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The Best Home Insurance in Fort McMurray, Alberta

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Written By Joel Kranc

Contributing writer

Updated

Home insurance in Fort McMurray 

Fort McMurray in Northeastern Alberta is home to a relatively prosperous oil town. As a result, wages are high, and it can be a rather expensive place to live. Beyond the good jobs and salaries, there are risks of living in the area — with the 2016 wildfires looming large in the memories of many residents. 

Much like elsewhere, home insurance is not mandatory in Alberta but is required from lenders offering mortgages to customers. So, it is essentially mandatory. 

Homeowners in Fort McMurray will want to protect their homes, likely their most valuable asset, and their possessions. That is why you'll want to purchase home insurance for your property. 


Types of home insurance in Fort McMurray 

These are the most common types of home insurance coverage in Fort McMurray. 

Homeowners can choose from one of three insurance package types. Insurance providers may label them differently, but they're generally described as outlined here: 

  • Basic – This is the least expensive package and offers the least coverage. It protects your home against perils named in the policy, such as fire and wind. If it isn't named in your policy, you don't have insurance protection against it.  
  • Broad – A broad home insurance package protects the home against all perils and named peril coverage protection for the contents of your home. It is a standard policy. 
  • Comprehensive – This is the most inclusive and expensive coverage. It protects against all perils to the home and its contents. It is often referred to as an 'all perils' policy. 

Property coverage 

Here's what your insurance policy covers in terms of property damage:

  • Property and building – As its name suggests, this type of home insurance policy protects both the structure(s) on your property and the property itself from various perils. Protected incidents include fire, theft, vandalism and water damage. There may be other structures on your property that are not included in this policy, so you should talk to your Fort McMurray home insurance provider to get the full coverage you need. 
  • Contents and personal property –Contents and personal property coverage protects your possessions, such as home furnishings, personal items, clothing and more, against theft and vandalism. More expensive or valuable items like jewelry or fine art may not be protected under a standard policy. Excluded items can be covered with additional coverage that you can buy extra. 
  • Additional living expenses – Insurable events such as wildfires or evacuations relate to climate change that can displace you from your home. This protection covers your temporary housing costs. For example, if damage to your home forces you to spend a week at a hotel, additional living expenses protection will cover the room and food costs up to a certain amount. Talk to your provider about any caps on protection. 

Liability coverage 

Your home's insurance also offers liability coverage. Here's what's included:

  • Personal liability – This coverage protects your liability in the event of injuries or property damage sustained by a third party while they are on your property. The default on most home insurance plans for personal liability is $100,000, but some homeowners should have coverage for as much as $1,000,000. Depending on your policy, this can go as high as $5,000,000. 
  • Voluntary medical payments –Sometimes, accidents that you're not liable for can happen. This coverage will cover medical expenses for up to one year from the accident date. 
  • Voluntary property damage – This coverage is for unintentional direct loss or damage you cause to someone's property. It also covers accidental loss or damage to someone else's property by a minor (12 years or under) in your care.  


Add-ons to home insurance coverage in Fort McMurray  

Fort McMurray home insurance can only go so far. You may find you have needs beyond what standard policies offer. These add-ons can be purchased to protect your home and its contents further. 

These are some of the most common home insurance add-ons, also known as riders, that you can add to your home insurance policy: 

  • Overland water – Not all insurers offer it, but overland water covers property damage from overflowing water, nearby rivers, streams, lakes and thawing snow. 
  • Sewer back-up – Protects your home when a main sewer backs up and causes damage. 
  • Earthquake – Covers losses or damage caused by an earthquake. This add-on is more useful for people living on the West Coast, where earthquakes are more common. 
  • Mass evacuation – If an event like a flood or wildfire triggers a government-issued evacuation order, this add-on pays for some of the expenses you incur while away from home. Each provider may cap compensation at different levels. It's best to talk to your provider to see how much protection you will receive and for how long. 
  • Identity theft – Covers the cost of replacing important documents, such as your passport. 
  • Lock replacement – This add-on provides coverage if you need to replace the locks on your house

What is not covered under your Fort McMurray home insurance 

It can be tricky to get some perils covered — sometimes, it's not even a possibility. Here's which ones could present difficulty. 

  • Flooding – Most flooding is not covered unless you get it as an add-on. Talk to your insurer about your needs and what types of water damage can be covered under your Fort McMurray homeowner's insurance.
  • Earthquake or landslide – No earthquakes nor landslides are covered by regular insurance, including comprehensive coverage. You can, however, get this coverage as an add-on, so ask your insurer about it — especially if you live in an earthquake-prone area. 
  • Mould – Mould is usually preventable by the homeowner and does not occur on its own. For instance, if you realize that water or a leak has caused mould damage, you can take the necessary steps to resolve the issue early (or before it happens). Your Fort McMurray home insurance provider does not cover it because it is preventable. 
  • Pest infestation – Nobody wants or asks for pest infestations such as mice, termites or other creepy crawlies. But proper maintenance and upkeep can keep them at bay. So, any damage an infestation ends up causing is unlikely to be covered. Your best bet is to address the problem as soon as you notice it. 
  • Purposeful damage – If you purposely damage your property or its contents and file a claim, you will not be covered. It is fraudulent to do so. 
  • Intentional injuries to guests – Do you want to harm someone else intentionally? If you doyour liability coverage will not protect you. And no, there isn't an add-on for this, either. So, don't purposely hurt your guests. 
  • Rental – If you decide to rent out your property (or a piece of it) to someone else, consult your insurer, as you will need landlord insurance.

How much insurance coverage do I need for my home in Fort McMurray? 

The amount of home insurance coverage you need in Fort McMurray may differ from your neighbour's since it depends on your circumstances and requirements. Suppose you live in a neighbourhood exposed to certain hazards like being situated in a flood plain. In that case, you may need more insurance than someone living in a less risky area with a state-of-the-art security system.  

Also, you may want to see if you can increase your mass evacuation coverage if you live near the wildland/urban interface. This term describes the developed zones that abut undeveloped natural areas. These areas are at greater risk for wildfires, as witnessed in 2016.  

The size of your home, how much it costs to rebuild it, and its contents will also determine how much home insurance in Fort McMurray you will need. Talk to your broker or agent about how much coverage suits your situation.

Recent home insurance quotes in Fort McMurray

Recent Home Insurance Quote from Fort McMurray, AB
Detached 1,520 sq ft
June 14, 2024
Cheapest Quote
$ 261 / month
$3,132 / year
Average Quote
$ 422 / month
$5,064 / year
Savings
$ 161 / month
$1,932 / year
or
38.00 %
Recent Home Insurance Quote from Fort McMurray, AB
Detached 2,707 sq ft
June 14, 2024
Cheapest Quote
$ 496 / month
$5,952 / year
Average Quote
$ 753 / month
$9,036 / year
Savings
$ 257 / month
$3,084 / year
or
34.00 %
Recent Home Insurance Quote from Fort McMurray, AB
Detached 1,665 sq ft
June 14, 2024
Cheapest Quote
$ 231 / month
$2,772 / year
Average Quote
$ 434 / month
$5,208 / year
Savings
$ 202 / month
$2,424 / year
or
47.00 %
Home insurance quotes are compared from Apollo Insurance, CAA, Economical Insurance, Pembridge, Square One Insurance, and SGI

Factors that affect your Fort McMurray home insurance 

Fort McMurray home insurance providers will look at many factors when determining your premium. Here’s what they are: 

  • Replacement cost: Insurers will look at costs such as how much it would take to rebuild your home, if necessary. In doing so, your Fort McMurray home insurance provider will consider your home’s square footage, construction quality, building materials and contents. This will all affect your premium. So, if your home is big, expensive to build and has lots of contents, it will cost more to insure. 
  • Location: In real estate, location matters. Your home’s neighbourhood comes with its own history and unique circumstances, all of which will affect your premium. 
  • Your personal history: If you have a claims history, it will also play a role in determining your premium. The more claims you’ve filed in the past, the higher the likelihood of you filing claims in the future, which leads to higher premiums. Why? Because your provider will consider you a greater risk for having filed claims. The nature of your claims also matters, as more expensive claims can raise your premium. 
  • Fire hydrant proximity: The closer you live to a fire hydrant and a fire station, the lower your premium will be. That’s because the faster firefighters can stop the blaze, the less damage it will receive, minimizing replacement costs. This is more of a concern for rural areas, where everything is far away. 
  • Piping: Older homes with older pipes – galvanized or made of lead – have a higher likelihood of leakage or cracking. If you are buying new or renovating, consider homes with newer pipes and systems that will prevent damage, headaches and the need for claims. 
  • Electrical wiring: If your home has aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring, it’s at risk of fire damage. Before insuring you, your provider may either request a guarantee that your home doesn’t have this type of wiring, inspect it for safety or ask you to remove it. Other things that can raise your premiums include having fuses instead of breakers and having less than a 100-amp service. In both cases, your home is more likely to catch fire. 
  • Roof age: Older roofs can do a lot of damage to a home if not maintained. It’s best to revisit your roof every 20 years to prevent roof-related damage and avoid higher premiums. Some insurers may cover only 25% of the replacement cost for roofs that are old enough to need repairs or replacement
  • Swimming pool: Swimming pools create a higher risk of a liability lawsuit due to a higher chance of injury to your guests. This can increase your premium. 
  • Alarms: Fire and security alarms can lower your premium. If an outside service monitors them, your premium will be even lower. 

How much does Fort McMurray home insurance cost on average? 

Alberta is an expensive province for home insurance, especially compared to places like Ontario, where the average annual premium is $1,487. A likely explanation for the disparity rests with the fact that some of the costliest insurable events in the country's history — the Fort McMurray (2016) and Slave Lake fires (2011), as well as flooding from the Bow and Elbow rivers (2013) — have occurred in Alberta in recent years.

In Alberta, the average annual premium is $2,239, less than Fort McMurray’s average of $2,528 by more than 7%. The most expensive city in Alberta for home insurance is Olds, with an annual average premium of $2,796 – a more than 10% difference. 

Home insurance rates across the province always reflect various factors, including location, square footage, crime rates, claims histories, climate, and age of the home, for example.

Home insurance in Alberta comparison
City Avg. 2022 annual premium % difference compared to Fort McMurray
Alberta $2,239 -7.4%
Fort McMurray $2,528 -
Olds $2,796 +10.6%
Peace River $2,782 +10%
Aden $2,744 +8.5%
Brooks $2,670 +5.6%
Lethbridge $2,651.67 +4.9%

How RATESDOTCA finds the best home insurance in Fort McMurray

RATESDOTCA works with home insurance companies and brokers in Fort McMurray to provide a broad selection of quotes from the area’s top providers. We quickly collect your information and use it to generate the best offers from each partner. Our service is fast, easy and free to use. 

By comparing Fort McMurray home insurance quotes from several insurance providers in a single place, you can instantly assess the market and find the best policy to protect your property. 

Which companies offer home insurance quotes in Fort McMurray?

Company Company type Phone number Address
AMA Insurance Insurance agency 780-743-2653 4 Hospital St, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 5E4
BrokerLink Insurance agency 780-790-1578 604 Signal Rd #1, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 4Z4
Co-operators – Stephen House Agency Inc. Insurance agency 780-743-2926 9612 Franklin Ave #305, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2J9
InsuranceHotline.com Quotes comparison 1-855-821-7312 225 King St W, Suite 1000 Toronto M5V 3M2
LowestRates.ca Quotes comparison 1-855-487-6911 1910 Yonge St. Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3B2
Pinkney Financial Services Investment service 780-743-4368 9903 Franklin Ave Unit A, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K4
RATESDOTCA Quotes comparison 1-844-726-0907 225 King St W, Suite 1000 Toronto M5V 3M2
Rogers Insurance Insurance agency 780-791-3770 10016 Franklin Ave, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K6
Scoop Insurance Insurance broker 1-866-456-6620 22-300 Lincoln St, Welland, ON L3B 4N4
TW Insurance Brokers Insurance agency 780-791-0035 9908 Franklin Ave, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K5

How to get the cheapest home insurance in Fort McMurray 

Getting cheap home insurance in Fort McMurray is quick, easy, and free. Here are some steps you can take to stretch your insurance dollars: 

  • Comparison shop – Sites like RATESDOTCA give you fast and easy access to the cheapest Fort McMurray home insurance rates from the city’s top providers. Provide us with some information on the home you want to insure and a few other details, and in minutes, you’ll have a list of cheap insurance rate quotes to compare. 
  • Bundling – Using multiple insurance products from one provider can also save you money. By bundling home, life and auto insurance, for example, you will qualify for discounts from your provider. Administrative cost savings and rewards for your loyalty can be passed on as discounts. 
  • Installing a security system – Making your home safe and less at risk of damage or theft can save you money on your Fort McMurray home insurance rates. Your home insurance provider assesses your rates based on risk. Reduced risk means fewer claims and, therefore, lower rates. 
  • Increasing your deductible – Deductibles are another risk factor your Fort McMurray home insurance provider looks at when calculating your premiums. The higher your deductible and the more you are willing to pay out-of-pocket, the less risk it is for your provider. A lower deductible may mean a higher rate. Consider your budget and talk to your provider about options. 
  • Upgrades – Renovating your home and upgrading with new and fire-resistant materials will take out potential risks of flooding or fires, for example. Home insurance providers look at that reduced risk and provide cheaper rates as a reward for your efforts. 
  • Ask for discounts – Many home insurance providers will offer discounts to clients who are members of school alumni associations, unions or other organizations. Seniors can also find discounts. All you have to do is ask.
  • Improve your credit score – Because credit can be seen as a risk factor, pay your bills on time and keep your credit scores in good standing. The better your score, the lower your risk factor, and the lower your Fort McMurray home insurance rates will be. 

How to get Fort McMurray home insurance with RATESDOTCA

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What risks do homeowners face in Fort McMurray? 

Home insurance can look the same from city to city in Canada. Still, differences in climate, geography, public utilities, and housing stock, to name just a few, contribute to the overall risk level of a region. This contributes to the cost of a policy and means that rates vary a lot by region.  

Some risk factors that Fort McMurray homeowners should look out for include: 

  • Freezing temperatures. Canadian winters can cause extensive damage to pipes, causing them to freeze and burst.  
  • Flooding and forest fires. The municipality of Fort McMurray has spent millions on forest fire fighting and has seen more than 3,000 square kilometres burned in 2023. Also, heavy snowfall can do damage to roofs and other structures. Snow thawing can be equally threatening, especially to homes with basements.  
  • Sewage pipe backup. A home's pipes can get clogged or backed up if the main sewer lines become clogged. This can do significant damage to a home.  
  • Attic rain. Hot and cold weather can cause freezing in the winter and melting in the spring. The resulting water then trickles down into the rest of your home, causing stains, structural damage, leakage around electrical fixtures and black mould.  
Editor’s tip: Keep your property clear of debris, invest in fire-retardant materials, and if landscaping, make sure trees are adequately spaced. This will lower your fire risk and your home insurance premiums.

Typical home insurance in Fort McMurray will cover your personal belongings (appliances, home furnishings and some electronics) and protect you from personal liability if you're sued by someone injured on your property. Certain perils are also covered by standard insurance policies, including:  

  • Fire  
  • Lightning  
  • Water damage  
  • Wind  
  • Aircraft or vehicle impact  
  • Explosion  
  • Smoke (caused by cooking devices or heaters, but not fireplaces)  
  • Theft and vandalism (such as broken windows)  
  • Falling objects (except if caused by an earthquake, landslide or snowslide)  

Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Fort McMurray 

Have more questions about home insurance in Fort Mac? We'll answer some of them here.

Do high Fort McMurray real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance? 

No. Fort McMurray home insurance providers do not consider real estate prices in the area. Insurance companies are more concerned with the risks they face and the home's replacement value. 

Which company offers the cheapest Fort McMurray home insurance?

It varies by person. No company offers a flat-rate because everyone has different insurance needs.  

That's why it's best to comparison shop on sites like RATESDOTCA, where you can receive estimates for the cheapest rates from the top providers in Fort McMurray. It takes a few minutes and is free. How easy is that? 

How do I save on Fort McMurray home insurance?

There are many ways to save on Fort McMurray home insurance. One of the best ways is by comparison shopping on sites like RATESDOTCA. RATESDOTCA will collect your information and use it to generate the top offers from each partner. It is fast, reliable, and free to use. 

Other methods include bundling your insurance (home and auto, for example) under one provider. Some insurance companies offer discounts to members of certain alumni associations, seniors or unions. Increasing your deductible and enhancing your credit score can also help you receive a better Fort McMurray home insurance policy premium. 

If you still need to update your alarm or electrical and plumbing systems, doing so can help reduce your premiums since you're reducing the likelihood of needing to file a claim. 

How do Fort McMurray home insurance claims work? 

The premiums you and other homeowners pay go towards funding claim settlements. Insurers will pool all the premiums together and use them to pay for the damages and costs associated with your claim. However, you'll have to pay a deductible before the insurer covers those costs. This preset amount comes out of your pocket. Most home insurance deductibles range from $500 to $2,000 and are decided when you sign off on your contract with the insurance company. So, this charge shouldn't come as a surprise when making a claim. 

Here's how to start a claim: 

  • Call your insurer immediately (or as soon as possible) after the incident. Most providers have a 24-hour claims service. 
  • Deliver as much information to your insurer as you can and be detailed. Photos help, so be sure to produce some. 
  • If your home is uninhabitable, talk to your provider about the expenses you may be eligible for and how long the eligibility will last. For this to work, keep all your receipts and invoices generated during your time away. 
  • A claims adjuster will contact you to gather all the facts regarding your loss and let you know the next steps. 
  • Your provider will ask you to complete a proof of loss form. Be as truthful as possible; otherwise, your claim may become void. 

When you buy insurance, make sure you know what it covers. This will reduce the number of curveballs thrown your way when a real-life setback happens. Your settlement amount is contingent on your policy's limits. 

Is fire covered under my Fort McMurray home insurance policy?

Fire is a peril covered under standard home insurance policies, even if you live in a city at high risk for wildfire damage like Fort McMurray. However, you might not be able to secure fire insurance during an active wildfire. Make sure you buy home insurance as far in advance as possible since it takes 30 days for the policy to take effect. If your insurance application is on pause due to an active fire, it's crucial to sign it right away when the next opportunity comes up — sometimes, after one fire ends, another one crops up soon after.  

How can I get vacant home insurance in Fort McMurray? 

Two potential routes to purchase vacant home insurance in Fort McMurray include: 

  • Buying a new policy 
  • Adding an endorsement (optional coverage) to an existing policy, thereby increasing your current coverage 

A new policy might be your best route if you know your property will be vacant for an extended period – say a year or more. However, an endorsement added to an existing policy may be enough for your vacant property if the property is empty for a short time, say between renters or temporary vacancies. 

If you will be away from home for 30 days and change, your home is considered unoccupied, not vacant. Give your insurance provider or broker a heads-up before you leave; they may be able to extend your coverage to match your timetable. In return, they may also request that someone you trust checks in on the property while you're away. 

*Shoppers in Alberta who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA from January to December 2023 saved an average amount of $600. The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by RATESDOTCA. Excludes tenant and condo insurance.

Joel Kranc ,
Writer

Joel Kranc is a freelance writer and content provider who has worked with RATESDOTCA since 2019. He holds an MA in political science from the University of Toronto and a film certificate from New York University.

He has been published in and worked for such companies as CNN, Rogers Media, Institutional Investor Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Infrastructure Investor, BenefitsPRO Magazine, Global Finance Magazine, With Intelligence, the CPP Investment Board, Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, and many more financial services and industry publications.

He is the author of "Retirement Planning in 8 Easy Steps," which, when released in 2015, was No. 11 on the Publisher's Weekly US Bestseller List for Business and Finance, beating out Mark Cuban's "How to Win at the Sport of Business."

Education
  • Master's of Political Science, University of Toronto
Featured in
  • Benefits Canada
  • Institutional Investor
  • Plan Sponsor Magazine
  • Global Finance Magazine
  • Infrastructure Investor
  • Private Equity Investor
  • The Globe and Mail
  • Fund Directions Newsletter
  • BenefitsPRO
  • HR Professional
  • Advisor's Edge
  • Institutional Investor
  • Employee Benefit Advisor
  • Investing in Infrastructure Magazine (i3)

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