For most homeowners in Canada, owning a home is one of the biggest financial investment decision they have ever made. Whether you own or rent a house, it’s very important to protect its valuable content against any unforeseen adversity. Whether natural or man-made, you do this by having home insurance coverage. If you are not familiar with home insurance basics, this Canadian home insurance article is for you.
We are going to have a detailed discussion of what home insurance is and the different types of home insurance. Lastly, we will talk about the best home insurance providers in Canada.
Let’s get started!
What is Home Insurance?
Home insurance is a policy package that provides protection against any loss or damage to the house structure. This includes its contents and the liability that the policyholder may face due to unavoidable perils. This could be falls on your driveway for example.
It covers the home and its valuable content against loss or damage caused by most disasters. There are exceptions such as natural calamities depending on the type of coverage you have.
Types of Coverage.
There are four main types of home insurance coverages in Canada. The wording and the specific item that is covered under each policy may vary from one home insurance provider to another. A home insurance policy also includes personal liability coverage.
1. Comprehensive Home Insurance Coverage.
Comprehensive home insurance is the most inclusive policy. It covers both the house structure and its content from all common risks. It excludes those that are specifically stated in the home insurance policy.
The two types of risks that are normally excluded are; uninsurable risks and optional coverage. Uninsurable risks are those predictable happenings that are not generally covered. This could be building a home where landslides normally occur. You won’t get insurance against landslides!
Optional coverages are those risks for which one can buy insurance for. This includes sewer backups, earthquakes, and flooding.
The common insured risks which are covered under the comprehensive policy include; fire damage, theft, lightning, aircraft or vehicle impact, or window breakage. Individuals living in a condominium or mobile homes can also benefit from a customized comprehensive coverage. Make sure the provider knows your property type.
2. Standard Home Insurance Coverage.
A standard home insurance policy can also be referred to as basic or named perils coverage. It provides protection to your home and its contents against the risks specifically named in your written contract.
For instance, if a standard policy only listed fire, it can only cover the risk of fire damage. Lightning, earthquakes, theft and other associated risks are not covered.
A basic/named perils policy coverage works well for those individuals who are ready to take on some financial risks. You can agree to save money now by decreasing your coverage and protection.
Remember, if you incur a loss it can be costly without protection. More risk equals more reward.
3. Broad Home Insurance Policy.
Just as the name suggests, a Broad home insurance policy covers more liabilites than the basic/named perils plan. It is more affordable relative to a comprehensive policy. Broad home insurance policy is a compromise between the standard and comprehensive policy.
4. “No Frills”
A “No Frills” insurance policy has the least coverage level. It provides coverage for homes that do not meet the recommended normal standards for insurance. If your house has some structural problems that hinder it from meeting the minimum insurance standards, this is for you. I would consider repairing it so that you can qualify for a better coverage. You will save money in the long-term.
Before you agree on signing any home insurance policy, make sure that you have reviewed it. Make sure you are clear on the liabilities that are covered.
Personal Liability Insurance.
Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, you can be held personally liable for any bodily injury or property damage that is unintentionally caused to other people. In case such an event happens and you are held culpable, a portion of your home insurance under personal liability coverage is used to settle such claims.
However, liability coverage does not apply to injuries that have been sustained by the policyholder or any other member of your family.
Types of Home Insurance.
- Condominium Insurance.
Condo insurance slightly differs from normal home insurance because it covers the loss or damage of components inside your unit within a condo building. In addition to offering internal protection, it also caters for personal liability coverage claims in the event of property damage or when a visitor is unintentionally injured in your condo unit.
Condo insurance is different from condo building insurance which is a master insurance policy that is purchased by the condo corporation. Condo building insurance covers the damage to the building plus the building’s common property like stairs, roof, pools, hallways, driveways, meeting rooms, and recreational areas.
It also includes liability on the property. Although condo building insurance differs from one building to another due to their varied needs and risks, it’s mostly included as part of a condo unit owner’s monthly maintenance fee.
Condominium insurance provides coverage for; damage to the inside unit structure, damage or loss of your belonging, damage to other units, and damage to improvements that you or the previous owner made to your unit.
2. Tenant Insurance.
This type of insurance provides coverage that is purchased by tenants to provide protection against damage or loss of personal content within their rental units. It also protects the homeowner and includes personal liability coverage.
Tenant insurance is also referred to as renter’s insurance and it covers contents such as clothing, items in a storage, appliances, and furniture. Tenant insurance will cover the tenant’s liability in the event of unintentional damage to the rental building such as a fire or any bodily injury inside the rental unit.
In addition to renter’s insurance, you can also provide this coverage on your seasonal/mobile home. For instance, if your seasonal home is a cottage in Edmonton, there are various Edmonton home insurance companies with a seasonal home insurance policy that can cover you for the short duration that you will be there.
3. Insurance for a Home Based Business.
If you have a home-based business in Edmonton, your normal home insurance does not cover the business. You should consider getting business in addition to your policy. Any person operating a home-based business must inform their insurance provider to ensure you don’t invalidate your home insurance policy.
Although home insurance will not cover your home-based business, it can provide limited coverage for loss or damage of equipment related to your business if they were lost or damaged in your house. This limited coverage is in most cases less sufficient to cover the full cost of repair or replacement. That is why it’s advisable to seek a business insurance policy.
The Top 5 Home Insurance Providers in Canada.
Home insurance is very crucial for both homeowners and renters. If you want to buy Canadian home insurance, you can choose to work with;
- An insurance broker– Who works with various home insurance companies in Canada
- An insurance provider– Who sells home insurance policies for one insurance company only
- A direct writer– A Canadian home insurance company that sells its home insurance policies directly to its clients through a call center or website.
All Canadian home insurance companies are not the same in terms of service provision, customer experience, and price. When searching for the best home insurance out there, always compare different packages before you commit to a certain provider.
Below are the best home insurance providers in Canada.
1. The Co-operators.
The Co-operators is one of the oldest Canadian home insurance companies. It was established in 1945. It offers comprehensive home insurance coverage.
Canadians seeking home insurance quotes can do so either online or in-person. The Co-operators’ comprehensive home insurance policy provides more coverage compared to other similar policies. It includes unauthorized debit or credit card use, identity theft and coverage for personal property when moving.
For individuals who would need extra safety, there is room to purchase extra liability protection.
- It has a high level of client satisfaction ratings.
- It offers a 24/7 emergency claim services with experienced staff who are always ready to assist.
- Co-operator home insurance offers some of the modern innovative features such as coverage of identity theft.
- Premium customers enjoy discounts and customized packages.
- Co-operators home insurance charges a higher rate compared to the majority of other Canadian home insurance companies.
- Their policies do not cover additional living expenses. This is becoming common with other home insurance providers in Canada.
2. RBC Home Insurance.
RBC is a popular brand in Canada as its one of the oldest and biggest banks that we have today. The home insurance package is administered by the bank. If you are purchasing a house through RBC, it may make sense to consider their home insurance package.
RBC home insurance offers most of the basic coverage ranging to the most extensive protection. Clients can request customized packages depending on their needs and risks they are willing to take.
All you need is to engage an insurance agent either through email, phone, or in-person by visiting your nearest RBC insurance store location. You can’t mess up by choosing RBC as one of the top home insurance companies in Canada.
- They have an innovative home repair endorsement add-on that is unique and popular.
- They have a reliable and dedicated anonymous claims advice line.
- RBC home insurance is marketed by the biggest bank in Canada which gives it more reliability.
- In 2016, the RBC bank sold their home insurance branch to Aviva and it has continued to receive mixed reviews from their customers.
- It does not offer green coverage which pays for energy-efficiency upgrade as well as home-sharing options.
- It’s not possible for you to buy RBC home insurance from your local bank branch. It can only be done in an agent store, advice center, or via an insurance broker.
3. Allstate Home Insurance.
Allstate insurance company offers flexibility for Canadians who wish to customize their insurance package. They offer a wide variety of home insurance policy coverages to meet the needs of various categories starting from the basic plan all the way to the elite coverage with VIP packages.
They introduced “myLocker” feature to help their customers organize their home contents either by category or room. A basic Allstate home insurance policy will cover your house structure and its content, detached private dwelling, and personal liability.
In addition, they have 6 different types of optional coverages that a policyholder can choose from. This also includes protection from natural disasters.
- Allstate home insurance also includes some optional add-ons packages which can save you money such as claim-free clients.
- If you have a water detection device in your house, Allstate home insurance will give you a discount and lower your premiums especially if you are mortgage-free or approaching retirement.
- Allstate is more safe and reliable since all their insurance agents are employees of the company who are experienced and knowledgeable.
- Clients have complained about the large premium increase in recent years affecting even the most loyal and claim-free clients.
- Allstate home insurance policies does not offer green coverage for environmentally conscious clients who want to switch to energy-efficient materials and appliances.
4. BCAA Home Insurance.
BCAA insurance is a British Columbia-based home insurance company with over 40 years of insurance experience. It offers coverage for homeowners, renters, condo/townhouse, vacation property, and mobile homes.
The comprehensive cover provides protection of your house and its contents against damage or loss arising from most perils such as fire, theft, or bad weather. There are other 4 optional coverage packages that clients can apply as well.
- Being a local BC-based home insurance company, it understands the unique needs and risks of British Columbians.
- The long industry experience and expertise makes BCAA insurance more reliable and trustworthy.
- Members of BCAA can save up to 20% and stand a chance to reduce their premium through the claims-free discounts.
- It offers 24/7 emergency claims support which increases efficiency and client’s satisfaction.
5. TD Home Insurance.
Another popular Canadian home insurance provider is TD insurance which is a subsidiary of TD Bank. It sells home insurance, auto insurance, life, and health insurance. TD is without a question one of the best home insurance providers in Canada.
- Being a subsidiary of one of the biggest Canadian banks, clients feel that their investment is safe and secure.
- It works better for Canadians who like online or phone call option instead of in-person meeting especially those who are already TD bank clients.
- It’s very easy to get an online quote at any time and it comes with a 5% discount when you use the online platform.
- Group homes get a lower rate compared to the others and it comes with a free consultation.
- TD insurance operates on an online platform and it does not have any physical branch location especially for home insurance policy coverage.
- Lack of in-person support. Most individuals complain that it takes longer to get customer care or agents on the phone.
Regardless of who you choose, home insurance is essential for all homes. Whether custom built or old, choosing the right provider to work with is essential for the protection of your livelihood. That is why it is so important to pick one of the best home insurance providers in Canada.