What is a Material Change in Risk?


A material change can be defined as a substantial and continuing change that affects and increases the risk involved with insuring your property.

Material Change is a Statutory Condition under a standard insurance policy, and states that you must promptly give notice in writing to the Insurer or its agent (us, your Insurance Broker) of any change that is:

a) material to the risk
b) within your knowledge and control

If the Insurer is not promptly notified of the change, then the contract is VOID as to the part affected by such change.

If the Insurer or its agent (us, your Insurance Broker) are notified, then the Insurer may:

a) terminate the contract in accordance with the Statutory Conditions, or
b) notify you in writing, and if you desire to keep the contract in force, payment of the additional premium must be paid within 15 days of the notice

As mentioned above, a material change is substantial and increases the risk involved for the Insurer. Other changes may not be considered material, and therefore the Insurer does not require to be notified, as there is no increase in risk.

We thought it may be helpful to list some of the most common non-material vs material changes that we come across:

– Changing the color of your vehicle
– Lending your vehicle to a friend or family member short-term
– Changing the color of your siding on your home
– Re-shingling the roof of your home
– Replacing the windows on your home
– Updating your flooring, cabinets, counters, etc.
– Replacing or upgrading your furnace, hot water tank or other appliances
– Having a child or parent move into your home


Note: although cosmetic changes do not impact the risk, we always recommend notifying us of any upgrades or improvements (such as updating the roofing, wiring, heating or plumbing) as additional discounts may apply!
Material Change

– Changing the use of your vehicle (ie. from pleasure to commuting to work, business use, or using the vehicle commercially)
– Additional drivers using your vehicle (ie. children obtaining their Class 5 licence)
– Making modifications or alterations to your vehicle
– A change in ownership of your property
– Operating a Home Based Business
– Having roomers or boarders reside in your home
– Suiting the basement of your home
– Major renovations or additions to your home
– Renting your home, or your home being vacant


If you ever have any questions regarding changes you are making to your property or how you are using it, please feel free to contact our Office and one of our Brokers would be more than happy to assist you!


Thank you,

The Costen Insurance Team