value (ACV) – in order words, the value of the item, minus depreciation.


Example:

  • A stereo you purchased five years ago for $2,000 is stolen. Today, it might only have a cash value of $600. Even though it might cost $2,000 or more to replace it with something of similar quality, ACV coverage will only pay $600.


If you have Replacement Value coverage:

  • you can replace the stereo with one of similar kind and quality, within a specified timeframe; and
  • be paid for the full replacement cost – regardless of what it is actually worth after five years.
     

Coverage for Specific Valuables


Tips:

  • With any expensive purchase, make sure to keep sales receipts, photographs, and other information (make, model, serial number), and obtain a professional appraisal.
  • Make sure to update your inventory of belongings any time you acquire anything of value.
     

Jewellery and furs

Most policies include limits on the amount and type of coverage available for items like jewellery and furs.

  • Many insurance providers have a limit of about $3,000 on valuables like these. Don’t forget: if you make a claim, you also have to pay the deductible.
  • If you have an item that exceeds the limit, you may want to purchase optional coverage for it and use the basic policy limit to cover your smaller valuables.
  • When you purchase optional coverage for valuables, there is usually no deductible. But as noted above, if you make a claim for an expensive item under your standard coverage, with the limit of $3,000, you would also have to pay the deductible.
     

Fine art

As with other valuables, there are dollar limits on coverage for works of art in insurance policies.

  • Generally, you will need to purchase additional coverage that provides broader protection – for example, if the art is temporarily loaned out, or moved
    The cost will depend on a number of factors, including:
    • the type of art
    • where it will be displayed or stored
    • whether or not it will be loaned out.


Geographic location is also a consideration: if the art will be placed in an area with a high risk of hurricanes or wildfires, it may cost more to insure.

Tips:

  • Find out if your property insurance provider offers an appropriate policy. Some companies offer specialized fine art coverage.
  • Some insurers may have experts who can provide additional help to ensure your collection is properly protected from risks like theft and water, smoke or fire damage.
     

Other Additional Coverage

In addition to coverage limits on theft of valuables like jewellery, furs and fine art, there may be specific dollar limits for certain items. In this case, you may want to consider buying extra coverage for the following items:

  • Cash and negotiable securities
  • Silverware
  • Collections, including coins, stamps and cards
  • Bicycles (see the article The Lowdown on Bicycles for more information)
  • Boats and watercraft
  • Computer software
     

Added protection for your home

Most policies do not include coverage for losses due to sewer back-up, earthquake, wind, hail and various types of water damage caused by ice, snow and sleet.  A number of optional endorsements are available that can provide additional protection.
 

Sewer back-up coverage

Earthquake coverage

Aboveground water damage coverage


Find out more about
Aboveground water damage coverage
 

Belowground water damage coverage


Find out more about
Belowground water damage coverage