FAQ

GENERAL INSURANCE QUESTIONS

  • Q. What is a deductible?
    A.

    A deductible is the amount that you’ve agreed to pay, when you purchased your policy, in the event of a claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and it costs $5,000 to replace your property after a break-in, your insurance company will pay $4,500 and you’ll pay $500. You’ll need to pay the deductible every time you make a claim.

  • Q. What are my duties if I make a claim?
    A.

    In order to provide coverage, your insurance company may require any of the following:

    • A written statement outlining the details of your loss
    • A police or fire department report
    • An inventory list of the damaged property with quantities, and value of the items being claimed
    • Evidence and documentation showing books of account, receipts, invoices, photos, or other vouchers verified by statutory declaration
    • Proof that you mitigated your loss and took steps to prevent further damage
    • Cooperation with reasonable requests from the insurance company
  • Q. How long will it take to resolve my claim?
    A.

    The amount of time required to handle each claim will vary based on the severity, extent and type of the property loss or damage.  Some claims can be resolved shortly, but others are more complex and may require inspections, estimates, police reports, and investigations that may take longer.  In addition, if there is a natural disaster affecting the area in which you live, there may be delays in all activities that follow.  The sooner you provide the information requested by your insurance adjuster, the sooner your claim may be settled.  The loss must be denied or payable within 60 days after completion of the proof of loss.

  • Q. What if I don’t agree with the amount that the adjuster has offered?
    A.

    Get a second opinion by a reputable engineer, trusted contractor, or price quotes from real life vendors, stores, internet sites or appraisers and provide them to your adjuster.  In return, your adjuster can provide you with the documentation that he/she used to evaluate the value of your property.  If you still do not agree with the amount offered by your insurance company an appraisal process is described within the Insurance Act.  It is important to remember that the insurance company needs to compensate you for the same like kind and quality.  Any increases in prices due to upgrades or inflated contractor prices cannot be claimed on your insurance policy.

  • Q. In general, will my premium increase if I file a claim?
    A.

    The answer depends on the circumstances of your claim.  You may have a claims free discount which you may lose if a claim is paid.  Talk to your broker or agent.  He/she may be able to give you a better idea if your claim might affect your premium.

  • Q. What is the difference between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value?
    A.

    Depending on the policy that you purchased with your agent or broker, the amount payable after a loss will either be based on Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value.

    Replacement Cost is the cost of repair or replacement (whichever is less) with a comparable like, kind and quality, without an amount taken away for depreciation. If repairs are being done, only new materials of the same kind and quality will be used.

    Actual Cash Value is the value of something on the day the claim is made, not the value of it when it was new.  This is calculated by taking the replacement cost then taking away an amount for depreciation, which is figured out by the condition of an item, its resale value, and its normal life expectancy.

    Example: Let’s say you bought a brand new TV for $1,500.00 in 2012 and it gets stolen one year later.  Calculations show that the TV was worth $1,000.00 when it was stolen.  With Replacement Cost on your policy, you would get a new TV of the same like, kind and quality for the amount that it costs to purchase on the date of your loss.  With Actual Cash Value, you would get $1,000.00 cash (which is the price of the television used).

HOME INSURANCE QUESTIONS

  • Q. Is my swimming pool covered by my policy?
    A.

    Yes. The definition of “dwelling building” includes an outdoor swimming pool and attached equipment on the premises. Be sure to allow for it when determining the limit of insurance on your dwelling.

  • Q. Am I covered for theft of money from my home?
    A.

    Yes, but generally this is limited to $300 in all for loss of money.

  • Q. Are the contents of my freezer covered if the freezer breaks down and the contents are spoiled?
    A.

    Yes, we insure your freezer contents while contained in a freezer located within your dwelling for loss up to $1,000 if caused by a power failure or breakdown of the freezer unit.

  • Q. Is there coverage for contents belonging to my son or daughter when they are away at school?
    A.

    Yes. Personal Property of students residing away from home is insured up to a limit of $5,000* for each student. It is important, however, to keep the company informed of the student’s status – once they are done school, this automatic extension no longer applies. (* higher limit may apply)

  • Q. I have a detached garage. How do I insure it since it isn't part of my dwelling?
    A.

    The homeowner policy includes an extension for Detached Private Structures on the premises equal to 10% of the limit of insurance on the dwelling. This extension does not apply to any building or structure designed or used for farm or business purposes. It is meant for personal use buildings only such as a garage, storage shed or gazebo.

  • Q. What about my jewellery? I hear other people talking about needing a "floater". What does this mean?
    A.

    Jewellery is limited for the peril of theft to a maximum limit of $3,000* unless you specifically schedule your items on a floater. Purchasing a floater also expands the coverage to include mysterious disappearance or loss of an individual item. (*higher limit may apply)

  • Q. Will turning in a property claim affect my premiums?
    A.

    Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not a simple one. Many companies do not surcharge your premium if you have a claim. However, many policyholders enjoy claims-related discounts on their insurance policy. If you have a home policy and you have a claim, then you are no longer claims free and you will lose your discount upon the next renewal. If you have a farm policy and you have a claim, then any discount could be affected depending upon your total claims history with the company. It is best to contact your insurance agent or broker to discuss your individual situation for the complete answer to this question.

  • Q. Am I covered if someone sues me because my dog bites him or her?
    A.

    Yes, Personal Liability purchased as part of a Homeowner Package Policy provides coverage for liability arising out of your ownership of domestic animals.

  • Q. I use my computer partly for business use - is it covered?
    A.

    Yes. Books, tools and instruments pertaining to your business are insured for up to $3,000 (as of January 1st 2013) in total, but only while on your premises and for the perils insured against on Personal Property. Your insurance agent or broker can best advise you in this regard.

  • Q. Does my home insurance have any special limits for coverage?
    A.

    Yes. There are special limits for money, collectables, jewellery, furs, tools, watercraft, antiques, utility trailers and bicycles. Limits are different depending on the policy that you have purchased. Please refer to your policy wording for the special limits available.  If you need to raise the amount of coverage on one of these items, you can add an endorsement to your policy or add a floater that protects something in particular. You can always adjust your insurance to make sure your coverage meets your unique needs.

  • Q. In the event of a claim who repairs my home?
    A.

    Lambton Mutual provides you with financial compensation to repair or replace your property.  The choice of the repair firm is ultimately yours.  If you choose to use your own contractor, your claims adjuster will work with you and your contractor to determine both the scope of the repairs and a price which your insurance company agrees to.

  • Q. Do I need to drain the pipes in my home if I'm going on a winter vacation?
    A.

    Yes, you should drain your pipes and shut off the water.  Failure to do so results in denial of insurance for frozen pipes that end up bursting.  The only other way to maintain insurance coverage when you’re away for more than 4 consecutive days during the heating season is to make arrangements for a competent person to enter your dwelling daily to ensure that heat is being maintained.

AUTO INSURANCE QUESTIONS