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RATESDOTCA works with home insurance companies and brokers in Alberta to provide you with a wide selection of quotes. We quickly collect key information about your home and use it to generate the best offers from each of our partners. Our service is fast, easy and free to use.
By comparing Alberta home insurance quotes from several companies in a single place, you can instantly assess the market and find the coverage that best suits your needs.
Home insurance is not mandatory in Alberta. However, few banks or lenders will offer you with a mortgage if you cannot prove that your house is protected by an up-to-date home insurance policy.
Besides being required to procure and maintain a mortgage, home insurance is important because your home is most likely the most valuable asset you have. By insuring your home, you gain coverage against risks like water damage, theft and personal liability. If you choose to forego home insurance, you will be solely responsible for the cost of damages, personal displacement and liability claims, which can easily exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So even if you’ve paid off your mortgage and aren’t required to insure your home, why take the risk?
In Alberta, frequent floods and wildfires cause extensive damage to properties every year. One of the highest insured property losses recorded in Canada was $5 billion in 2016, with $3.7 billion of that total being the result of the Fort McMurray wildfires. These wildfires resulted in 60,000 property insurance claims. This tragic event illustrates why having home insurance in Alberta is so important for all homeowners.
(Source: Insurance Bureau Canada)
Here are the standard components of home insurance policies in Alberta.
1) Property: Property coverage protects your home from perils, such as floods and fires. The cost of coverage is primarily based on the replacement value of your home, not the market value. Though the exterior of your property is usually included as part of this coverage – e.g. fences, driveways, etc. - detached structures built on your property may require additional coverage. Ask your insurer for more information.
2) Contents and personal property: Contents and personal property coverage protects the personal belongings inside your home, such as your bicycle, laptop, appliances and furniture. Provide your insurance company with a list of your valuable belongings at the outset of your policy.
3) Additional living expenses: Additional living expenses cover housing costs if you and your family are temporarily displaced because of a property insurance claim. For example, if you need to stay at a hotel while your home is repaired, you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
1) Personal liability: Most home insurance policies in Alberta, whether basic, broad or comprehensive, offer personal liability protection. Personal liability coverage provides protection in the event someone is injured on your property and files a lawsuit against you.
2) Voluntary medical payments: If someone is injured on your property and needs medical attention, such as a doctor’s visit or surgery, your insurer will pay the covered amount for up to one year from the date of the accident.
3) Voluntary property damage: This covers damages that you or your family unintentionally cause to someone else’s property.
These are additional home insurance coverage options you can add to your policy, depending on the risks facing your house:
1) Overland water : This covers property damage from overflowing water stemming from rivers, streams, lakes and thawing snow. Please note that not all insurers may offer this add-on.
2) Sewer backup: This protects you when a main sewer backs up and damages your home. You can limit risk by installing a backflow preventer in your home. If your house is located at the bottom of a hill, it is highly recommended to have a backflow preventer installed.
3) Earthquake: Earthquake damage is not always covered by a standard policy. You can add it as an additional coverage option if your area is vulnerable to earthquakes.
4) Mass evacuation: This is an important add-on for Alberta residents. It covers mass evacuation when disasters, such as wildfires or floods, strike. This coverage will pay for some of the expenses you incur, like hotel stays and food, when you are temporarily displaced from your home due to a city evacuation.
5) Identity theft: This covers losses incurred by identity theft that may not be covered by your bank, such as the cost of replacing passports and other important documents. Your bank will only help you recover the lost funds incurred due to credit/debit and bank fraud.
6) Lock replacement: This covers the cost of replacing your house locks when they are damaged or stolen. Remember to report the damages to authorities and notify your insurer.
A standard home insurance policy will not cover any of your property taxes or mortgage payments. Some insurers may also include exclusions for natural disasters and/or outer structures built on your property. Please read your home insurance policy thoroughly and ask your insurer for more information.
When determining your home insurance premiums, Alberta insurance providers will look at the following factors:
The structure and size of your house impacts your insurance premium. For example, a house that is semi-detached comes with more liability than a fully detached home because damage may spread to another property.
Insurers may use your credit score to determine your premium. A poor credit score will not negatively impact your insurance premium, but a good or excellent credit score may earn you a discount.
Your replacement cost is calculated by estimating how much it would cost to rebuild your home. Always ensure that you inform your insurance company about any renovations you’ve completed, so the replacement cost of your home can be changed to reflect the additions.
If your residence is exposed to risk factors, such as crime or natural disasters, your insurance premium will increase. For example, homes near airports face the risk of damage from falling debris or heavy vibrations. Similarly, a home near a lake or a river is exposed to the risk of flooding and other types of water damage.
The internal construction of your home, such as the electrical fittings and plumbing, directly affect your home insurance premium, as old installations are more prone to causing issues like fire or water leakage. Old wiring and fuse boxes increase the risk of fire and can also damage your home appliances. Similarly, old lead or clay pipes can burst, causing heavy water damage in your home. Water damage in a home can run you thousands of dollars in repairs. From damaged ceilings to damaged doors, water can really wreak havoc. It is crucial to check how old your electrical fittings and water pipes are. Updating them will allow you to decrease the cost of your insurance premium.
The insurer will check your roof by analyzing its material and age. A standard asphalt roof will show heavy wear and tear within 10-15 years, depending on external conditions. If your roof is old or weak, it may need repairs to prevent water leakage during the wet and cold months. If you have a metal roof, which is proven to be more resilient against wear and tear, your house insurance premium may go down.
The insurer will check how many claims you’ve made in the last 5-10 years. Frequent or failed claims can increase your monthly premium. Always remember to check if a problem can be easily fixed before filing an insurance claim.
Pet owners are exposed to extra liability because visitors who are attacked may file a lawsuit. Additionally, exotic pets like boa constrictors carry a high value, which may further raise your premium.
If you use part of your home for professional reasons, it may affect your home insurance premium. Using your home as a part-time daycare or Airbnb rental, for example, means a greater chance for damage and liability claims.
Having a swimming pool on your property affects your insurance premium because of the replacement cost and the risk of a visitor drowning. Other accessory dwellings, like a tree house or outhouse in your backyard, will similarly increase risk, and in turn, the premiums you pay for a home insurance policy.
Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Alberta
Here’s everything you may be wondering about home insurance coverage in Alberta
No home insurance policy is a one-size-fits-all solution. Finding the best home insurance policy for your home in Alberta involves comparing quotes from top provincial insurance providers. On RATESDOTCA, you can instantly compare the best home insurance quotes in Alberta and pick the policy of your choice.
You can save money on Alberta home insurance by comparing quotes from the top home insurance providers in the province. You will also receive a discount if you bundle your home insurance policy with your auto insurance policy.
You may want to switch home insurance providers to take advantage of a lower premium or more extensive coverage. If you switch home insurance providers before your existing policy expires, you may be charged a cancellation fee. If the switch is worth the cancellation fee, changing companies is advisable.
Home insurance is a completely unregulated market, so insurers can raise rates as often and by as much as they want. This is why it’s so important to comparison shop.
If you are renting out your home, or a part of your home as an Airbnb, a policy add-on may be required. Consult your insurance provider to learn about your options.
Home insurance is not mandatory in Alberta, but it’s highly recommended from a financial security standpoint. Additionally, mortgage lenders and banks require you to have home insurance when you apply for a mortgage.
*Based on the difference between the average lowest home insurance premium and overall average home insurance premium from our site in 2019. Excludes tenant and condo insurance.