We just got our personal home insurance renewed and it's such a b*tch to pay. We pay it off in the full amount just because we don't want to incur any further interest charges. Since Vancouver is due for the “big one” anytime (so they say) we decided to fork up an extra $400 per year for earthquake coverage.
It would suck big time if after an earthquake, our 1960's (?) home disintegrates into a pile of rubble (and I don't doubt that it will haha) and we didn't pay the extra $400 a year it cost to insure our home for that.
For the remainder of our annual insurance fee, we are paying for property coverage on the building, private structures, personal property (personal property amounts to the same cost of the dwelling- I guess that says a lot!), and additional living expenses. To be honest, I don't see how personal property costs that much, especially when the only “valuable” things we own that could be taken are the Macbook Pro, some garbage-y PC laptops (yeah their resale value isn't so hot I don't think), and the large sized (I am ashamed to give expletives on how large it actually is) television in the living room. I always have a fear of my Macbook Pro being taken because I have hours and hours of work on there. I guess I should learn to or get in the habit to back up my homework!
Because our basement suite is a basement suite with a stove and whatnot, that means there is increased chance for fire. Therefore our insurance also goes up because of this. However, it was great because when we got assessed for insurance, it was before we gutted the place and did upgrades, so the building dwelling and structures weren't so expensive to insure.
The contents insurance that we have apparently doesn't cover the tenants contents (it covers the structural damage to the basement suite), so tenants are advised to get their own tenant insurance, and I don't think that costs very much per month. I am always fearful of burglaries in the area, though the area is pretty safe. Maybe I just have generalized anxiety disorder and it's just me.
Prior to the currently lovely tenants we have, an older adult came to view the suite. He was pretty short of breath as he walked to the suite entrance, and all I could think about was finding him deceased for days (this is terrible I know, but I'm quite a morbid person) because of his heart or lung disease. I wonder if insurance is more expensive for those who are older? There is higher chance for fire because older adults with dementia probably have difficulty remembering things (like turn off the lights-which is minor, or turn off the stove- which is more dangerous). Or even older adults with lung disease who have to use oxygen and perhaps? perhaps even smoke a little bit in the home. I did a little bit of research (via my friend the search engine) to find that there is specific insurance for the 50+ group. Castle Cover building and contents insurance specifically insures people who are older than 50 (though if you ask me, 50+ is not old. I wonder if the premiums are more expensive as one gets to 75+ or 85+ or even 95+?).
Anyway, home insurance seems pretty essential and not wise to skimp on. When I was growing up, I remember that my frugal dad did not insure the house we grew up in for many years. I think it was after the third break-in that he decided to pay for insurance! We were lucky that it was only break-in theft that occurred and not something more serious… like a car running into the side of our house (we lived on a corner) and creating a big hole in the structure of the house! I'm sure my dad was happy he got insurance then…
I'm not sure if people skimp on home insurance nowadays (or even 20 years ago!). There's just such a rise in petty crime, natural disasters etc.
Readers, do you skimp on home insurance? If not, do you end up adding the extras, like earthquake protection?