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If you own a home in Ontario, you’re not required by law to have insurance. However, most lenders won’t provide a mortgage unless coverage is in place. As a result, most homeowners have it.
Protecting what is likely your largest asset has both financial and emotional benefits. In the event of a covered peril, you’ll be compensated. With that comes some peace of mind. An additional benefit that some overlook is that most home insurance policies also include liability protection. This means that if someone is injured on your property, you will also be protected financially.
If neither benefit persuades you, consider the practical reality of home ownership. Homes in Canada are increasingly impacted by damage from climate change. The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that in 2021, insured damage for severe weather events reached more than $2 billion, ranking it as the sixth highest in insured losses since 1983.
Here, we outline some of the important details you need to consider when choosing coverage that’s right for you and your home.
These are the most common types of home insurance coverage in Ontario.
Beyond the standard components of an Ontario home insurance policy, there are additional coverages you can purchase to further protect your home and the contents within.
These are some of the most common home insurance add-ons, also known as riders, that you can add to your home insurance policy:
Even if you have the most coverage money can buy, having opted for every available endorsement, there are some perils against which no policy will protect you. In the insurance world, these are referred to as 'exclusions'.
Common exclusions include:
There are also some perils for which no coverage is available. They’re referred to as ‘uninsured perils.’ For example, if your home is built on a known flood plain, no insurance protection may be available.
RATESDOTCA works with home insurance companies and brokers in Ontario to provide you with a broad selection of quotes. We quickly collect your information and use it to generate the best offers from each of our partners. Our service is fast, easy and free to use.
By comparing Ontario 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.
Ontario home insurance companies use a variety of factors to calculate your level of risk. The higher the risk, the more they’ll charge for coverage.
This list outlines the variables that have the greatest impact on the cost of your home insurance policy:
Insurance rates in Ontario are higher for homes located in areas known to flood or identified as flood plains. If you live close to a waterway, you can also expect to pay more for coverage. Even if that river or lake has not overflowed recently, record claim amounts for homes damaged by severe weather have made insurance providers increasingly cautious. To be fully protected against flood risk, you may need to add different types of flood protection to your home insurance policy. While some insurance providers combine flood coverage into a water protection policy, others distinguish between overland flood protection and sewer back-up protection. Make sure you clearly understand what flood coverage has been added to your policy.
While most home insurance policies will protect against unexpected damage, if it was predictable, your claim may be denied. For example, if someone is injured after falling through a damaged banister, your home insurance provider has grounds for denying coverage. Make sure you attend in a timely manner to any aspects of your home that need repair so you can be confident of being covered, should the need arise.
The replacement cost of your home is a primary determiner of the cost of your home insurance. The more expensive your house is to fix or rebuild, the higher your premiums will be.
The location of your home is factored into your premiums. If you live in an area with a high rate of break-ins, you’ll likely pay more because of the higher risk of theft. If you live next to a lake, you’ll pay more because of the risk of flooding.
Because basements are especially prone to water damage of both internal or external sources, owning a house with a basement means you’ll likely pay more for home insurance.
Houses built in the 1950s and earlier usually use a 60-amp service, which is more likely to cause a fire than the wiring used in newer homes. This increased level of risk may cause your premiums to go up.
Beyond wiring, older homes are more likely to be at risk of plumbing and heating faults, which can lead to water damage or fire
Wood-burning stoves and oil-based heaters can reduce energy costs, but they also increase the risk of a fire.
If you need to replace your roof, it can cost you up to $10,000, depending on the size and type of roof you’re installing. The materials used to build your roof therefore affect your insurance rates.
If you have a pet, you’ll need to disclose it to your insurance company. Some pets are considered a liability risk. Certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls and rottweilers, may even cause some insurance providers to decline your application for coverage.
Home insurance providers may offer a discount to homeowners who don’t smoke because they deem the home less likely to be damaged by fire from an unattended cigarette.
Standard home insurance policies won’t cover your mortgage payments or property taxes. They may also exclude coverage of certain contents, like fine art, or protection for secondary structures on your property. Before selecting an Ontario home insurance policy, it’s important to understand what is and what is not protected under your plan.
|Year||Avg Ontario home insurance premium (CAD)||Year-over-year % increase|
An increase of about 16% between the 2021 average provincial premium and that of 2022 also has to do with increasing incidents of severe weather, supply chain issues and a labour shortage.
More and more homes in Ontario are being damaged by severe weather. This has resulted in a higher volume of record claims.
Supply chain challenges and a labour shortage have also driven up replacement costs significantly.
For example, if a home covered by a comprehensive policy is damaged by a covered peril, the insurance provider will have to pay more to rebuild the structure because the cost of materials has increased and the cost of labour to complete the build has also gone up. These two factors are also likely to result in the provider having to cover the policyholder’s expenses for longer since they’ll be put up in a hotel for the duration of the delayed rebuild.
Premiums for homes located near water were significantly higher. For example, the average annual home insurance rate in LaSalle, Ontario, near Windsor, was $2,411 in Ontario. The Windsor region is very flat and prone to flooding. The LaSalle neighbourhood is on the shores of The Detroit River.
As more and more Ontarians are affected by climate change, insurance providers are increasing their rates to ensure sufficient funds are available to cover more and more record claims being made by homeowners across the country.
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While there's no definitive 'best' home insurance provider in Ontario, comparing quotes is definitely the best way to find a home insurance policy that fits your needs. To find the best quote, compare offers from as many Ontario home insurance providers as possible with RATESDOTCA. We work with some of the most trusted home insurance providers in the province to find you the cheapest Ontario home insurance policy on the market.
You can save on home insurance in the following ways:
No, fire insurance is not mandatory in Ontario nor is home insurance. However, most lenders will only mortgage properties that are protected by home insurance. Even the most basic, least expensive home insurance policy is likely to protect against accidental fire damage. This includes incidents such as lightning strikes, gas leaks, faulty electrical wiring, kitchen fires, candles, cigarettes, or even faulty fireworks. However, there may also be some exclusions. This means that the same policy will not cover you against damage caused by fire following a war, riot or nuclear explosion.
Homes in Ontario are vulnerable to the increasing volume of severe weather events taking place across Canada. Adding to the risks is how many neighbourhoods are developed near lakes and rivers. If your home is located near a waterway, we strongly encourage you to add flood protection to your home insurance policy to make sure that you’re protected in the event of an overland flood or sewer back-up.
Homeowners in Ontario, particularly in the Ottawa area, may also consider adding earthquake protection to their policies. While earthquakes are not common, they have taken place. In 2010, an earthquake in the Ottawa area, which measured 5.0 on the Richter Scale, caused significant property damage including gas main breaks, a bridge collapse and significant property damage to homes near its epicenter.
It depends. Most house insurance policies require a 12-month commitment. Once this period expires you may switch to a different provider without penalty. If you decide to cancel an existing policy before it expires, you may be required to pay an early cancellation fee.
Your home insurance policy may offer limited coverage for guests, but you need to confirm with your insurance provider before using your home as a rental property. In most cases, additional coverage will be required. If don’t disclose that you’re renting all or part of your house to guests, your insurance provider may void your policy.
*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA from January to December 2021 saved an average amount of $473. 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.