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Building your own home: make sure all your bases are covered

November 16, 2017

And so the adventure begins. You’re about to finally build the home of your dreams. You’re all set: building plan, tools, materials... But what about insurance coverage?

Building your own home is as exciting as it is challenging. You’ll need lots of preparation (and Zen-like patience!). Unlike doing business with a general contractor, you get the freedom to choose what to do and how much to spend. But keep in mind you’ll also need insurance coverage for every stage of your self-build project.

Expect the unexpected when you’re building a house

Basic coverage

Home insurance is strongly recommended (and required, if a creditor is involved) to cover construction and civil liability. Civil liability protects you, among other things, against damages to a third party (example: a visitor is injured on your site). You can choose coverage from $1 million to $5 million.

The insurance policy contains exclusions for houses under construction:

  • Vandalism
  • Water damage
  • Water service pipe breakage
  • Freezing damage
  • Fuel oil leaks and damage
  • Glass breakage
  • Theft of attempted theft

Additional coverage

You can obtain additional coverage on your policy to make up for some of the above-mentioned exclusions: for example, specific insurance to cover the theft of your building tools or materials (uninstalled doors, windows, bathroom fixtures, etc.) at the construction site. Speak to one of our insurance agents to learn more about the additional coverage you may need.

Do you have volunteers lending you a hand?

If you have volunteers helping out on the project, make sure you get insurance coverage in case of injury on the work site. Employers’ liability insurance covers bodily injury to volunteers during construction. Make sure you ask your agent to add the coverage to your policy.

Your dream home is ready! Now it’s time to update your home insurance

You’re approaching the finish line and will soon be moving in! Make sure you notify your insurer and discuss your coverage with your agent. Ask about the additional coverage you may need for your specific situation.

Here are some examples of special features that require added coverage:

  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Fuel oil tank

Give your wallet some breathing room: Save on home insurance

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to cut home insurance costs. Let’s look at some of the things you can do:

  • Install an alarm system

With Desjardins Insurance, you can save up to 10% if you protect your home with a professionally monitored alarm system.

  • LEED-certified building

Does your new home qualify for LEED certification? You could be eligible for a 10% discount on your home insurance.

  • Install a water damage prevention system

Water damage prevention systems can cut your home insurance premiums by up to 10%.

  • Claim-free file

A good insurance record can lower your premiums by up to 15%.

  • Bundling your policies

Our Double contract offer lets you save up to 15% on home insurance. As an added benefit: you’ll only need to pay one deductible (the higher of the two) in the event of a loss affecting both your home and car. You also get Desjardins legal assistance at no extra charge, as well as the Trouble-Free Option® that saves you even more.

It’s the biggest investment of your life. Protect it!

To wrap up, here a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your exciting self-build adventure.

Consider loan insurance

There’s a lot of money at stake when you decide to build a house. Protect your ability to meet your financial commitments with loan insurance – it will ensure your payments continue in the event of disability or death.

Get a handle on your finances

Being well-organized goes a long way when it comes to managing expenses.

  • Always ask for written invoices and contracts (including insurance and coverages)
  • Open a separate account for construction-related expenses so you can better manage the bills
  • Be consistent and keep an eye on your budget, in case you need more financing from your financial institution

You're all set to go – dig your shovel in the ground and build your dream home!

For more information, read Desjardins’s Summaray D.I.Y Homebuilders’ Guide.

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These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.