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Read Your Home Insurance Renewal Notices

My home insurance is coming up for renewal in a few weeks, and my insurer was kind enough to send a letter saying, “You better read how our water damage coverage is changing”, so I was warned. Thus I read over all of my coverage that showed up with my renewal documentation.

My sewer backup coverage is now being capped at $15,000 seems to be the major change to things. To quote what I was sent exactly:

“… We adjusted this amount in response to a sharp increase in the number and total cost of water damage claims in recent years, due to climate change and aging infrastructure…”

Nice, so there are arguments going on all over the world about climate change and such, but my Insurance company has embraced it as a fact and are changing my premiums due to it. It seems almost like Miracle on 34th Street (the original version), if Insurance companies think Climate Change is important enough to change my coverage, it must be true! (OK, I digress, and apologies for the sarcasm for the lovers of old movies too).

It is also a damning statement about the City of Ottawa’s infrastructure that it is mentioned specifically as another reason they think sewer backups are more likely as well.

OK fine, given the number of floods I have seen in Canada, it’s not really that surprising (it’s still annoying as a consumer, but then again, all I can do is shop around and call to see if this can be dealt with to my satisfaction).

My insurance company also seems to think that I have a crappy old roof, as they are removing the “… Weight of ice, snow or sleet — Ice Damming — Roof Water Damage Endorsement…” as well. I am pretty sure my roof was redone in 2006 (see writing a blog gives you a wonderful records keeping option as well), so I will call to see if they were aware of that, since I am not sure I told them either. I can’t believe that an 8 year old roof is now viewed as a risk in their eyes, but I need to call and confirm that with them.

I guess I should tell them about all the upgrades I have done as well (upgrades? not really, I just replaced the windows, heating and air conditioner as well).

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Sean Cooper, Freelance Writer and Blogger

    I’ve only been a homeowner for 2 years and I’ve already seen my premiums increase 20% in 1 year. I’m sure with all the bad weather this year I’m in for a shocker. What our industry besides insurance could companies get away with offering you less coverage for higher premiums? It boggles the mind!

  2. Insurance companies are there to make money, not to pay out. If they can avoid risk, they will do it. We use insurance to protect ourselves from risk. We don’t know when something will happen, we just suspect that eventually it will. I have paid car insurance for decades and only replaced a windshield once, and a car stereo that got ripped off. Eventually something will happen, that will cost a lot, but that is why we pay insurance premiums. To pass the risk on to someone else.

    They (insurance companies) are seeing the effects of cities not taking care of their infrastructure, and to cover that risk they are charging more/not covering certain risks. Many people in New Orleans had flood insurance, but not insurance from ocean surge and were denied in their claims. You have to be able to read through that fine print and ask the questions to ensure you are covered for the risks you need.

    Considering the amount of money I have paid for insurance over the years, it is not possible to recoup that money unless I have a BIG claim, not something anyone looks forward to. As my car is old, I highly doubt it would be worth much. Now if I wiped out my imaginary shiny new BMW OTOH, that insurance would be about equal to the premiums I have paid.

    Anyhow Anyone wanting to GIVE ME a 2014 BMW 325I for free, I would be happy to help you out! lol

  3. This just happened to me recently too, roof done when we purchased our house in 2007 and we live half way up a pretty good sized hill so it’s not like we’re flooding any time soon. I would assume it’s just a blatant money grab.

  4. Last month I too received our house insurance renewal which contained a notice about dropping the Roof Water Damage endorsement over the next year due to the age limitation of the roof (ie., 25 yrs) having been reached. So I called them up and explained how we’ve twice had minor shingle repairs over the last 6 yrs and generally have maintained the proper condition of our roof. To which the agent on the phone said “No problem then. We’ll update the age of the roof to the last date of repair and restart the 25 yr clock ticking. No need to provide them with roof repair proof as it will be on the honor system. The endorsement will thus remain in effect (and for which a tiny bit of our insurance premium is applied against). The only thing is if we ever did in future have a water damage claim and the insurance claim inspector saw that our roof was not generally maintained in good condition then all bets would be off and our claim might then be denied”. That seemed fair.

    Bottom line – I suggest that you call your insurance agent and haggle about it.

  5. Hey, we have the same insurer! As I mentioned in a post last week, watch out when you phone about the roof. They won’t have the roofing date in their files. I bet they’ll offer you back your old coverage for an extra fee. (We have to pay $69 more per year for a 1999 roof, so you should get it for somewhere between 0-69. If I was you, I’d push hard for $0 as it’s so new and you’ve been a loyal customer, etc. )

  6. My insurance renews in August and I am sure that the price will go up because of the floods in Canada.

    There are also supposed to be some reductions in car insurance rates so they will have to raise home insurance rates even more to make up for that – if the reduction in car insurance rates actually happens.

    1. I think this will make me look around and certainly call my existing insurance folks to straighten out the roof issues. The other scary thing was fuel oil spills are not covered either?!? I heat with Natural Gas, luckily.

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