THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT TYPES OF INSURANCE FOR REAL ESTATE
A) FIRE/CONTENTS INSURANCE: NON-CONDO PURCHASE
The purchaser is responsible for arranging house insurance for the full guaranteed replacement value of the property prior to closing. It is required that the insurance be effective on the closing day. The insurance policy must also name the mortgage lender as a loss payee under the policy. Our office will not be able to close the purchase of a non condominium if an insurance binder is not received by fax from the insurance company or insurance broker prior to closing. Please ask your insurance agent to forward an insurance binder letter to our law office confirming that the coverage arranged is for guaranteed replacement cost and showing the name and address of the mortgage company.
NOTE: An insurance binder letter must be received by our office by fax or by mail before a house(NON CONDOMINIUM) purchase can be completed!
B) FIRE INSURANCE: CONDOMINIUM PURCHASE:
Although the condo corporation maintains building insurance for the entire condominium project, it still necessary for the purchaser to arrange insurance coverage for the individual condo unit’s contents and liability. Remember that the policy must be effective as of the closing date (or effective as of the occupancy date if buying a new condo from a builder). Also, ask your insurance broker to provide a condominium unit owner’s policy and not a tenant’s policy.
NOTE: The condo corporation’s building insurance will typically only cover whatever was originally provided by the builder and not upgrades or improvements installed at a later date. Also, confirm that your condo unit’s insurance policy will pay for any deductible owed by the unit owner under the condo corporation’s insurance policy.
IF YOU ARE SELLING:
DO NOT CANCEL YOUR PROPERTY INSURANCE until the transaction has in fact closed, and net sale funds have been received. DO NOT (in anticipation of a closing date) inform your insurance broker to cancel an insurance policy to become effective on the proposed date of closing. Should there be any last minute delays in closing, you do not want a situation to arise where you are continuing as legal owner of a property with cancelled fire insurance.
NOTE: A special insurance binder in writingmust be arranged with your insurance agent for a property that will be vacant for more than 30 days.
It is important to consider insuring the life or lives of the main breadwinner(s) so that the mortgage can be paid off in the event of an untimely death. Temporarily, one might even consider placing such insurance through the mortgage lender, which can be terminated by the buyer as soon as an alternative insurance provider is arranged. The mortgage lender is typically not the most economical provider of such life insurance for several reasons:
- The mortgage lender’s life insurance is usually more costly than a direct insurance provider.
- When a purchaser later switches lenders or renews the mortgage, one might have to requalify for the insurance by answering a questionnaire(which might pose problems for coverage if one’s medical condition has changed) if the mortgage lender’s insurance was used rather than a direct insurance provider.
- With a mortgage lender’s insurance, if one later switches to a different mortgage lender, premiums for the new life insurance for the replacement mortgage will be based on the current age (one will be older at the time) with higher premiums; age would not be a consideration when switching mortgage lenders at a later date if a direct insurance lender had been used in the first place and if the insurance program with the direct insurance lender is ongoing.