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Change of Address

So you have just moved! Maybe you just purchased a new home, or moved from a home to an apartment, or just decided to spend the rest of your life living out of a treehouse (not recommended).
But despite your wonderful new home and the excitement of your move, there are still some very important tasks you need to complete, if you want to relax and enjoy your new space. And at the very top of that list needs to be your insurance.

You see, insurance is all about you, and a big change in your life will mean a big change in your insurance, especially when it involves a new address. First of all, insurance, being a legal contract, is printed onto paper, and then sent to it’s intended recipient. We send it through the mail, which is sent to your address. Now what happens if you no longer live at that address? You give the new resident of your old place the gift of a pile of complicated documents, and carry on with your life at your new place, blissfully unaware of anything we sent you.

If I had a nickle for every single time I got a letter returned with an “recipient has moved”, I’d have about $2.15 from my two days opening mail for McDougall Insurance. It happens a lot, and I can understand why. When you are moving, you are busy and the last thing you are thinking about is the mailing address of your insurance. But what if something important happens and we can’t get a hold of you? If you don’t have a broker it could be even worse – many insurance companies communicate with their customers almost exclusively through mail. But it’s not just the communication that’s a problem when you move.

Moving is a material change to the risks on your policy

A material change is insurance-speak for a change that will make a difference in whether or not an insurance company will cover you in the event of a claim. A risk is just a piece of property, like your house, your car, or your boat.

You see, a change of address means that you probably are not using your car in the same way, and certainly not using your home like you used to (it’s not even the same home anymore, unless you are the hulk and just picked up your house and moved it). If you don’t let your insurance company know about these changes right away, they can use it to deny a claim if something bad happens. A change of address plays a role for both auto and home policies.

Auto

You wouldn’t think a change of your home would effect your auto policy, but it absolutely does. Changing where you live changes the area you drive in, and how long your drives are. Your commute could get longer, you could be closer to the store and so can walk more often (and therefore use your car less), or you could be driving in a much more dangerous territory.

Now often you are just moving up the street, or to a different section in your town which is about the same distance away from everything. That will make your conversation with your broker short and sweet, and what you pay won’t change. But in other cases you could be moving to an entirely different city, with entirely different streets, and can face a big change in your insurance premium (just ask anyone that has moved their auto insurance in Belleville to Markham).

Home

Changing your home insurance when you change your address should be pretty self explanatory. If you have moved to a new home, you will need to insure it with it’s own new policy (you can have multiple locations under a single policy, but that’s something your broker can worry about). You will also want to stop insuring your old home. The insurance doesn’t automatically transfer over, so contact with your broker is a must!

When you buy a new home it’s pretty easy to remember this, but what about when your a tenant and you are just moving to a new apartment? You still need to let your insurance company know. A new apartment means an entirely different set of circumstances, some of which could make a big difference to how likely a claim may be, and consequentially how high your insurance rates are.

Conclusion

Given the importance of keeping your insurance up to date (so your claims don’t get denied), and the frequency of insurance mail, speaking to your broker or insurance company should be the first thing you do when you decide to move. And that’s not even considering other more complicated bits of insurance that pop up during a move, like contents in storage and vacant homes. Talk to your broker when you move, don’t put it off until later because you will forget about it. And forgetting about insurance is a surefire way to guarantee that you’re insurance will forget about you.

Insurance can be complex, but by having a McDougall Insurance broker by your side, you can be sure you will be protected. Give us a call  at 1-800-361-0941, email us at reception@mcdougallinsurance.com, or get a quick quote online. You’ll be glad you did.

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