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What is a home insurance quote?

A home insurance quote estimates the cost of protecting your home from a range of perils.

A house insurance quote is the same thing; the terms are used interchangeably.

When you request quotes using our online tool, you’ll see a breakdown of the cost or premium, annually and monthly.

The premium is determined by a range of factors, including the type of home insurance policy you select. Companies may describe different types or tiers of coverage differently. Don't worry about that. Instead, focus on which perils the policy you're considering protects against – or excludes.

You may come across references to ‘all perils’ and ‘named perils’ in the description of a policy. These are insurance industry terms that refer to different forms of damage.

In general, the greater the volume of perils a policy protects against, the more expensive your premium is likely to be.

Comparison shopping for the cheapest premium is the fastest and most efficient way to secure the best home insurance coverage for the lowest rate. Get started with our free online tool. After sharing details about your home and yourself, RATEDOTCA surveys available home insurance quotes from dozens of providers and reflects the cheapest home insurance quotes.

Different types of home insurance quotes

Insurance providers may use trademarked names to promote various home insurance packages, but, in general, there are three types or tiers of coverage from which to choose. They share much in common, though differ in the amount of coverage they provide.

  • Basic home insurance

    This coverage option is great for homeowners looking to save a little cash, but willing to risk a financial hit on excluded items. It provides the least amount of coverage for your house and contents; your home is only protected against perils explicitly named in your policy. For this reason, you’ll sometimes see this policy type referred to as a named perils policy. ‘Fire’ is an example of a named peril you might see in a basic package. If it isn’t stated in your policy, you don’t have insurance protection against it. You may also see some insurance providers describe this type of policy as ‘limited’.
  • Broad home insurance

    A broad home insurance policy gives more robust coverage – an upgrade to the basic package because it provides all perils coverage to your home and named perils coverage to your contents. Some insurance providers describe this type of  policy as ‘standard’.
  • Comprehensive home insurance

    This is the most inclusive (and expensive) type of home insurance. A comprehensive policy applies all perils coverage (except for exclusions listed in the policy) to your home and your contents, as indicated in the policy. This type of coverage, which is considered the most amount of coverage you can purchase before endorsements are added, is sometimes referred to as an all perils policy.

Recent home insurance quotes

Use RATESDOTCA to find the best rate on property insurance. It's quick to get quotes and simple to use. Here are some examples of recent home insurance quotes published on RATESDOTCA.

Shopper from TRENTON, ONTARIO
1967 ROWHOUSE 12:30 EDT on Oct 03, 2022
$ 120
Per year
Company A (Cheapest Rate)
$ 513
Per year
Company B
$ 828
Per year
Company D (Highest Rate) Company C
Range of Quotes
$ 708
Shopper from OTTAWA, ONTARIO
2004 HIGH RISE APARTMENT 20:56 EDT on Oct 02, 2022
$ 121
Per year
Company A (Cheapest Rate)
$ 425
Per year
Company B
$ 578
Per year
Company C
$ 630
Per year
Company D (Highest Rate)
Range of Quotes
$ 509
Shopper from MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO
1980 HIGH RISE APARTMENT 14:26 EDT on Sep 15, 2022
$ 215
Per year
Company A (Cheapest Rate)
$ 690
Per year
Company B
$ 756
Per year
Company D (Highest Rate) Company C
Range of Quotes
$ 541
Shopper from MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO
1973 SEMI DETACHED 10:05 EDT on Sep 08, 2022
$ 693
Per year
Company A (Cheapest Rate)
$ 1482
Per year
Company B
$ 5086
Per year
Company D (Highest Rate) Company C
Range of Quotes
$ 4393

Home insurance 101

Whether you live in a house in Mississauga, a condo, townhouse or rental, when it comes to insurance coverage, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is how much protection you want.

Most home insurance policies come with three basic aspects: protection against perils, protection of contents and liability protection.

You’ll choose between two main policy types, each distinct for the protection they offer around perils:

  • A comprehensive policy — often referred to as an all-perils policy — will cover you for all perils to your home and its contents, except for those specifically excluded.

    In other words, you will be protected financially if your home and its contents are damaged, but you won’t be covered for named exclusions.
  • A named perils policy will cover your home and its contents against perils specifically named in a policy.

Though you’ll have the option to choose between policy types, brokers say comprehensive policies tend to be the most common.

Once you choose between an all-perils or named perils policy, we recommend you consider getting additional coverage for flood protection.

Though a comprehensive policy will offer protection against water damage, such as a burst pipe, flooding is often an exclusion.

Adding to the complication, insurance providers distinguish between different types of flood protection while others offer blanket water protection packages.

Insurance providers categorize flood protection in the following manner:

  • Groundwater: When groundwater enters a home through the foundation, floors or basement walls due to sudden accumulation of water after heavy rain or melted snow.
  • Overland: When water floods a home at, or above, ground level from a lake or river. It’s most common during a natural disaster, severe weather or thaw.
  • Sewer backup: When sewage floods into a home, entering through drains and toilets. This is common when a stormwater system is overwhelmed, especially in low-lying areas or floodplains.
  • Tidal: When saltwater floods a home following a tidal wave or tsunami. Tidal flooding is not relevant for Mississauga residents.

What’s important is that you have flooding protection for your home.

Consider getting protection that covers every type of flood risk, particularly if you live in an area that has flooded in the past, or if you know the home is situated on a floodplain.

7 ways to get cheap home insurance

Saving on the cost of home insurance is easier than it may seem, particularly when you apply any of the following tactics.

  1. Agree to a credit check: In some provinces, you can consent to allowing an insurance provider to check your credit score. If your score is good, you may be eligible for savings. If your score is less than good, don’t worry, providers are not allowed to increase your rates in response.
  2. Bundle your home and auto insurance policies: Make sure each is held by the same provider. When an insurance company holds more of your business, they’re more likely to offer a discount.
  3. Fine-tune your policy: Purchase the protection you need, nothing more. Start by gauging your own risk tolerance. Will you be content if, in the event of a claim, your damaged belongings are not fully covered? If the answer is yes, then basic homeowners coverage might be sufficient for you.
  4. Increase your deductible: When you increase the amount that you’ll pay out of pocket in the event of a claim, you can usually lower your monthly costs. However, we recommend that you closely consider whether you’ll have the cashflow available. Monthly savings are no good if you can’t afford a higher deductible.
  5. Install safety features: Any step you take to prevent damage or increase safety to your home could result in savings on your policy. For example, installing smoke, Carbon Monoxide and burglar alarms could earn you a discount.
  6. Keep your home in good repair: Home insurance policies will protect you against perils that are sudden or unexpected. However, they won’t cover damage resulting from neglect. For example, if your roof collapses because it hasn’t been properly maintained, your policy won’t cover the cost of damage.
  7. Pay up front: If you’re able to pay up front for the home insurance policy, you’re likely to save.

How to get your home insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA

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Factors that determine your home insurance premium

To gauge risk, home insurance providers examine several factors about your home and you.

Address

The location of the home you’re insuring has a significant impact on how much you’ll pay for coverage. For example, if you live in a neighbourhood with a history of break-ins, insurers will charge more to account for the increased likelihood of theft or criminal damage. On the other hand, if you live in a neighbourhood with low crime rates, your premium will probably be cheaper. Find the estimated home insurance premium for your area.

Electrical supply

Insurance providers consider homes with aluminum wiring, knob-and-tube or any low-amp service to be at greater risk of fire. While some of these circuits are perfectly safe, many have deteriorated over time. They may be willing to provide coverage if your old circuit passes an inspection from a licensed electrical contractor. However, expect the premium to be higher. To mitigate risk, most insurance providers will give you a few months to upgrade your electrical supply. If you don’t oblige, they’re likely to deny coverage.

Heating system

A heating source such as a wood-burning stove is considered high risk and can result in a higher home insurance premium. If instead, your home is heated by hot-water radiators or forced air heating, which insurance providers consider lower risk, you’re likely to pay less.

Pets

Don't be surprised to see questions on a home insurance application about whether you have a pet, including kind, age, size and breed. This is because insurance providers factor in the risk of injury in your home, including those that could result from an animal bite. Some breeds are considered especially problematic and can result in higher premiums or coverage being denied. While every home insurance provider is different, the most common breeds likely to cause issues are the following dogs:

  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Pit Bulls – which are currently banned in Ontario
  • Rottweilers
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Staffordshire Terriers

Most exotic and wild animals are unlikely to be insured. For example, wolves, exotic cats and alligators. Learn how different pets affect your home insurance premium.

Plumbing

Insurance providers aim to avoid risk, and flood risk especially. If your home has been upgraded with plastic or copper pipes, you may receive a lower premium. On the other hand, if your plumbing is susceptible to cracks and leaks, your premium could be more expensive. The latter is more often an issue in older homes.

Proximity to help

The closer your home is to a fire hydrant and emergency services such as a hospital, the lower your home insurance premium may be.

Homes in rural areas tend to have higher premiums, in part because of their distance from emergency services. In the event of damage to the home due to a covered peril such as a fire, or someone being injured on your property, help is harder to access.

Renovations and betterment

When you renovate your home to improve its overall value, your home insurance premium is likely to increase. This is because the policy is designed to cover the cost of damage in the event of an accident.

For example, if you add a swimming pool, along with the added fun of a pool, any insurance provider may consider there to be additional potential safety risks. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in your home insurance premium.

On the other hand, if renovations increase the safety of your home such as replacing the pipes or upgrading the wiring, your premium could go down.

Replacement cost

Replacement cost refers to the cost of rebuilding your home completely following damage from a covered peril such as a tornado or a devastating house fire. If you opt for a lower replacement cost, you may be eligible for a lower premium.

Roof

Newer roofs are designed for proper ventilation, minimizing the chance of mold or dampness getting into your home. Modern tiles are made of lighter and more durable materials than the old slate ones, making them more resistant to storm damage and less likely to hurt someone if they come flying off. This increased protection, along with decreased liability, means homes with new roofs are more popular with insurers.

Security system

You can reduce your home insurance premium by installing a security system. Its presence will reassure your insurance provider that your home has adequate protection from intruders which, in turn, could persuade them to offer a lower rate.

Bundling your home and auto insurance

One of the easiest ways to reduce your insurance costs is to bundle your home and auto insurance policies so that each is held by a single provider.

For example, if you have an auto insurance policy and a home insurance policy, you can choose to have each held by the same company. This means you’re doing more business with them. In turn, they will often pass on considerable savings to you.

Bundling options are also available for consumers interested in multiple forms of coverage. For example, you can insure multiple residences with the same insurance company that provides coverage for your primary residence.

How your home is used – as a business or home office

If you’re operating a business from your home, you’re likely to pay more for home insurance coverage. The type of business it is will be important. For example, if your business relies on a laptop and nothing more, you won’t need a complex policy. On the other hand, if you’re running a daycare there’s more risk and your premiums will be higher.

If your business has to do with renting out a unit on a temporary basis, you should inform your insurance provider. A standard home insurance policy may not allow it. In many instances, a specific sort of coverage is needed for homes that are used as rental properties.

Your claims history

Insurance providers consider your claims history to be an indication of how likely you are to make a claim in the future. If you’ve never made a claim before, you may be rewarded with a lower home insurance premium. On the other hand, if you’ve made claims in the past, your rate may be higher.

Your credit score

In some provinces, insurance providers are allowed to use your credit score when offering you a quote. Your consent is required, and, by law, the insurer is only allowed to use the information to offer a lower premium. In other words, if you have a poor credit score, they’re not allowed to punish you with a higher premium.

Your lifestyle

Your age, occupation and whether you smoke are personal details that insurance providers use to gauge what sort of risk you are. They’ll also want to know if you rent out a portion of your home. We encourage you to be honest when answering these questions because any false information can be used to deny a payout in the event of a claim.

Home insurance premium trends 2011-2021

Year Avg Ontario home insurance premium (CAD) Avg Alberta home insurance premium (CAD)
2021 $1284 $1779
2020 $1164 $1355
2019 $1150 $1265
2018 $957 $1288
2017 $918 $1212
2016 $918 $1192
2015 $791 $991
2014 $730 $931
2013 $763 $830
2012 $746 $845
2011 $782 $741

Personal property insurance statistics in Canada, 2009-2020

As seen in this table (data taken from the IBC's annual factbook), Canadian property insurance claims have risen steadily over the last 10 years. Unsurprisingly, net written premiums have also increased:

Year Personal Property (Net Written Premiums in $000,000) Personal Property (Net Claims in $000,000)
2020 15,265 7,706
2019 12,461 7,197
2018 12,012 7,250
2017 11,226 6,533
2016 10,663 6,253
2015 10,187 5,489
2014 9,971 6,045
2013 9,024 6,161
2012 8,565 5,013
2011 8,192 5,336
2010 7,598 4,566
2009 7,013 5,071

**Home insurance prices are based on RATESDOTCA home insuramap data for policy transfers from 2011 through early 2021. Personal property damage claims growth rate is based on Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) data from 2009 through 2019, the most recent ten-year period available.

What do these recent home insurance trends mean to Canadians?

Insurance companies make money in two ways: through premiums and through investments. When interest rates are low, it’s more difficult for them to make money from investments. As a result, premiums go up. Since auto insurance premiums cannot be increased without government approval, providers adjust home insurance rates instead.

Adding to difficulty for consumers is the inescapable fact that in the last ten years insurance providers have been paying record amounts of claims due to catastrophic losses caused by natural disasters and severe weather.

In 2021, insured damage for severe weather events across Canada was $2.1 billion, according to the insurance Bureau of Canada. The year, which included hailstorms in Calgary, Alberta and extensive flooding in British Columbia ranks as the sixth highest in insured losses of this type since 1983.

As more homes in Canada are damaged by extreme weather events and flooding, the benefits of a home insurance policy are increasingly significant.

To avoid high premiums, we recommend that Canadians take the important step of comparison shopping for the best home insurance rate. Though there are several other ways to reduce a home insurance rate, comparison shopping is the single most effective tactic.

Frequently asked questions about home insurance

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about home insurance in Canada:

How much is home insurance?

The average cost of home insurance in Canada is $800-$1,200 per year. The average annual home insurance premium was $1284 in Ontario and $ 1779 in Alberta, based on the 2021 RATESDOTCA home insuramp data. However, due to how many factors go into determining how much you’ll pay each year for coverage, your quote could be more, or less than this amount.

Is it safe to buy home insurance online?

Yes. It’s safe and also convenient. The home insurance calculator on RATESDOTCA will quickly reveal the lowest home insurance rates from the best providers in Canada. Only a few details about your home and you, the policyholder, are required. Once you secure a quote, you’ll be contacted by a broker who will answer any questions you have about what coverage is right for you.

Who offers the cheapest home insurance in Canada?

Insurance quotes are based on risk assessment, and everyone gets a premium tailored to their specific circumstances. For this reason, no company can claim to be the cheapest. Find the cheapest home insurance for you and your family by comparing quotes on RATESDOTCA.

What is my home rebuilding cost?

It should come as no surprise that the answer to this depends on your home. How much would it cost to rebuild your home with similar materials if it was destroyed? A rough estimate for the average home in Canada is $200 per square foot. But, rebuilding cost very much depends on where you live. Each insurance company will appraise the rebuild cost differently. These assessments are rarely negotiable, but if the rebuild ends up costing more than the appraisal predicted, your insurance company should cover the difference if you have replacement cost coverage on your policy.

What is replacement value of possessions?

When insuring your possessions, you may have the choice of replacement cost or actual cash value.

With replacement cost insurance, you receive the value of any lost items without a deduction for depreciation. For example, if your five-year-old laptop is stolen, you are covered for the cost of a new laptop, the same model (or as close as possible) to the one that you had before. This is a good thing, because it will allow you to adequately replace any lost items, but you may have to pay a higher premium for the privilege.

If you opt for actual cash value insurance, the insurance provider will only pay out the value of your five-year-old laptop in current, used condition. This is unlikely to cover the cost of replacing your lost item with a brand-new model, but you will have benefited from lower premiums prior to the claim. Learn more about protecting your possessions with home insurance.

What is home inventory and why do I need to update it regularly?

A home inventory of your belongings is a simple list of your insurable possessions. In the event of a claim, the insurance company will want proof that the lost possessions are as valuable as you say they are. Keep receipts for your most expensive purchases, and once per year, take a walk through your home and film everything in it. If something gets stolen, you can use the receipt and video evidence as proof. The more you own, the more contents coverage you need, so if you have made many expensive purchases, review your home insurance policy to ensure it is still adequate.

It is worth remembering that there are limitations to contents coverage in a standard home insurance policy. If you have expensive items such as jewelry, musical instruments or a unique piece of art, you may want to insure them with additional coverage called a rider.

What is the difference between overland water and flood insurance?

Until recently, flood insurance was not available in Canada, but overland water coverage provided protection against freshwater entering your home. This could be water from excessive rainfall and a leaky roof, or a nearby river bursting its banks.

Overland water is still a very popular endorsement, but a wider range of flood insurance is now available. See our guide on flood insurance in Canada for more information.

What is sewer back-up insurance?

If the sewage line from your home is blocked, the wastewater could back up and overflow out of a toilet. Basements and ground floors are particularly susceptible to this. Sewer back-up insurance covers decontamination costs and replacements for your ruined fixtures and possessions.

What is the difference between mortgage insurance and home insurance?

Mortgage insurance is a specialist policy, used by banks and other mortgage lenders. It covers losses if a homeowner defaults on mortgage payments. It has nothing to do with home insurance.

Is property insurance the same as homeowners insurance?

The terms, property insurance, home insurance, house insurance and homeowners insurance are often used interchangeably. However, there’s a slight difference when it comes to property insurance which is a wide-ranging term for any policy that protects a building and its contents – whether it is an office, school, hospital or any other insurable structure. Home, house or homeowners insurance, on the other hand, are synonyms. These policies are a type of property insurance, specifically designed to protect your home.

*Shoppers who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA from January to December 2021 saved an average amount of $566. 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.

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