Home Insurance in Canada - What You Need to Know
Home insurance can help protect your home and its contents in case of theft, damage, or loss. It can also help you cover additional living expenses if you're temporarily unable to live in your home. Although home insurance isn’t mandatory (unless you have a mortgage) it is highly recommended. At Surex we help you navigate through the options. You will work with one of our Licensed Insurance Advisors to find you the best coverage for you, at the right price.
Broad home insurance:
This insurance covers perils such as water, lightning, hail, windstorm, fire, smoke, explosion, falling objects, vandalism, theft and vehicular or aircraft impact.
Comprehensive home insurance:
This is the highest level of home insurance in Canada. It includes all perils covered under broad insurance plus unintentional damage and mysterious disappearance of property/content. Spilling a liquid such as wood stain on a carpeted surface or losing a valuable item would be covered here.
Surex offers a comprehensive list of discounts to get you cheap home insurance in Canada.
The list includes:
- Bundle discount
- Credit discount
- Mortgage-free discount
- Alarm discount
- Loyalty discount
- Renewal discount
- Age discount
- Sewer back-up discount
- Claims-free discount
- New business discount
- Flex discount
- Smoke-free discount
- Occupation discount
- Household discount
- Gated community discount
- Multi-line discount
What are the benefits of bundling home and auto insurance with Surex, as opposed to another company?
Well just as we compare Canada's elite insurance providers to find you the cheapest home insurance rate, we do likewise with auto insurance. Your Licensed Insurance Advisor is then able to combine the best pair of quotes - even if it's two different companies providing the best quote in each category.
You’ll want to watch for a few things to get the best price on home insurance in Canada.
- Shopping around
- Raising your deductible
- Bundling home and auto insurance policies
- Make sure your home is disaster resistant by keeping up with home maintenance.
- Optimize home security
- Seek discounts
- Maintain a good credit record
- Stay with the same insurer if possible.
- Review the limits of your policy
Looking at insurance companies with a reasonable quote and high customer satisfaction rating will help you get the best experience with your insurance.
Surex’s model allows you to get ten (or more) personalized quotes from leading insurance providers to help you get the best coverage at the right price. Surex has a team of licensed insurance advisors to help you make quick, easy decisions about your insurance purchases. You’re not in this alone, we’re here to help. Learn more.
A number of factors determine the cost of home insurance in Canada:
- The age of the home
- The square footage of the home
- The number of inhabitants
- Replacement cost
- Exterior construction
- Internal construction
- The location of your home
- Proximity to services like fire/police stations
The cost of home insurance in Canada is dependent upon numerous factors. The construction of the home, the updates of heating/electrical/plumbing/roofing, chances of wind or water damage, occurrence of prior claims on the property, and much more.
On average, you should budget between $600 to $1500 annually for home insurance costs. This doesn't mean it can't be higher or lower. The claims experience that the insurance company has also plays a role in setting their rates, this is why it is always best to deal with a Surex licensed assistant versus a direct seller offering one company's policies. We can shop rates and find the best company coverage at the most affordable price.
You should always ensure you have the right insurance coverage for your home. Speaking to a licensed broker/advisor will help ensure you are not left unprotected in the event of a claim or insurable peril. It is also extremely important to be forthcoming with your advisor and be sure they have a full understanding of your property so you can have confidence that you are indeed covered if there is an accident.
After all, the only thing worse than having no insurance is paying for insurance that you can't collect on because you were covered improperly.
There can be several reasons why prices for home insurance in Canada can potentially rise:
1. There may have been a recent claim that increased the chance of the property being affected again.
2. The cost of building materials or repairs have increased, so the inflation has been adjusted to your premiums.
3. There may have been additions included on your policy that you insured mid-policy (scheduled jewelry, expensive bicycles, etc) that would have increased the premium due to the extra protection.
There has been a dramatic increase in the severity of insurance claims due to weather, the sophistication of new homes, and people having higher valued/more contents in their homes.
It is mandatory to have home insurance if the home has a mortgage, the best person to answer this question is your lender. The mortgage company wants to ensure the risk is protected, since they are partial owners.
If the home is mortgage-free, it's not mandatory to have home insurance in Canada but highly risky. Buying a home policy is far more than just covering the cost of your home. In the event you get sued because someone slipped in your kitchen or your contents were stolen from your home or vehicle, you'd have no coverage for such events if there is no enforced home policy.
An often overlooked home coverage is high end contents, wedding rings, camera equipment, computer equipment, sports equipment, etc.
Often home policies have limits for these items that are being exceeded. For example if you have a $3000 road bike, it may not be fully covered if it was stolen. You can purchase extensions for these types of contents and it is surprisingly affordable.
Newer homes can often, but not always, be cheaper to insure. This is because there is less likelihood of risks to the property when newer construction is in place. However, there are counter-factors that could still increase the premiums such as risks of a wind storm. proven high levels of theft in a specific area, and much more.
Your assigned broker/advisor will always ensure you're given the best rates for the best coverage, regardless of the home's age. There are certainly discounts for newer homes but they may not always be cheaper to insure.
Home prices are typically based on what the home would cost to rebuild, the caliber or the materials in the new home, and the area they are located in. So for example, a 900 sq foot home that is 40 years old with arborite counters built in a neighbourhood where there have historically been no floods would likely be cheaper than a 1000 sq ft home with granite countertops built close to a lake or river.
Insurance companies will normally suggest you increase liability coverage from $100,000 to $500,000 if a swimming pool is in place. This may add an insurance premium of $50 to $75 on the annual premium.
One thing to note is that swimming pools will increase the cost to rebuild a home and as a result, your home insurance will go up. This also means you will need to increase your liability insurance in order to protect from paying legal and medical fees in the event that someone will get hurt on your property.
Homeowners insurance helps cover a swimming pool in several ways. If your pool happens to be damaged, homeowners’ insurance can help with the cost of the repair. Liability also covers the expenses if a guest gets injured at your pool.
There isn’t necessarily a set average cost that would be an accurate price point to expect relating to home insurance rates in Canada.
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 Ontario (for example) is $1000 annually, because it could be a lot lower or higher for you, based on the previously mentioned variables.
It can change by province but the rule of thumb is if you have a mortgage or loan on your home you should have home insurance in Canada.
If you own your home outright — then you can choose to not purchase home insurance. That said, if you were to choose that route, that’s a horrible idea! Say your home was to, unfortunately, burn down because you left the stove on. Without an active home insurance policy, you’d be solely responsible for replacing your home, if you chose to do so, as well as held liable for any damages caused to other people and/or structures.
What is covered in a home insurance policy varies, depending on the coverage types and options you choose. The two basic types of home insurance coverages in Canada are broad home insurance and comprehensive home insurance. Speak with your Surex Advisor about what coverages and options will suit you the best for your home insurance needs.