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Home insurance = peace of mind
Alberta is one of Canada's most beautiful western provinces, home to one of the world’s biggest shopping malls (West Edmonton Mall) two National Hockey teams + Banff National Park! Choosing to live in Alberta is a great decision, there are lots of places to work with a range of industries like Oil and Gas, Technology, Farming even teaching as the province has multiple higher education institutions. The province is a great place to work, live, and raise a family. Alberta's sweeping landscape is comprised of mountains, prairies, desert badlands, and vast coniferous forests and has more than 600 lakes. The top 5 cities to live in Alberta are St. Albert, Calgary, Strathcona County, Canmore, and Medicine Hat!
Home insurance is not legally required in Canada, especially for those who have paid off their home. But, it is mandatory for those who need to get a mortgage. Since buying a home is one of the biggest investments people make, it's important to consider getting homeowners insurance to protect the place they live, raise a family and keep their belongings. These are all things that a homeowners insurance policy can cover and we can help with that.
Home Insurance In Alberta
You will need the following information to ensure quote accuracy:
- Square footage of your home
- Year your home was built
- Details on any upgrades or modifications
- Your exact address
- Your personal home insurance claims history
Ever wonder how home insurance rates are determined?! If yes, here are three things to know:
- Home insurance history is tied to you, not the home you’re living in or looking to live in. Insurers are interested in your past 10 years of home insurance claims history, if applicable. If you’re interested in moving into a home that had a home insurance claim on it two years ago, that doesn’t matter. They care about the claims history of the homeowner, not the home itself.
- The value of your home matters. In the unfortunate event that your home suffers major damage or is destroyed, the insurance carrier will set a limit on your home’s replacement cost.
- Home insurers track data on the amount of home insurance claims in your area, which can mean city and/or province. If you live in an area that is susceptible to overland flood damage, your insurance company will be aware of this. This is why, all things equal, a home will cost more to insure in one area as opposed to another.
Not all insurance carriers offer the same discounts as their competitors. Using Surex’s home insurance marketplace, we’re able to get you more discounts, which helps us get you cheap home insurance rates in Alberta.
The discounts that we have available to you include:
- Bundle discount
- Good credit discount
- Mortgage-free discount
- Alarm/home security discount
- Loyalty discount
- Renewal discount
- Claims-free discount
- Age discount
- Sewer back-up discount
- New business discount
- Flex discount
- Smoke-free home discount
- Occupational discount
- Household discount
- Multi-lines discount
- Gated community discount
Depending on where you live in Alberta, certain coverage might be required by insurers for homes in your area. These coverage, such as overland flood coverage if you live in an area susceptible to flooding, are non-negotiable for your home insurance policy.
If a coverage isn’t mandated, but you’re interested in adding it to your home insurance policy, your Surex Personal Assistant will be able to provide answers to any questions you have, to help you make an informed decision.
There are a lot of things that can affect your home insurance rate and ultimately impact the price you pay and be the reason it fluctuates:
1.Your insurance & claims history: Rates for Alberta home insurance are heavily influenced by your insurance and claims history. A few things to consider: the longer you've had insurance the better you look to insurance companies, not switching mid-term and paying on time also helps and looks good. On the flip side, the number of claims you've made can negatively impact your premiums; fewer claims can equal cheaper rates.
2.Your credit rating: You may be able to get a discount by letting the insurance company check your credit rating - not all companies offer this - but it provides proof that you are likely to pay your insurance on time, making you look like a better client.
3.Your address: Where you live (location) has a huge impact on a number of factors that determine your home insurance premiums in Alberta. They include:
- The proximity to a fire hydrant and fire station: Being farther away from fire services gives you a stronger likelihood of your home being damaged by fire.
- The frequency and severity of natural disasters: The frequency and severity of flooding, wildfires and hailstorms impacts your rate because you are more likely to make a claim. Unfortunately, Alberta sees several natural disasters - several of the most expensive in history - and makes it more expensive to insure a home in Alberta.
- The crime rate of your neighbourhood: Higher crime areas tend to more be more expensive to insure as they assume you will be more likely to make a claim, or be a victim of theft.
- The claim rate of your neighbourhood: The neighburhood claim rate can depend on several different factors ranging from income, to the age and building types of homes, as well as how often they experience severe weather conditions.
- The proximity to hazards such as rivers: If you live near a river, you are at a higher risk of events such as flooding and some companies may increase your rates.
4.Your Home’s Age, Type & Building Material: Obviously the older your home is, the more likely it is to have problems simply due to wear and tear over time. Also, the type of building and what it is made of is also a factor that can impact your rate, for example, a wood-built home with regular siding will most likely be more expensive than a house built of concrete or stucco. (wood will likely be more damaged in a fire or hail storm).
5. The Age and Type of Roof: Maintaining your roof is highly important and choosing the right materials is critical as this is what protects your home from the elements. The older your roof, the higher your premiums may be.
6. Your Home Systems: We've talked about the 'bones' or structure of your home, but what's inside also matters. Your homes plumbing, electrical, heating and other systems can all impact your rates. Older, more outdated systems can cause damage and be more expensive to insure, for example, knob and tube wiring - specifically used before 1940 - has a higher fire risk, as well as wood-burning stoves. These should all be taken into consideration when finding insurance.
7. Replacement Cost of Your Home: The costs of how much it will be to rebuild your home (labour and material costs) and replace all of your belongings (appliances, furniture and personal effects), are all factored into your home insurance prices in Alberta.
8. Your Insurance Options: The options you choose to protect your home also influence your insurance rates so doing your homework will pay off. These include:
- Deductible amount: this is the amount you will pay if you have a covered claim.
- Policy limits: this is the maximum amount paid out in the event of a claim.
- Coverage options: the options you choose depending on what is necessary for your home and can fit your budget.
- Two Guys & A Pizza Place Ltd., Lethbridge
- Gaga Pizza, Calgary
- LOVEPIZZA Canterra, Edmonton
- Calgary Stampede
- Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology
- West Edmonton Mall
- Waterton National Park
- Kananaskis Country
- Writing on Stone Provincial Park
Have questions? We’ve got answers:
Home insurance is not required, by law, in Alberta. However, it is highly recommended that you have it. For instance, if your home were to burn down, you’d be held 100% responsible for replacing it and the valuables inside (if you choose to do so), the damage done to other homes or structures, as well as the potential damages caused to people. Not having homeowners insurance is a great way to go bankrupt and/or get sued in the unfortunate event of a tragic situation.
Home insurance in Alberta varies, depending on the coverage you’re required or choose to have, as well as the area you live in and past home insurance history.
The best way to lower your home insurance premiums is to always pay your bills, even outside of home insurance, to ensure you have a high credit score. A credit score of 650+ can save you up to 20% off your annual home insurance premiums.
Surex has partnered with the most renowned homeowners insurance providers in Alberta. We get you cheap home insurance quotes from:
Just like the price of gas, the cost to heat your home, the cost to purchase a vehicle, etc. inflation is real and impacts the home insurance industry, just like every other industry in Alberta.
Aside from that, insurers are also still trying to recoup outbound money used to cover all the natural disasters in Alberta over the past five or six years.
If you have a good history of paying your home insurance bills, insurers will offer the option to choose whether you pay your home insurance premiums monthly or annually.
If you have a history of having your insurance cancelled, due to non-payments, then the monthly option might not be available to you and home insurer will require you to pay for your year’s worth of premiums upfront.
There isn’t necessarily a set average cost that would be an accurate price point to expect relating to home insurance rates. With so many factors contributing the cost of a home insurance policy, including value of the home, area of the home and your prior home insurance history, it would be misleading to say the average home insurance cost in Alberta is $1000 annually, for instance, because it could be a lot lower or higher for you, based on the previously mentioned variables.
A home insurance peril is an unknown, or accidental event that can cause damage to your home. An example of this is if your home is struck by lightning, creating a hole in your roof, this is something you could not have prevented from happening. But, if you have not properly maintained your roof and it has slowly degraded over time, then this is not a peril, since it is something you could have prevented by replacing it. (Your home insurance policy is not a maintenance plan).
With so many different coverage options, there are some things that are excluded from insurance policies. These common exclusions are usually due to wear and tear and get worse from negligence by the homeowner. These can include: mold (which could have been avoided with regular maintenance) and most likely will not be covered. Other common ones are termite or rat infestations, burst pipes, home businesses, dangerous dogs and sewer backups. Be sure to check with your dedicated insurance advisor to see what you are covered for, as most of these may need a separate policy from your insurance provider.