Frequently asked questions - Home
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Inventory and replacement of your possessions
How do I submit the list of items I want to claim?
If you've already reported the loss to La Capitale, you can speed up the claim process by compiling your list using the damage statement provided in:
Do I have to replace my stolen property?
Yes, if you wish to be paid based on the replacement value and if this coverage is included in your contract. However, you may choose to replace only certain items. The settlement for property that is not replaced is calculated by taking the replacement cost less depreciation, based on the useful lifespan of the item.
How much time do I have to repair or replace everything?
In order to benefit from a replacement cost settlement, you should replace, repair, or rebuild the property within a reasonable period of time following the loss. This reasonable period varies according to the extent of the loss.
Do I need to pay for the replacement items before receiving an indemnity?
You don't have to wait for your payment if your contract provides for the cost of replacement. This value represents the replacement cost of the items less an amount for depreciation. Upon receipt of the invoices for the replaced items, we will reimburse the difference between the initial payment and the actual replacement cost. The replacement cost reflects the cost of an item that is similar in nature and quality to the stolen item.
When replacing your belongings, you may also choose to deal with a supplier from La Capitale’s network of trusted contacts. In that case, we will pay the replacement cost directly to that supplier.
The applicable deductible will be deducted from the indemnity paid.
Repair costs of the premises
Can I do the cleanup myself?
You can choose to do the cleanup yourself or hire a specialized cleaning company from La Capitale's network of trusted contacts. If you decide to do the cleanup yourself, we will compensate you for the work done.
Can I do the repair work myself?
Yes, you can do the repair work yourself. However, you must safeguard your property and allow La Capitale to visit the premises in order to examine the insured property before proceeding with the repairs. Once the estimate for the work has been completed, your claims adjuster will notify you of the allocated amount.
How the coverage works
My iPod was stolen from my car. Is it covered by my home or automobile insurance policy?
The iPod is covered under home insurance because its use is not limited to the vehicle.
To be covered under auto insurance, the item must have a link with the use of the device and the insured vehicle. The following are covered under auto insurance:
- Items that are fastened (and not simply plugged) to the vehicle at the time of the loss (i.e. a luggage rack).
- Vehicle parts that are removed temporarily or used only seasonally.
- Items that are used for the maintenance of the vehicle (i.e. a snow brush).
- Items that can be attached to the lighter only (i.e. a 12-volt compressor).
- Parts or items purchased to be mounted on the vehicle, but not yet installed.
Does my insurance policy have restrictions?
All home insurance policies include coverage limits, personal property and risks that are never covered, and terms and conditions specific to certain risks or types of coverage. Detailed information is provided in the insurance policy that was sent to you when your policy was issued. For more information, contact a Customer Service agent.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Under the Civil Code of Quebec, the insurer has sixty (60) days to settle a claim. This period begins only after the insurer has received all the relevant information and required supporting documents. At La Capitale, the vast majority of claims are settled within this prescribed time.
Am I covered under my tenants insurance policy if my washing machine breaks down and causes damage to my landlord's property or that of other tenants?
Yes. Your home insurance policy includes personal liability insurance. This insurance protects you in cases where you have to pay a third party as a result of accidental property damage or bodily injury sustained during the term of the policy and for which you are held personally liable. The indemnity limit is set out in the Declarations section of your policy. Certain everyday activities may be excluded. It is important that you review your policy.
Why do I have to pay a deductible if a third party is liable for the damages I declared?
In the event of a loss for which a third party is liable, you are nonetheless responsible for the applicable deductible set out in the Declarations of your insurance policy. During the investigation, the adjuster will determine if there is any possible recourse. If so, he will inform you of the steps to obtain the reimbursement of your deductible.
Will my premium increase?
Changes in insurance premiums at renewal are affected by several factors. A Customer Service agent can provide you with more information. Contact an agent at 1 888 522-5260.
Legal problems related to property
Can I withhold payments for work carried out by a contractor to ensure that the contractor will return to finish the job?
No. If it is possible to withhold a portion of the money, the amount must correspond to the value of the work remaining to be done. For example, say you gave someone a $10,000 contract and you have paid a $2,000 instalment. The work is almost completed, but there are a few minor bits to be finished. You must pay the contractor $8,000 minus the value of the work remaining to be done.
I am a tenant, and I have just purchased a house. Can I break my lease by giving three months' notice?
- If your lease is of an unspecified duration (with no end or renewal date), you must give one month's notice.
- If your lease is of a specified duration, which is often the case, you must abide by its terms until it expires unless you come to an agreement with the landlord.
- In certain situations provided for by law, it is possible to break a lease before it expires. Consult a lawyer or the Régie du logement (Quebec’s housing tribunal) to know your rights.
After checking, I realize that there is no way for me to break my lease before the end date. The landlord is unwilling to come to an agreement with me. What can I do?
You could transfer your lease or sublet your apartment. If so, you would have to find a new tenant, enter into an agreement with him or her and inform the landlord, as provided by law.
My landlord is refusing to proceed with some promised improvements. Can I withhold some of my rent?
No. You cannot withhold some of your rent, even if the landlord is not living up to his or her agreement. Contact the Régie du logement instead for information on what you can do.
Do I have the right to have a pet in my apartment?
The law does not prohibit tenants from having pets. However, the lease or building regulations may prohibit or limit this right (e.g. no dogs). One exception: a service animal, such as a guide dog for someone who is blind.
If you are able to have a pet, it must not disturb your neighbours.
I am renting an apartment, but I do not have a written lease. Do I have any rights?
The fact that you are occupying an apartment with the landlord's consent constitutes a lease. You are therefore protected by law as if you had a written lease. If the agreement does not specify a duration or renewal date, it may be considered to be a lease of unspecified duration.
Do I have any rights with regard to the house where I am living, the ownership of which is solely in the name of my common-law spouse?
No. The sharing of family assets applies only to couples who are married. Therefore, if ownership of the house is only in the name of one of the spouses, the other spouse has no rights to the house in the event of separation.
Can I break my lease by giving the landlord three months' notice?
No, contrary to popular belief! If you are a tenant, you cannot break your lease before the end date, unless the landlord agrees or there are reasons that justify it. In the latter case, you must contact the Régie du logement. Other exceptions: a rental unit that is unfit to live in and admission to a residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD), for example.
However, if you have a lease of unspecified duration, one month's notice is sufficient.
Does my landlord have to give me 24 hours' notice before entering the unit for showings?
Yes, if the visitor is a prospective buyer of the property. If you are not renewing your lease and the visitor is a future tenant, the landlord is not required to give you so much notice. A few hours is sufficient, in that case.
Can I cut branches on my neighbour's tree?
No. The tree and its branches belong to your neighbour. You cannot cut the tree branches without your neighbour's consent. You can ask a court to order your neighbour to cut the tree branches, if he or she refuses. To get a court order, you will have to prove that the branches are seriously interfering with your use of your property. That would be the case if, for example, sap from the tree caused extensive damage to your vehicle.
Who pays the notary fees when a property is sold?
Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the buyer pays the notary fees for the transaction. However, the seller pays the fee for a discharge, if there is a mortgage on the property.
What should I do if I discover a hidden defect in my property?
First of all, you must notify the seller in writing, within a reasonable time frame. You must also give the seller an opportunity to see the defect and determine how serious it is before starting the repair work. You must then call in an expert to appraise the nature of the problem, the repairs required and the anticipated costs. The appraisal makes it possible to confirm whether or not it is a hidden defect, i.e. a problem that:
- existed prior to sale
- was unknown to you
- was invisible and
- is serious.
If you are not able to reach an agreement with the seller, you can take legal action within three years from the time you discover the hidden defect. Note: If you bought the building without a guarantee against hidden defects, you cannot take legal action.
Since each case is unique, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation.
Can the buyer take legal action against me even if the sale document said that there was no guarantee against hidden defects or that the property was being bought at the buyer's own risk?
Yes. The buyer can take legal action against you if he or she is able to demonstrate that you knew about the hidden defect but neglected to declare it or that you deliberately neglected to indicate it in the declarations by the seller.
Who pays for a fence or hedge separating two properties?
As a home owner, you can install a fence or hedge completely on your side of the dividing line, at your expense. But if the fence or hedge is on the dividing line, you can oblige your neighbour to share the costs.
If you do not come to an agreement with your neighbour and want to oblige him or her to pay a portion of the costs of installing the fence or hedge on the dividing line, you need to get a court order before carrying out the work.
My tenant does not have a written lease. Do we have to abide by the rules of the Régie du logement?
Yes. You must give your tenant a copy of the lease within 10 days following the conclusion of your agreement. If you don't, a verbal lease is still a valid contract. In that case, the rules of the Régie du logement apply.
Can I ask a tenant to pay a damage deposit when signing the lease?
No. You can only request payment for the first month’s rent. If the tenants cause damage during the lease period and refuse to reimburse you for the repairs, you must contact the Régie du logement to claim the sums from them.