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What is home insurance and who needs it?

Home insurance is an insurance product designed to protect your home, your family and your possessions.

home insurance
home insurance

If you have a mortgage, the lender will require you take out a home insurance policy to protect their investment. Even if you don’t have a mortgage, home insurance should be considered an essential purchase for the protection it gives you.

Whether you currently own a home or condo, or if you rent a property and require tenant's insurance, our comparative search service can help save you money and find you the right coverage for your needs. Join the more than 1 million Canadians who have used our service to save on their home insurance.

How does home insurance work?

The homeowner pays an annual premium to the insurer (typically split into 12 monthly payments), and the insurance company provides financial protection when the owner needs to make a claim.

This protection is twofold. Firstly, it helps cover the cost of repairs to the home if the damage is caused by an insured peril, and will help pay for repairs (or replacements) if the homeowner’s possessions are damaged, lost or stolen. Secondly, it protects the owner from costs associated with legal action in the event that someone is physically hurt on the property.

How is the cost of home insurance calculated?

When determining how much you must pay, insurance companies assess the replacement value of your home and possessions, as well as the likelihood that you’ll make a claim. For example, owners with no claims history, living in a newly built house, next to a fire station, would be deemed low risk and cheaper premiums should reflect this.

Home insurance rates depend on multiple factors and every company will assess your risk differently. The best way to save on insurance is by shopping around. Compare quotes from Canada’s most trusted providers and find a great deal today.

Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Canada (FAQs)

For most people, their home is their single most prized and valuable possession. This is why it is so important to make sure you protect it with the appropriate insurance coverage. Make sure you understand what type of home insurance you are buying, who or what is covered, exclusions, policy limitations, how much coverage is provided and how to report a loss or claim.

How much does home insurance cost in Canada?

The cost of home insurance in Canada varies dramatically depending on where you live. In Ontario, home insurance averages $915 a year, while Albertan residents pay an annual average of $843. For the most accurate information, take five minutes to answer a few questions about your home to receive and compare home insurance quotes from top insurance companies. Read on to learn more about average home insurance rates in Ontario and Alberta.

How much does home insurance cost in Ontario?

Home insurance in Ontario costs an average of $915 a year, according to data from InsuranceHotline.com based on home insurance quotes completed on our website in 2018.

Home insurance cost varies depending on where in the province you reside. For example, Toronto home insurance cost an average of $1,150 per year in 2018, while Barrie home insurance cost an average of $882 per year.

Here is a list of the average home insurance rates in select Ontario cities:


Barrie - $882
Brampton - $983

Burlington - $948

Cambridge - $829

Hamilton - $893

Kitchener - $829

London - $783

Markham - $889

Mississauga - $969

Oshawa - $845

St. Catharines - $837

Sudbury - $867

Toronto - $1,150

Vaughan - $1,326

Windsor - $790

Remember, home insurance quotes take a variety of factors into consideration including where you live, how much your home costs to replace, how old your home is, how much content insurance coverage you purchase, and so on. While these represent the average quote costs, your quote may differ from these results.

The best way to know is to compare your Ontario home insurance quotes today.

How much does home insurance cost in Alberta?

Home insurance in Alberta costs on average $843 a year, according to data from InsuranceHotline.com calculated based on home insurance quotes completed on our website in 2018.

As with other provinces, the cost varies depending on where you live, the age of your home, your contents coverage, and other factors.

For example, home insurance in Calgary costs an average of $852 a year, while home insurance in Edmonton cost an average of $780 a year.

Compare home insurance quotes today to find the best rate for you.


Who offers the best home insurance coverage?


This depends on the type of coverage you need and how much you are willing to pay. No single company can claim to offer the best coverage without first assessing your property and understanding your needs. InsuranceHotline.com can show you multiple rates and coverages in one convenient place, saving you time and money when looking for the best deal. Compare home insurance coverages today.

Who has the cheapest home insurance policy?


No one company offers the cheapest home insurance rates. The insurance company willing to offer the cheapest rate will not be the same for everyone, as your coverage costs depend on your individual circumstances. One thing is for sure, different insurance companies offer different rates for the same coverage, so use InsuranceHotline.com to compare quotes. Last year, we helped Canadians save an average of $300 on their home insurance.


What are the different types of home insurance coverages?

There are several types of home insurance coverage, depending on how much financial protection you require, and how much you are willing to pay.

Basic or named perils home insurance is ideal for individuals looking to save a little bit of cash. This package provides coverage for your house, contents and liability, but it only covers perils that are named in the policy. If other issues arise, you would have to foot the repairs bills yourself.

If basic homeowner's coverage seems too minimal, you can upgrade to a broad home insurance package. This policy provides all risk coverage for direct physical damage to your home unless the loss is specifically excluded and named perils coverage to your contents for loss or damage caused by perils specifically named in the policy. This type of coverage is priced higher than a basic homeowner's package.

The most inclusive (and expensive) coverage you can purchase is a comprehensive home insurance policy. This policy provides all risk insurance coverage to your home (the physical building) and its contents, unless specifically excluded.

In all cases, it is important to review the policy wordings as there are certain situations not covered under all risk insurance. All policies include some personal liability insurance for the homeowner, in case a visitor gets injured on the property and the owner is found legally responsible.

What does home insurance cover?


Building & Detached Structures

Depending on where you live, and the type of home you live in, home insurance coverage will vary. If you own a house, your home insurance policy will cover your house and any detached structures, which includes a garage or shed.


Personal Property

Your home insurance policy will also cover your personal contents such as your appliances, clothing, electronics and jewellery.

Additional Living Expenses

If your home was deemed unfit to live in or you were denied access into your home by the police or civil authority as a direct result of damage by an insured peril (e.g., fire, smoke, water damage), your home policy offers coverage in the form of "additional living expenses". Your home insurance policy will reimburse you for the additional living expenses while living away from home.

Legal Liability

The legal liability portion of your home policy will protect you against lawsuits arising from your personal actions or ownership of your property. For example, it will protect you if a visitor were to slip and fall on your driveway because you failed to shovel a build up of ice and snow.


What is not covered by home insurance?


Different homeowners opt for different levels of coverage, so a comprehensive package will cover more than a basic package. However, there are three types of risk that are not typically covered by a standard policy.

First, there are optional coverages such as earthquake insurance, flood insurance and sewer back up, for which you have to pay extra. Depending on where you live, and the type of dwelling you reside in, these common optional coverages can ensure you have more robust home insurance coverage.

Then there are also uninsurable perils, which are predictable or likely scenarios. An example of an uninsurable peril is wear and tear. As an example, if your roof was damaged because it was old, you may not have coverage to repair it.



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