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The Best Home Insurance in Thunder Bay

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Written By Joel Kranc

Contributing writer

Updated

Home insurance in Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, located on Lake Superior, is one of Ontario's cheapest places to buy a home. According to the Thunder Bay Real Estate Board, the median sale price for single detached homes was $350,000 in the third quarter of 2023, compared with the provincial average of $851,756.

Despite the relatively lower price for homes compared to bigger cities, protecting your house and your belongings should be considered part of the cost of owning or purchasing that home.

While home insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, most financial institutions will not provide a mortgage without it. That is why you'll want to purchase home insurance for your property.

Below are the types of home insurance you can get in Thunder Bay, including the most common and additional coverages.


Types of home insurance in Thunder Bay

These are the most common types of home insurance coverage in Thunder Bay.

Homeowners can select insurance from these three insurance packages depending on their specific needs and coverage required:

  • Basic – This is generally the least expensive home insurance policy in Thunder Bay and covers so-called 'named perils' in your policy, such as fire and wind. Because it is the cheapest policy, it generally provides the least coverage for your home.
  • Broad – This protects your home against all risks or perils unless they are expressly excluded from your policy. However, your insurance policy may not cover the contents of your home unless the peril that causes the damage is specifically named.
  • Comprehensive – This is the most expensive home insurance policy in Thunder Bay, mainly because it protects your home and its contents from all insurable perils.


Home insurance coverage

  • Property and building – As its name suggests, this type of coverage protects your home (the structure of it) and other structures on your property. Generally, you are protected from theft, fire, vandalism, storm damage, and water damage, to name a few. To ensure secondary structures like a garage or guest house are protected, it's best to talk to your insurer.
    • Coverage amount: Replacement cost of your home (according to your insurance company’s estimate).

  • Contents and personal property – If you want to protect the contents of your house in Thunder Bay from theft, damage, or vandalism, including home décor, clothing, and other items you may own, you will need contents and personal property coverage. You may want or may require additional coverage to protect more valuable items such as family heirlooms, jewelry or fine art.
    • Coverage amount: 70% - 80% of replacement cost, but varies depending on depreciation.

  • Additional living expenses: There are times when damage to your home can force you to vacate your premises temporarily. There may also be disasters that require governments to force evacuations. You may need this protection to cover your temporary housing costs in those cases. Additional living expenses coverage can help pay for hotel stays while you are waiting to return to your home, commuting costs, or even food up to certain limits. Talk to your provider about specific coverage.
    • Coverage amount: 20% - 30% of replacement cost



Liability coverage

  • Personal liability – Personal liability protects you from third-party injuries that may occur on your property. This type of coverage is important because the costs of a lawsuit can be pretty high if you are not protected.
    • Coverage amount: $100,000 is offered by default
    • Recommended coverage amount: $1,000,000 (but you can go as high as $5,000,000)

  • Voluntary medical payments – Accidents happen, and when they do, there is a potential for someone to injure themselves on your property. This insurance will cover the medical expenses for one year from the accident date.
    • Coverage amount: $5,000-$10,000 with no deductible

  • Voluntary property damage – Just like accidental injuries, there may be times when you cause unintentional damage to someone else's property. This coverage will help you pay for any 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.
    • Coverage amount: $1,000 (but can vary between insurance providers and go as high as $6,000)


Add-ons to home insurance coverage in Thunder Bay

While the policy types mentioned above cover a lot of ground, there are additional protections you can purchase both for your home and its contents.

The following are examples of add-ons or riders you can add to your Thunder Bay home insurance policy for even greater protection:

  • Overland water – Many areas within Ontario can experience flooding from the many lakes and waterways. There is also the threat of melting snow in the springtime. This add-on helps protect against damage from this type of overflowing water.
  • Sewer back-up – Protects your home when a main sewer backs up, or water from downspouts, septic tanks, drains, and eaves troughs causes damage.
  • Earthquake – Covers losses or damage caused by an earthquake. This coverage makes more sense for people living on the West Coast, where there is a potential for earthquakes to cause structural damage to your home.
  • Mass evacuation – A catastrophic weather or other event which causes the need for a mass evacuation comes with expenses for temporary housing, commuting and even everyday necessities like food. This coverage would help pay for some of that. It is best to talk to your provider about how much coverage you can get.
  • 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.

Things that are not covered by your Thunder Bay home insurance 

Home insurance in Thunder Bay can only go so far. Structural and personal effects protection is readily available under many circumstances, but there are circumstances where add-ons are needed and areas where insurance is unavailable. Here are some examples of that: 

  • Flooding – Most Thunder Bay home insurance providers cover this peril but only as an add-on to your initial policy. Generally, basic insurance covers water damage caused by burst pipes. However, damage caused by sewer back-up or overland flooding requires additional insurance that you must buy extra. 
  • Earthquake or landslide – Thunder Bay home insurance policies, including comprehensive ones, do not cover these. You might be able to get coverage from an add-on to your policy, but we suggest you talk to your provider to see if insurance companies offer it in your area.
      
  • Mould – Mould will usually occur due to homeowner maintenance or malfunctioning internal systems. If you see mould becoming a problem in your home, it is your responsibility to repair and maintain it before it gets worse. Because it is your responsibility, your home insurance policy in Thunder Bay likely does not cover mould issues. 
  • Pest infestation – Pests are called pests for a reason. They are unwanted. The same goes for mice, rats, other bugs, and bed bugs. However, like mould, they are an internal home problem that the homeowner must deal with, not the insurance company. You won't find coverage for this, so it's best to deal with it as soon as you see it worsening. 
  • Purposeful damage – If you purposefully damage your property and file a claim, you will not receive a settlement. It's considered insurance fraud, so don't do it. 
  • Intentional injuries to guests – It's always good practice not to hurt others intentionally. If you do so in your home, you will not be covered for any liability
  • Rental – Renting your property out is fine, but you need extra insurance for damages or liability. Consult your Thunder Bay home insurance provider before renting out your property to see what type of landlord insurance you will need. 

How much insurance coverage do I need for my home in Thunder Bay? 

Purchasing home insurance in Thunder Bay is personal and case-specific. We have different needs, live in different neighbourhoods, and have various amounts of stuff. For example, a large home may cost more to rebuild than a smaller one. Your needs are particular to your situation, so it's best to talk to your insurance provider, agent or broker to determine what amount of coverage is right for you. 

Recent home insurance quotes in Thunder Bay

Recent Home Insurance Quote from Thunder Bay, ON
Semi-detached 896 sq ft
May 19, 2024
Cheapest Quote
$ 82 / month
$984 / year
Average Quote
$ 162 / month
$1,944 / year
Savings
$ 80 / month
$960 / year
or
49.00 %
Recent Home Insurance Quote from Thunder Bay, ON
Detached 816 sq ft
May 19, 2024
Cheapest Quote
$ 112 / month
$1,344 / year
Average Quote
$ 197 / month
$2,364 / year
Savings
$ 84 / month
$1,008 / year
or
43.00 %
Recent Home Insurance Quote from Thunder Bay, ON
Detached 1,255 sq ft
May 19, 2024
Cheapest Quote
$ 199 / month
$2,388 / year
Average Quote
$ 327 / month
$3,924 / year
Savings
$ 127 / month
$1,524 / year
or
39.00 %
Home insurance quotes are compared from Apollo Insurance, CAA, Economical Insurance, Pembridge, Square One Insurance, and SGI

Factors that affect your Thunder Bay home insurance

There are several important factors insurers always consider when determining your specific premium. Here's what they are: 

  • Replacement cost: The replacement cost, or the amount needed to rebuild your home, is a huge factor that Thunder Bay home insurance providers consider when determining your premium. It should not be confused with market value, which is how much you could sell it for in the current real estate market. Both of these amounts can fluctuate based on economic factors.
  • Location: Where your home is located is important. Why? Higher-risk neighbourhoods with high crime rates may command higher Thunder Bay home insurance premiums. Communities with a lower crime rate and fewer claims aren't surcharged. 
  • Your personal history: Insurance providers in Thunder Bay will look at your claims history as a risk factor. The more claims you have filed, the more you are likely to file again, in their estimation. The nature of your claims also matters, as more expensive claims can raise your premium. 
  • Fire hydrant proximity: Location matters for many things in real estate. This goes for your proximity to a fire hydrant. The easier it is to save your home from fire, causing less damage and replacement costs, the less of a risk factor you are. Fire hydrant proximity is more of a concern for rural areas, where everything is far away. 
  • Piping: Older homes with older systems, such as lead pipes, have a higher likelihood of leaks or cracks. If your home is older and you haven't updated your internal piping system, you may find your insurance premiums are higher than what you would have expected. Try to update if you can with copper or plastic. 
  • Electrical wiring: Old or faulty wiring can be a fire hazard and a high risk for damage. Some older homes have what's called knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring. Some insurance providers may ask you to remove it altogether before providing insurance. 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: An older or damaged roof can cause severe water or leakage damage if not maintained well. Most roofs require replacing after about 20 years. 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 suit due to a higher chance of injury to your guests. This can increase your premium. 
  • Wood stove: This type of heating and cooking has a very high risk of fire-related damage. If you plan to install a wood stove, notify your provider. 
  • Alarms: Fire and security alarms will factor into your premium. State-of-the-art systems will help reduce your premium by lowering your risk for theft or vandalism. The lower the risk to your home, the lower your premiums will be. If an outside service monitors your home, your discount will be even more significant. 

How much does the average Thunder Bay home insurance policy cost? 

The average home insurance in Thunder Bay, according to the RATESDOTCA Insuramap data, is $1,869 per year. This is roughly 25.7% above the provincial average of $1,427 annually. While not the most expensive in the province, Thunder Bay is still relatively high, with the 11th highest premiums.

Crime rates may be driving rates. Thunder Bay ranks well above the Ontario benchmark in terms of the rate and severity of crime. Other factors, such as spring flooding, may contribute to the high cost of home insurance in Thunder Bay.

Home insurance in Ontario comparison
City Avg. 2023 premium % difference compared to Thunder Bay
Lasalle $2,411 +22.4%
Windsor $2,140 +12.7%
South Porcupine $2,046 +8.7%
Thunder Bay $1,869 -
Cambridge $1,081 -72.9%
Stratford $1,071 -74.5%
Toronto $1,068 -75.0%

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How RATESDOTCA finds the best home insurance in Thunder Bay

RATESDOTCA works with home insurance companies and brokers in Thunder Bay to provide you with a broad selection of quotes. We quickly collect your information and use it to generate the best offers from each insurance partner. Our service is fast, easy and free to use.

By comparing Thunder Bay 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 Thunder Bay?

Company Company Type Phone Number Address
Allstate Insurance: Thunder Bay Agency Insurance agency 1-807-333-0750 1186 Memorial Ave Unit 2A, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5K5
BrokerLink Insurance broker 1-807-622-6155 1139 Alloy Dr Suite 110, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6M8
Causeway General Insurance Brokers Ltd. Insurance broker 1-807-344-8400 611 Squier St, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 4A7
Dewhurst Insurance Ltd. Insurance company 1-807-345-1411 581 Red River Rd #102, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1H4
InsuranceHotline.com Quotes comparison 1-855-821-7312 225 King St W, Suite 1000 Toronto M5V 3M2
Lifestyle Insurance Services Ltd. Insurance broker 1-807-345-2518 226 Van Norman St, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4B8
LowestRates.ca Quotes comparison 1-855-487-6911 1910 Yonge St. Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3B2
RATESDOTCA Quotes comparison 1-844-726-0907 225 King St W, Suite 1000 Toronto M5V 3M2
Scoop Insurance Insurance broker 1-866-456-6620 22-300 Lincoln St, Welland, ON L3B 4N4

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How to get the cheapest home insurance in Thunder Bay 

There are some tried and true ways to get the cheapest home insurance in Thunder Bay. Some you can do yourself, and some require a discussion with your service provider.

  • Comparison shopping – One of the best ways to find cheap home insurance in Thunder Bay is by using sites like RATESDOTCA to compare the most affordable rates from the top providers in your area. It’s free, simple, and fast. 
  • Bundling services – The more services you choose from one provider (like home and auto), the more you can save on an entire policy package. Some providers will give you discounts between 20% and 25%. 
  • Updated alarm systems – Reducing the risk of theft or vandalism can help you save on your overall insurance premiums. Updating your alarm system (or getting one if you don’t have one) to a monitored one can help you save between 5 and 10% on your policy. 
  • Increasing deductibles – Lowering risks for insurance providers helps you save on your premiums. That’s why agreeing to pay a higher deductible – money you will pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company pays you – can help save you money. Saving your insurance company money makes you a less risky client. It’s important to ensure you can afford higher out-of-pocket payments before agreeing to a higher deductible. 
  • Upgrading your home – Renovating or upgrading old systems, such as piping or out-of-date wiring, can help save you money. You are reducing the risk of flooding or fires, and you will be “rewarded” for your efforts. Renovating, however, can also add costs to your insurance if you make expensive additions requiring even more insurance. 
  • Discounts – Many home insurance companies in Thunder Bay will offer discounts to members of specific associations or unions. Retirees can also receive discounts. Reviewing your policy annually is a good practice and a good time to ask your provider about discounts you may be eligible for. 
  • Rewarding your loyalty – Thunder Bay home insurance providers appreciate your business and loyalty. The longer you stay with one company, the more rewards and discounts you can get. Stay claims free, and the discounts can be even higher. 
  • Credit score – The less risk you present, the lower your premiums can be. That’s why home insurance companies in Thunder Bay will drop premiums for people with a good credit score. A lower score identifies you as a responsible customer who pays bills and is likely a minimal risk overall. 

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What risks do homeowners face in Thunder Bay? 

Home insurance throughout Canada is relatively similar, but many cities have unique factors contributing to the cost of a policy in that region. In Thunder Bay, these factors include:

  • Freezing temperatures. Canadian winters, especially in Northern Ontario, can wreak havoc on pipes, causing them to freeze and burst.
  • Flooding and water damage. Because of Thunder Bay’s proximity to Lake Superior, flooding can occur. 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.
  • Forest fires. Thunder Bay experienced extensive forest fires in the summer of 2023. Proximity to such emergency events can cause fire or smoke damage. It can also force evacuations if fires get too close.
  • Attic rain. Fluctuating temperatures and improper ventilation in your attic can create 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.

Typical home insurance in Thunder Bay 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)

There are certain perils that standard Thunder Bay home insurance policies won’t cover. In these cases, add-on protection may be available for an extra charge. Examples of non-standard coverage include:

  • Renting all or part of your property to long or short-term guests.
  • Liability for clients or customers visiting a home-based business.
  • Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and landslides.
  • Specific types of water damage including sewer back-up and overland water flooding.
  • Certain weather issues in winter, such as damage to the outside of your home caused by freezing and water damage (due to frozen or burst pipes).

Insurance will not cover the following under any circumstance:

  • Injuries or damage caused either intentionally or by illegal activity.
  • Damage caused because basic measures of protection and maintenance have not been taken.
  • Damage from insects and rodents.

Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Thunder Bay

Have more questions about how Thunder Bay home insurance works? We'll answer them here.

Do Thunder Bay real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance?

Generally speaking, Thunder Bay 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 Thunder Bay home insurance?

Each individual seeking home insurance in Thunder Bay will have unique circumstances affecting their premiums. That's why no one provider will have the lowest price for everyone. It's best to discuss with your provider (or potential provider) the discounts you can get for your circumstances.

Also, always remember to comparison shop your rates on sites like RATESDOTCA. With a few bits of information about your home insurance needs, you will receive estimates from the top providers in your area. It's free and easy to use.

How do I save on Thunder Bay home insurance?

There are many ways to save on Thunder Bay home insurance. First, you can start by comparison shopping on sites like RATESDOTCA. We'll 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 or unions. Increasing your deductible and enhancing your credit score can also help you receive a better Thunder Bay home insurance premium.

How do Thunder Bay home insurance claims work?

Your insurance claim is covered by the premiums paid by your provider's clients. Insurers will pool all the premiums and use them to pay your claim. However, you may 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 ahead of time, so the deductible cost shouldn't be a surprise when making a claim.

To make a claim, you will follow these steps:

  • 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 can help if you can produce them.
  • If your home is unlivable, 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 you amass 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.

Review your policy ahead of time so there are no surprises. The amount you get will depend on your coverage. Your insurer will decide whether to reimburse you for the damage or repair or replace what's been damaged.

Is fire covered under my Thunder Bay home insurance policy?

Fire is a peril that is generally covered under standard home insurance policies. If you have other valuables in your home, like fine art or jewelry, that require more insurance, you should discuss your insurance needs with your broker or provider.

Can I get vacant home insurance in Thunder Bay?

Two potential routes for insuring a vacant home in Thunder Bay include:

  • Buying a new policy tailored to the needs of a vacant home
  • Increasing your existing policy's coverage with an endorsement or add-on

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're going to be away from home for 30 days or thereabouts, 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 Ontario who obtained a home insurance quote on RATESDOTCA from January to December 2023 saved an average amount of $360. 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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