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Home inspections help keep the liabilities away

(NC) Canadian home-owners take their biggest investment — their home — very seriously. They take pride in the hundreds, even thousands of dollars they've invested to make it the most beautiful on their street. So it comes as no surprise if they shudder when they hear the words: insurance inspector. But, it really isn't that bad. The truth is that insurance inspectors can actually save you money and help you identify little problems that could result in big liabilities. This is especially helpful considering the last year with the floods in Alberta and the ice storm in Ontario. We asked the property insurance experts from Desjardins Insurance for more information about the benefits of home inspections.

It's like a medical check-up: Potential problems like fire and flooding can be avoided when they review your electrical, plumbing, foundation, insulation, roof and water tank. You'll gain peace of mind knowing that everything is in good condition and that your family is safe.

Could help you improve your insurance coverage: Once the inspector has looked over your home, they may suggest additional coverage for further protection. Or they might find additional savings that were missed on your last policy. They can also help you create an inventory of your insurable belongings, again to help you keep the most accurate records in case you need to make a claim in the future.

A home inspection is important if you're planning to renovate: Similar to the first point, a home inspection can identify any pre-existing issue that you'll need to be aware of before you start your renovation project. For example, if you will be building a new kitchen, having them look at your current electrical system could prevent a fire or an accident.

Inspectors can assess the true value of your home: Many people believe that if their home is burnt to the ground, they would automatically receive full market value for their house. This isn't true. The value of a home insurance policy is based on the cost to rebuild the house, not to sell it on the market. The actual replacement cost could end up being either greater or less than the market value. Replacement costs will include the material (lumber, roofing shingles, siding material, carpet, drywall, etc.), and the labor and architectural services. There are also additional costs associated with the demolition and clean-up of the site before construction, which can be expensive in a crowded city neighbourhood. The location of your home could be a factor too. For example if you're located in a remote or rural area, travelling expenses and supply transportation need to be taken into consideration.

For more information about insurance inspectors and your insurance policy, speak to your insurance provider. Or for immediate answers, call or visit Desjardins Insurance at www.desjardinsgeneralinsurance.com.

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