Property Insurance — my experience filing insurance claims
Property insurance, once you have it if anything happens, you’re covered right?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
Two years ago, the basement in my rental property in Fort McMurray flooded. I called insurance company A and filed a claim. Restoration of the basement suite was in the 30K range, and I was relieved my policy covered the cost.
The following year, I bought a fixer-upper in Calgary. It made sense to have both the Fort McMurray and Calgary properties insured with the same insurance company. The cost to insure both properties was expensive because of my previous claim and the previous flooding in the city of Calgary two years ago.
On New Year’s Eve, my Calgary property had sewer backup. I called insurance company B and filed a claim. This repair was far less expensive; the cost was under $5000.
A month later, I received a registered letter from insurance company B informing me they had dropped me as a client. When I asked why I was told it was because I had filed two claims within a five-year period. They also mentioned a phone call about another issue, with insurance company A, two years prior. Although I had not filed a claim.
I asked why insurance company B would cancel my insurance if both properties were insured under two separate insurance policies when the separate claims were filed? The response was that the claims followed me, not the houses. I was considered a high-risk client. Apparently, filing two claims in five years is the formula for dropping a client.
Finding another insurance company wasn’t easy, but I managed to find one with good coverage for a much better price.
Two months later I got a call from my Fort McMurray tenant. He heard a dripping sound behind the wall. The drip ended up being a far worse problem than I could have anticipated. The water pipe to the outside hose cracked and leaked into the bathroom and furnace room for months, causing damage to walls, floors, and mould growth. Everything had to be removed, including the shower. The cost for gutting the bathroom? $8000.
Since I had been dropped once already, I didn’t want to take the chance of having my insurance canceled permanently. I asked for…