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The charred remains of a home and vehicle in Fort McMurray.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

By Rob Carrick

When assessing your home insurance policy, start by checking your coverage for water damage from a sewer backup or flood. That's the most likely claim for many Canadians. Still, as the situation in Fort McMurray reminds us, fire's also a risk. If you have a standard home insurance policy, you'll be covered for the cost of rebuilding a home of the same size.

Your policy may also cover living expenses if you're forced by fire to evacuate your home. Here are some tips for cleaning up when you return home after a fire.

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Hundreds of insurance experts have been mobilized to handle claims of clients in the Fort McMurray area. Do you hold the shares of property insurers in your portfolio? One of the largest, Intact Financial, says its exposure to the Fort McMurray fires is manageable.

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> Trader Joe's is a U.S. specialty food chain that has incredibly loyal customers, including many Canadians who spend time south of the border. Here's a list of what to buy – and to avoid – from this company. Beware the turkey meatloaf muffins.

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Four lies that sabotage your retirement
> A thorough list of excuses people give for not saving. They're all just rationalizing their failure to take care of business.

Today's featured investment tool
As house prices rise in some cities, the question of whether it's better to buy or rent becomes more urgent. Here's a buy or rent calculator that can help you decide.

Ask Rob
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My reply: The issue with preferred shares has to do with the interest rate environment and not their ability to keep paying dividends. So if you bought the shares for income, they're delivering the goods.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.

Featured Video
I ask financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons a question that more and more millennials are throwing my way: Should I rush into the housing market now, before it gets so expensive I'll never be able to buy?

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