How Often Does A House Need to be Checked for Insurance Purposes?

By NextHome Staff
November 25, 2020

Before you’re given a premium cost for your home insurance, your insurer may want to run a house check. Also, some insurance companies conduct periodic assessments as indicated in your contract. The purpose is to assess the house in order to determine the cost of your premiums and to make adjustments to your plan if the need presents itself.

On the other hand, your insurer may not want to do mandatory inspections. In this case, they leave it to your prerogative. The only problem then is you’re not a trained inspector. But you can do it yourself! If you think you have some basic understanding of the construction of your house, you can be a competent inspector of your own home to keep your house insurance plan up-to-date.

How Often Does a House Need to be Checked for Insurance Purposes in Canada?

So how often does a house need to be checked for insurance purposes in Canada legally? There are no official rules the insurance company has to follow in Canada. Not even every Canadian insurance company will require it, either.

There are some companies, however, that will make inspection visits necessary and part of the contract. How often this is will depend on the company’s rules they set.

If your insurer doesn’t require any home checks, then as an inspector of your own home, you should probably aim for annual checks or at least every two years.

Also, regardless of whether you do your own checks or it’s run by the company, you should be aware of insurance implications from any major renovation you do in your home. This can affect your premiums and once you inform your insurer, they can get you updated to more personalized coverage if needed.

To learn more about how insurance premiums work in Winnipeg, check out this post

Why Some Insurance Companies Check Your Home

Some insurance companies make home checks a requirement. The purpose of this is to determine your insurance premiums with comprehensive knowledge of your house’s state.

  1. Through your home check, your insurer can help you determine whether there is anything that poses a risk of damage, injury or any kind of problem. Knowing this will tell you that you need to fix something, which can lower your premium cost through eliminating a problem factor.
  2. They also determine the house replacement value, the age of your house, the condition it’s in, and things that pose a risk. This all contributes to determining your insurance premiums and helps get you on a coverage plan that is suited to your needs, based on the current condition of your house.
  3. Some insurers will require periodic home inspections in order to determine whether the coverage plan needs to be updated so that you are covered for the updated conditions of your home.

If your insurer doesn’t do home checks, then do your own so you don’t miss out on these benefits!

How to Inspect Your Own Home for Insurance Purposes

If your insurer doesn’t require home checks, you can always hire your own home inspector if you don’t have the confidence to do so on your own. However, most people could probably do their own inspections. The purpose of this is to notify your insurer of any deterioration as well as becoming aware of problems to your aging house that can affect your premium. The following is a list of things that can affect your insurance. You want to keep your claims as few as possible and prevent damage or accidental injuries. Also, you can determine what should be repaired and updated.

Outdoor Areas to Inspect

  • Roof: This can be the source of a lot of problems. Roof damage can cause water leakage, which leads to more problems inside the house.
  • Garage: The garage should be inspected annually, to ensure the door works properly. Also, since the garage tends to get cluttered with a lot of junk, sharp tools and items stacked high, ensure that nothing presents a risk of accidental injury or damage.
  • Grading: Be aware of proper grading around the house when you are doing renovations. This means that the ground slopes around your house, preventing flooding.
  • Check for cracks in the driveway or the walkway to the house. Also, check for uneven cement tiles in the front or backyard.
  • Ensure steps on the exterior of the house are straight and not wobbly.

Indoor Areas to Inspect

  • Appliances: Make sure all your appliances are working in order.
  • Plumbing: Check to see that your plumbing is working well.
  • Attic: Your attic is one of the most forgotten places in your house, but as it’s the first level right after the rook, there can be water leakage in there and you wouldn’t know it.
  • HVAC system: Check your pipes, vents, and ensure there are no cracks or malfunctions that could cause damage to your home. Ensure the wiring is good and that there are no holes that can potentially cause electrical damage.
  • Check for water leaks in the ceilings and the floor.
  • Check for cracked tiles on the floor.
  • Check your alarm systems regularly and ensure there aren’t malfunctions.

How to Lower Your Insurance Premiums With House Checks

If you want to lower your insurance premiums, there are some ways to do it.

  1. Start by doing some basic home inspections that are targeted to seeing what is wearing out and therefore should be replaced or repaired.
  2. Second, you should examine the state of your roof. Get your roof repaired or maintain the good condition. This keeps your insurance premium low. Also, if you started out with higher insurance because of roof damage, then you can repair it to get it lowered.
  3. Next, you can install safety features. These include alarm systems, like fire and burglar alarms. Check with your insurer to see if the alarm you want to install is approved for discounts.
  4. In general, you can think about doing some little renovations that will improve the condition of your house and your insurer might give you a discount as you lower the risk of problems and damage to the house.

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