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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.
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.
In Canada, the law doesn’t require homeowners to have insurance, but many lenders do. So, if you need a mortgage, chances are you’re going to be getting home insurance. The questions then become: what type of coverage and how to get the best rate?
Comparison shopping is the single most effective way to reduce your insurance costs. Since most providers are offering a similar product, it’s worth figuring out which one is offering home insurance at the lowest rate. To save more money in the longer term, we recommend comparing rates every year when your policy is up for renewal. This approach guarantees that you’ll always have the best rate.
One of the reasons that home insurance rates tend to change more often than those for car insurance which are tightly regulated by the government. Insurance providers don’t have many options other than to change premiums because premiums are one of their two revenue streams. When low interest rates result in small returns on investments, their second revenue stream, premiums, goes up. Keep in mind, insurance providers are also paying out record claims – their volume and cost has been increasing year-over-year due to more and more incidents of severe weather worldwide.
In addition to deciding on a policy type, you can pick and choose what coverage to include, selecting from the key elements described below. While all policy types include varying degrees of property and liability coverage, contents coverage and additional living expenses are negotiable.
Regardless of what policy you get, it will not cover everything. In fact, it may explicitly exclude coverage against certain perils. These are referred to as 'exclusions'.
For wider protection, you must add additional coverage to your policy. These are called 'endorsements' or 'amendments'. They alter the provisions of the insurance contract.
The most important coverage to consider adding to any home insurance policy is flood protection. It’s a peril that affects more and more homeowners in Canada — and it’s rarely included as a peril.
Insurance providers distinguish between several types of flooding. This means that if you want maximum protection against flooding, you’ll need to add two endorsements to your policy. Some insurance providers combine flood-related endorsements into water protection packages.
Overland water: Overland water coverage protects against damage when water enters the home through the foundation and basement floors or walls. It also covers damage caused by floods from rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water due to heavy rainfall, melting snow and rising rivers.
Sewer back-up: Sewer back-up insurance covers you when a region's main sewer line backs up into your home, sometimes ruining entire basements and posing massive problems to your home and your health. Severe weather has increased the likelihood of this claim, which is why it is recommended more and more often.
Beyond flooding, you can pick other endorsements to add to the policy. Every region has different risks, so depending on where you live you might consider adding one of these optional coverages:
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 are:
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.
Saving on the cost of home insurance is easier than it may seem, particularly when you apply any of the following tactics.
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To gauge risk, home insurance providers examine several factors about your home and you.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
|Year||Avg Ontario home insurance premium (CAD)||Avg Alberta home insurance premium (CAD)|
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)|
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.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about home insurance in Canada:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.