Many families looking to buy a home in Canada find themselves with questions about how insurance works and if the seller is required to provide it. While home sellers are not required to provide insurance in Canada, many will offer some sort of insurance as an added incentive for buyers, so be sure that before you make an offer on a new home, you clarify the insurance situation with the seller.

The Rules:

While home sellers in Canada are required to provide deeds, mortgage information, and current property tax bills, they are not required to provide insurance for the buyer. Home sellers will generally have homeowners insurance on the property until the day they move out as a precaution, so buyers don’t generally need to worry about damage to the house just before they close the deal. However, once the title is transferred, the former owner is no longer legally responsible for the property.

Why Some Sellers Offer Insurance:

It may not be required, but it isn’t uncommon for sellers to offer some type of home insurance that can be transferred to the new owner to make potential buyers more likely to make an offer. Many Canadian home sellers will offer home systems and appliance breakdown insurance, which is transferred to the new owner once the property sale is finalized. Home systems and appliance breakdown insurance usually applies for one year, and covers high maintenance costs for unexpected breakdowns or other problems to protect the new owners.

Insurance for Buyers:

It’s also important to note that if you’re buying a new home and getting a mortgage, you will be required to get homeowner’s insurance. This rule is designed to protect the mortgage lender in the event that the property owner defaults on their mortgage.

The bottom line for prospective buyers is this: because home sellers in Canada aren’t required to provide insurance, the best course of action is to inquire about insurance before you make an offer. It is all about getting in contact with the realtor. According to Calgary Listings, “enjoy the rewards of working with an experienced professional and receiving personal customer service.”

The realtor will ensure you have all the information necessary when going to buy a home including whether or not the seller will provide the insurance.

The realtor will also know whether or not the insurance can be transferred to you after the sale is complete; in some cases, sellers will be amenable to offering insurance if they know that it’ll make you likely to close the sale. Once you do purchase your new home, be sure to get homeowners insurance right away even if you aren’t taking out a mortgage, as once the title is transferred to you, you’re financially responsible.