Kelowna Valley Insurance understanding Loss Prevention

Protect Yourself and Your Home: Practice Loss Prevention

You buy insurance to help keep you, your family, and your home safe. What else can you do? Be proactive, mitigating as much risk as possible, and think loss prevention!

Yes, you’ve bought your home insurance to protect your home and most valuable assets. But, if you understand common risks there are steps you can take to effectively mitigate them to prevent potential losses.

The fact is, and as much as we’d rather not think about it, the worst-case scenario sometimes occurs. It might be a flooded basement, kitchen fire, natural disaster, or something else entirely. Home insurance exists to provide you important peace of mind, knowing you’re protected in the event of any losses and potentially costly risks.

It’s not just about your insurance, however. There’s a lot you can do, before tragedy strikes, to prevent damage and loss to your home.

As a homeowner, know the risks you may face. Some are quite obvious (fire, for instance), while others only reveal themselves to someone who knows where to look and what questions to ask – your insurance representative.

When it comes to loss prevention, know how to reduce your risk:

  1. Know what might go wrong. Is your home surrounded by wild junipers that could provide fuel to the loose spark from your firepit? Learn what you can do, outdoors, around your home to make it fire safe. An uneven step could cause someone to fall on your property. Learn about your slip, trip and fall risks and the value of preventive maintenance.
  2. Plan ahead to reduce your liability risks. Create an emergency kit and plan emergency exit routes with your family members. Limit how much alcohol guests are served when you host a BBQ, dinner or house party. Prevent sewer overflow in your basement by installing a backwater valve. Ensure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
  3. Know how to handle an emergency or loss situation. Learn what you need to know when making a property claim. And keep calm.
  4. Keep an up-to-date record of your household contents. A current home inventory of your belongings will make it easier to file a claim.
  5. Consider if you have adequate coverage. If you are concerned about natural disasters, you may be able to add coverage to your policy, such as earthquake coverage. Your insurance representative can explain the available options.
  6. Be sure that your home is equipped with approved loss prevention devices:
    fire alarm systems
    fire suppression systems
    security systems
    sump pumps and backwater valves
    automatic water shut-off devices
    reflective tape for heavy/farm equipment
    lightning suppression systems
    back-up power systems
    keep the chimney clean and free of brush and debris
    hail-resistant roofing materials

To learn more about loss prevention, CONTACT US; we have the knowledge and expertise to advise you on all aspects of Loss Prevention.

Kelowna Valley Insurance condominium insurance

Condominium Insurance Explained

Kelowna Valley Insurance condominium insurance

Yes your Condominium or Strata has insurance, but it’s not going to cover you! Here’s what you need to know about condo owners’ insurance.

In British Columbia, the word ‘strata’ is synonymous with ‘condominium’. Strata unit ownership is typically defined by the divided by the walls, ceiling and floors within the building and includes any improvements to your unit.

As an owner, you have title to your own unit, but you also enjoy a share in the common property, amenities such as a secure lobby entrance, a rooftop patio, swimming pool, parking garage and other features.

The definition of what the unit owner owns depends on the condominium or strata declaration.

The Definition of Common Property

Common property is defined as any area that is available for use by all condo owners. Some examples of common property may include the lobby, elevators, gardens, gym, swimming pool, and other recreational facilities.

Unit owners share the expense of maintaining common areas by paying monthly maintenance fees. Limited access common property – such as a balcony or storage locker – maybe common property or a common element even though a unit owner has exclusive use.

If my condominium corporation has insurance, why do I need it?

Your condominium (or strata) corporation’s insurance policy may cover insured losses to the condominium building and common property but it DOES NOT cover your personal items and contents, liability, or any improvements you make to your unit.

What if your unit and belongings sustain damage due to a fire? What if you are held liable for personal injuries sustained by a visitor who slips and falls in your home? There’s also the possibility of damage (fire, water, etc.) as the result of activities in a neighbouring unit. While these scenarios may seem unlikely, condominium insurance would typically provide coverage in these circumstances.

Condominium insurance is more than just a policy protecting your personal contents and potential liability; it represents peace of mind.

Have questions about your coverage? Speak with your insurance representative to ensure you have adequate coverage and limits that reflect the value of your real property interests and personal property and the cost to replace it.

Condominium insurance differs from that of conventional homes. Coverage is available under two separate policies; that of each unit owner and that of the condominium corporation.

Typical Unit Owner Coverage:

You can anticipate that your condominium or strata policy may include coverage for:

  • Your personal property such as clothing, appliances and furniture, as well as items stored in your locker
  • Additional living expenses, in case you can’t live in your unit in the event of an insured loss in certain circumstances
  • Your personal liability for any bodily injury or property damage unintentionally caused to others.

When you purchase a condominium unit you are required to purchase individual contents coverage to protect not only your personal property, but for legal obligations to others as well.

Be sure to speak with your insurance representative about the possibility of optional coverages that might be beneficial: increased unit improvement coverage; contingency coverage if your condo corporations’s insurance is insufficient; loss assessment coverage; condo or strata directors’ and officers’ liability coverage; and, in some parts of British Columbia prone to earthquake, earthquake coverage provides for any losses or damage due to actual shaking of the earth.

Your coverage needs for condo insurance will depend on the cost to replace your personal property and the amount you’ve spent towards any enhancements and improvements, if applicable.

Typical Condo Corporation’s Insurance Coverage:

  • The buildings shown on the condominium plan.
  • Common property such as hallways, stairs, roof, pools, garages, driveways, etc.
  • Fixtures built or installed as part of the original or standard construction such as floor and wall coverings, electrical and plumbing fixtures.
  • Condominium assets such as furniture, equipment, etc.
  • Liability of the condominium corporation for claims of property damage and bodily injury suffered by others.

Have questions about Condominium or Strata insurance? We can help!