Q. So what is this inspection about, really?
A. As I’m sure your broker may have mentioned, it really is about utilizing strengths. Our inspectors are quite knowledgeable about building construction, fire safety, as well as heating and electrical installations, to name a few. They do not sell insurance and are not experts on coverage matters such as rates, riders, endorsements or the like. So your broker does what they’re good at and we do what we’re good at. The inspection is also about getting out and visiting with our customers and seeing what we’re insuring.
Q. My broker was already here and took measurements and pictures. Do you still need to come by?
A. Definitely, yes! We encourage our brokers to go out to gather some basic information to put a package of insurance together for you; knowing that we will be coming out to conduct a more detailed inspection. While your broker is an expert in coverage matters, our inspectors have specialized training and experience around things like building construction, fire safety, electrical and heating installations.
Q. I’ve been insuring homes for 20 years and never had an inspection-why now?
A. Well, we’re really sorry to hear that! We think our team is awesome, as well as helpful, knowledgeable, courteous, and advocates for our customers. Not only that, but we care enough about our customers to actually send someone by to say hello. We realize that this is certainly a different approach than you may be used to, and hope that you’ll come to appreciate the personal service that we offer with this type of program.
Q. Is there a cost or fee for the inspection?
A. No. This is a complimentary service that we offer our customers.
Q. Can you give me a copy of the WETT inspection saying everything is okay?
A. Unfortunately, no. We do not charge you a fee for a Level I WETT inspection. We complete it for our own purposes in terms of your insurance with us. As a result, we are unable to provide you with a copy of the inspection report indicating that there are no deficiencies
Q. Do you need inside the building?
A. Yes we do. Our inspection has both interior and exterior components. The inspector will need to see the heating system, electrical and plumbing installations, sump pump(s), woodstove(s)/fireplaces (as applicable), as well as the interior finishes. We also check the number and position of life safety devices (smoke and CO sensors, etc).
Q. How long does the inspection normally take?
A. The length of time that an inspection can take depends on many things, such as the size or complexity of the insured building(s), the number of buildings on the property, what is being inspected, and the nature of the occupancy. A straightforward single-family dwelling in a subdivision may be completed in as little as 45 minutes, while a working farm property could take a few hours. The inspector can help narrow that down when contacting you to book an appointment to complete the inspection.
Q. Is the inspection mandatory?
A. The inspection is a requirement of your insurance with us, yes.
Q. What do you do with this information after the inspection?
A. The information that we gather as part of the inspection program, including digital photos, building measurements, and both interior and exterior finishes is used by our Underwriting Department to update your file. It is also maintained in the unfortunate event of a loss, so that we have a snapshot of what existed prior to the loss, and can help our Claims Department in mitigating your claim. We also forward a copy of the inspection report along to your broker, to help you with coverage matters.
What’s important to note is that we do not share this information with any outside agency, such as MPAC or Revenue Canada. Protection of your personal information and privacy is our responsibility.
Q. I just built (or bought) this house for $500,000 and you want to insure it for $600,000-what’s up with that?
A. Any questions about coverage matters should be directed to your broker. They are the expert there. Our inspectors do not sell insurance, and are not licensed to discuss these types of things with you. Insurance limits are designed to rebuild your home back to the way it was, but brand new. The insurance limit also has to take into account the cost for cleaning up whatever is left after a total loss. This is in contrast to the price you paid for the property, which includes the value of the land and the current condition of the house.