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Tips for purchasing and maintaining home insurance in regions with wildfires

Earlier this week, Steven Harris of joined Jim Csek and Kent Molgat of KelownaNow to share some home insurance advice and tips.

“It’s really imperative that if you’re looking to purchase a home, you want to do your research in advance, looking at insurance companies that can right the risk,” explained Harris when asked if it is harder to get insurance in areas recently affected by wildfires.

“If you’re in a situation where you already have insurance, you want to be really mindful of your policy coverage limits.”

Harris added that it is “critical” to look at your policy coverage and that if someone is not comfortable with their coverage, they should seek the expertise of a professional.

When asked about the factor fire protection plays into the price of insurance, Harris explained various factors can affect the final price, such as the distance to a fire hydrant and the surroundings of the home.

Once again, Harris implored the importance of looking over one's policy every single year, especially if someone has to rebuild their home.

Harris explained that generally the costs to rebuild are covered, but to keep an eye out for “guaranteed replacement cost language.”

Harris also mentioned looking for a policy that covers additional living expenses that can occur when living away from home for some time and that most companies offer an increase to the limit.

“The other thing you should be looking at is what is my contents limit,'” explained Harris.

“If you’re a homeowner, usually a percentage of the total replacement of your building is allocated to your personal property. So like your furniture, your clothing, your appliances, literally everything that you own, and for many that limit is sufficient.

Harris added that policy owners should make sure their limit is reflective of what they own and increase it if need be. He added that someone should catalogue their belongings to make the claims process smoother.

Near the end of the interview, Harris touched on the benefits of using an insurance broker who knows the region and what companies can handle.

Click the above interview to watch the interview for more information on what to look for when insuring a home.

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