Home Insurance and Location and Rates

Your guide to how location impacts home insurance rates in Canada

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Written by Joel Kranc

What impact does location have on home insurance rates?

Your home insurance can vary depending on where you live. While it’s not the most key factor affecting rates, it will have a significant impact.

Let’s say, for example, your neighbourhood is not served by a municipal fire department with a quick response time. There is a higher risk to you than to a house served by a more reliable fire department.

Some areas are more prone to flooding than others, which could also affect your home insurance rates.

Crime rates, traffic patterns, proximity to other buildings and other issues can affect your premiums.

What makes home insurance providers weary?

Home insurance providers want to know the coverage they are providing is low risk. Some areas come with higher risks and may result in raised rates and/or make it difficult to acquire coverage.

When looking at locations, insurance providers will want to know if you live in a flood-risk zone where frequent damage is a possibility.

Also, high crime areas prone to theft or even vandalism can lead to higher-than-average claims. While it doesn’t happen too frequently, earthquakes and earthquake zones (more likely on the West Coast) can give insurance providers reason to pause when considering coverage in that location.

Some municipalities are served by government-operated fire departments whereas some smaller areas often use volunteer fire departments (and/or emergency services). The response times can vary and so can the resulting damages. This too represents a location issue for insurance providers.

2022 Ontario home insurance rates

Home insurance premiums in Ontario have increased about 10% since fall 2021 compounding homeowners’ cost challenges amid rising interest rates, historic inflation, a labour shortage and increasing incidences of severe weather.

Recent data from RATESDOTCA’s Home Insuramap tool reflects that homeowners in smaller cities continue to pay higher premiums in 2022 while those in larger urban centres enjoy the lowest in the province.

Rank City Estimated 2022 premium Approximate % change from 2021
1. LaSalle $2,411 15
2. Windsor $2,139.47 3
3. Hearst $2,046 16
4. Foleyet $2,046 3
5. South Porcupine $2,046 3
6. Keewatin $2,033 18
7. Fort Frances $2,023 4
8. Val Caron $2,005 9
9. Elliot Lake $2,005 15
10. Kapuskasing $2,005 1

Frequently asked questions about location and rates

Does my location affect my homeowner insurance premium?

Yes. Things such as crime rate, climate events or access to emergency services can affect homeowner insurance premiums.

Why do insurance providers look at location when considering their premiums?

Insurance providers are looking to insure people and areas with the lowest risk factors. If an area is determined to be low risk, a provider will more likely provide insurance at a lower price than a home in a high-risk area. This is not the only determining factor but is an important one.

Is there a way to lower the premium if I am in a higher risk location?

Negotiating your deductible can be a good start to lower premiums but also consider upgrades to security and outdoor lighting, as well as making repairs where needed. Proper maintenance can also lower the risks if you live in an area prone to floods or other environmental risks. In addition, installing an auto shut off valve, remote water sensor, and battery operated sump pump can reduce the cost of home insurance.

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