Home Insurance
When to Arrange a Policy

When should a buyer arrange home insurance for their 'new' home?

Immediately After
Offer Acceptance

Waiting until just before closing of the sale could be problematic. Such short notice may not allow enough time for the insurance company to review and process a house insurance policy application. Also, if the insurance company declines the application, the buyer may not have enough time to arrange insurance elsewhere, thereby jeopardizing the closing of the transaction.

Big problem!

If a buyer (or their agent) suspects that a particular house may not be insurable, they should seriously consider not buying that particular property. Any mortgage company will insist that the building be thoroughly insured for the replacement cost of the structure, which is not necessarily the actual purchase price.

No Insurance = No Mortgage = No Purchase

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) recommends that buyers ask their agent to ensure that offers include a condition permitting the buyer to arrange satisfactory property insurance. This is particularly applicable for older homes, those in a poor state of repair, not owner-occupied (rented), rural properties some distance from fire departments or hydrants, have been used for illegal purposes (grow-ops), suspected of having defective surface or buried oil tanks or some other feature commonly of concern to insurance companies. Items such as 60 amp service, aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring, asbestos insulation, old furnaces, Kitec plumbing or worn roof shingles are all typical red flags for insurance companies.

What if a buyer is unable to arrange insurance in the ...

Regular Insurance Market?

There are substandard and specialty markets available for challenging properties or for buyers considered poor insurance risk. However, they normally don't deal directly with the public. An insurance agent can help, but premiums are usually higher and coverage lower.

Have you wondered how you could possibly ...

Reduce Home Insurance Premiums?

If a customer maintains multiple policies, such as home and auto, with the same company, many insurance companies offer volume discounts. Higher deductibles can also somewhat lower premiums. Centrally monitored security and fire alarm systems, claims free years and seniors discounts may also apply.

If you would like to learn more about home insurance, click the appropriate logo to visit The Insurance Bureau of Canada website or call their consumer information center at 1-800-387-2880. Or visit The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario for more assistance. For other provinces and countries, I'm sure similar information is readily available on-line.

For my fellow Canadians, if you're shopping for home insurance, click this link for
Home insurance quotes compared online in minutes

If you're interested in a definitive guide to buying (and selling) real estate, whether privately or with the guidance of a qualified realty agent, check out Ross' book The Happy Agent. It's full of tips and techniques developed during his successful 4 decade realty career. Learn how to search the market, evaluate property and negotiate an offer to purchase a home, including city, suburban and rural.

A small investment of your time could conceivably save you thousands of dollars and a ton of stress, and help you trade in real estate like a pro. Remember - knowledge is power.

Available virtually everywhere print and e-books are sold.

Return to Buyer Question

Return to Home Page

Return to Top

If you wish to share this page, please do so. Here's how.

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Click here to review our privacy policy and disclaimer