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Home insurance quiz

March 18, 2009

Knowing what your home insurance policy does — and does not — cover can make a world of difference in terms of how you’ll end up dealing with a potentially difficult situation. So go ahead and test your knowledge by taking our quick and easy quiz…

1. Your child’s babysitter fell down a flight of stairs left cluttered with books and toys, and has broken her leg. So now…

A. She has a right to sue you for negligence and endangerment.
B. She can’t sue you, but you are responsible for her health costs.
C. Any negligence on your part will be covered by your insurance company.

2. You left the water running and your bathtub overflowed — a lot, as in you flooded the condo unit below yours, causing damage to your neighbour’s property. Your policy…

A. Only takes care of damage to your property, not your neighbour’s
B. Covers damage done to your property as well as subsequent additional damage to your neighbour’s property.
C. Does not cover any of the damages.

3. A burglar broke into your home and stole your grandmother’s old photo albums, which were of great sentimental value to you.

A. Unless you’ve had them appraised and insured, your home policy will only cover their real-value cost.
B. Your insurance company makes exceptions for items of sentimental value and will pay out more for them.
C. Because they are old albums, your policy won’t cover them at all.

4. An airplane fell from the sky on your home, completely obliterating it. Your home policy…

A. Won’t cover a freak incident like this.
B. While not every incident of “impacted by flying objects’ is covered by home policies, some do, so you may be covered.
C. Your home insurance policy will automatically cover this.

5. Your dog attacked a visitor while on your property. Your policy…

A. Covers this under the “Ëœscienter’ (or admission of fault) clause. Even if the incident was caused by negligence on your part, or you didn’t post signs and allowed it to happen, you’re still protected.
B. If you didn’t post any dog signs, you’re responsible and your policy won’t cover it.
C. Any incident of dog attacks aren’t covered by homeowner policies.

6. You’re doing some painting and plastering work on your home. It’s strictly cosmetic. You should inform your insurance company because…

A. Even if it’s cosmetic, the work will affect your insurance policy.
B. Don’t bother — it’s only cosmetic.
C. The work may increase the value of your home, so your may need to reassess my home policy.

Answers:

1. C: All standard home policies cover negligence. Your insurance company may cover her medical costs, if noted in your policy.

2. B: Your policy covers both the damage to your property and the subsequent damage to your neighbour’s property, as this is a standard clause.

3. A: You should always have special items valuated by an appraisal company and have them specially insured.

4. B: Check with your policy to see if an incident of “Ëœimpact by flying objects’ is covered; some, but not all, do offer full coverage for this.

5. A: Most policies cover this, but do check yours, as most home policies don’t cover exotic animals.

6. C: Even though the changes are cosmetic, they may increase the value of your home, so you may want to reassess the amount your home is insured for (say from $300,000 to $305,000). If you are doing major renovations (electrical, foundation, total kitchen remake, etc.) then you should definitely contact your insurance company.