Get Cheap Home Insurance in Niagara Falls
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- How home insurance in Niagara Falls works
- Additional home insurance coverage in Niagara Falls
- How to get the cheapest home insurance quotes in Niagara Falls
- How much is home insurance on average in Niagara Falls?
- Niagara Falls home insurance rates by postal code
- Comparing Niagara Falls home insurance against other cities in Ontario
- Factors that determine your Niagara Falls home insurance premium
- Top Niagara Falls home insurance companies
- Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Niagara Falls
How home insurance in Niagara Falls works
Located on the western bank of the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario, Niagara Falls has been a major tourist destination for over a hundred years – with the main attraction being the waterfalls themselves. It also helps that the city sits right next to the US-Canada border, allowing tourists to flow in and out freely. Speaking of which – yes, the US does have its own Niagara Falls city, located right across the border in the New York state, but that’s not the city we’ll be talking about here.
According to the 2021 Canadian census, the population of Niagara Falls, Ontario, is 94,415 – about 30% smaller than its immediate neighbour, the city of St. Catharines, which has the population of 136,803.
Despite attracting so many tourists, home insurance in Niagara Falls remains relatively cheap (more on that below), which is likely due to its relatively mild climate and Niagara Region’s relatively low crime severity index. Real estate prices are also relatively affordable – by Ontario standards – making it a good place to settle down.
So, if you’re planning to take out a mortgage for a home in Niagara Falls, you might want to look into home insurance first. Though it’s technically not mandatory in Ontario, most mortgage lenders won’t work with you unless you have one. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about home insurance in Niagara Falls:
Types of home insurance in Niagara Falls
There are four major home insurance types, which differ mainly by the amount of coverage they offer, and by price. As you might expect, more coverage means higher costs – and vice versa.
- Basic: Also known as ‘named perils,’ this is the cheapest coverage type you can get, and as such, it’s incredibly limited. It protects your property and its contents only against the perils listed in the policy. If a peril is not listed, then you’re most likely not covered for it.
- Broad: This is a very middle-of-the-road of coverage. With it, you get comprehensive coverage for your property, which protects it from all perils other than the ones listed in the policy. In this case, a peril is not listed, then the property is protected from it. Be aware that when it comes to your possessions, they are only protected from the perils named in the policy, same as under the basic coverage.
- Comprehensive: Also known as ‘all perils,’ this is your full coverage. It protects both your property and possessions from all perils, aside from a few named exclusions. If a certain peril such as overland flooding is named as an exclusion, then you’re not covered for it. This is the most expensive type of home insurance you can purchase in Niagara Falls. Even so, it does not include everything.
- No-frills: This coverage is even more stripped-down than the basic one and is meant for special cases only. If your home is old, for instance, and very likely to suffer damage due to old plumbing or poor structural integrity, then it may not qualify for regular insurance, such as basic, broad or comprehensive. No-frills coverage offers protection for such homes. It is especially useful when you’re required to purchase insurance for mortgage purposes. It should be temporary, however, until you fix the issues that disqualify your home from proper coverage.
What gets covered
Regardless of whether you go with basic, broad or comprehensive coverage, it must cover these four things:
- Property: This includes all the structures on your property, such as the home itself as well as outbuildings and backyard decor. The covered perils will depend on your policy – whether it’s basic, broad or comprehensive. Consult with your insurer to make sure every building on your property is covered.
- Contents: This entails your personal belongings, such as furniture, electronics, clothing and similar items. Note that some possessions may be too expensive to be covered by regular insurance, even if you buy a comprehensive policy. Items like pricy artwork, jewelry and collectibles may require policy add-ons to be fully protected. Do an inventory of everything you own and consult with your insurer to see if all your items are covered.
- Additional living expenses (or ALE): Should you become temporarily displaced due to an insurable peril, this will cover the cost of your living expenses. For instance, if you’re forced to live in a hotel, your insurer may pay for your room, travel and groceries for the duration of your displacement (or up to a certain amount). This also includes your displacement due to a mandatory evacuation order. In 2023, for instance, close to 200,000 Canadians were displaced as a result of wildfires.
Your liability coverage should encompass the following:
- Personal liability: This will protect you if someone gets accidentally injured on your property. The coverage amount ranges from $100,000 to $5,000,000, depending on how much you’re willing to pay.
- Medical payments: If you unintentionally injure someone on your property, this will pay for the medical expenses for up to a year – from the date of the injury. Your coverage can be as low as $1,000 or as high as $10,000.
- Property damage: If you (or a minor in your care under the age of 12) cause unintentional loss or damage to someone’s property (such as your neighbour’s), then this will cover the costs. The coverage can be between $500 and $6,000.
Commonly covered perils
Here are some of the most commonly covered perils by home insurers in Niagara Falls:
- Fire: Should your home or possessions catch fire, this will pay for replacing, rebuilding or repairing whatever ends up damaged or lost. But since losing your home in a fire is incredibly inconvenient (and dangerous), see these tips on how to avoid home fires.
- Water damage: Most policies don’t fully cover what some might see as ‘water damage.’ What they do cover is damage to your home or possessions, if caused by water from indoor plumbing, heating, air conditioning, sprinkler or a similar indoor or outdoor appliance. Damage from sewer back-up or overland flooding is normally not covered. Talk to your insurance agent or broker to make sure you know what’s covered.
- Lightning: If lightning were to strike your home and damage some of your appliances or electronics, this will pay for their replacement or repairs.
- Theft and vandalism: If your home gets robbed or vandalized, your insurance will pay to rebuild, repair or replace whatever has been damaged or stolen. If you want to protect your home from theft altogether, consider taking these steps.
- Hail and wind: Severe wind or hail can damage both your home and possessions. Your insurance will cover the cost of repairing, rebuilding or replacing whatever ends up damaged or lost. It will also cover the damage caused by flying debris or falling trees, if caused by wind or hail.
- Falling objects: If an object falls from the sky, such as a spacecraft, onto your property and damages either the home itself or your possessions, this will pay for the necessary replacements and/or repairs. Note that objects moved by landslides or snowslides are usually not considered to be ‘falling objects.’ Consult with your insurer to make sure.
Additional home insurance coverage in Niagara Falls
Even your comprehensive policy won’t cover everything. So, if you believe your insurance could cover more, you can purchase additional coverage in the form of ‘add-ons’ or ‘endorsements.’ Here are some of the most prominent ones:
- Overland flooding: If your home or possessions suffer water damage due to overflowing water from a close by river, stream, lake or thawing snow, this will cover you. Given that Niagara Falls sits near a river, overland floods are to be expected. That said, they don’t affect the majority of the population. If you’re worried about this, however, seek coverage and see our tips on how to protect your basement from flooding.
- Sewer back-up: This is another type of water damage coverage. It will protect your home and possessions if your home gets flooded because of backed up sewage pipes, toilets, drains or showers. Backed up sewage is usually the product of too much rainwater and melted snow entering the sewer system at the same time. This does occur in Niagara Falls on occasion, so if you’re worried about this, consider purchasing this add-on.
- Earthquake: This endorsement will protect your home and possessions from damage due to an earthquake, landslide, snowslide and volcanic eruption. Earthquakes, especially severe ones, are extremely rare in Niagara Falls and the rest of southern Ontario, as are the other three perils in this category, so it’s unlikely that you’ll need this endorsement.
- Valuable possessions: Should you realize that some of your possessions, such as jewelry, collectibles or artwork, are too expensive to be covered by regular insurance, this add-on will do the job. Before you purchase it, however, evaluate all your items and talk to your insurance agent or broker to make sure you actually need this.
- Identity theft: Should your identity get stolen, your insurer can cover the costs of restoring the compromised documents. In fact, homeowners who have paid off their mortgages are the prime target of identity thieves, since they no longer have title insurance. So, if you’re in this category, consider adding identity theft coverage to your policy.
- Home-based business: If you have a business and you’re operating it from home, then it may put your property and those within it at risk of damage or injury. Note that your regular coverage may not be enough to cover you, so ask your insurance provider about this add-on.
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How much is home insurance on average in Niagara Falls?
According to the 2022 RATESDOTCA Insuramap data, the average premium in Niagara Falls is $1,325 per year, or about $110 per month. This is roughly 8% below Ontario’s annual average premium of $1,427, making Niagara Falls one of the more affordable places for home insurance. It is a little pricier than St. Catharine’s annual average of $1,263, but not by much.
According to the Niagara Regional Police’s crime map, there are very few property-related crimes being committed in the city. Overall, crime has been in decline in the last few years, so while it is a factor, it isn’t the biggest one.
Niagara Falls does occasionally endure floods and severe weather, including winter storms and heavy rain, which may add to the premiums – but nothing that makes insuring a home too risky.
Note that the above estimated averages are all based on the profile of a 45-year-old homeowner, who has been insured for at least 10 years and lives in a 2,500 sq ft house with brick veneer, wood frame construction, natural gas heat, a roof that is 10 to 15 years old and has the maximum available coverage for water protection. This means that your own premium will depend heavily on a variety of factors, so take these averages with a grain of salt.
Niagara Falls home insurance rates by postal code
The cheapest average home insurance in Niagara Falls is $1,274 per year, according to the 2022 RATESDOTCA Insuramap data. This rate can be found in neighbourhoods with postal codes starting with L2J – likely due to it being located in the southwestern corner of the city, away from the waterfalls themselves and other tourist destinations. The second cheapest is $1,315 per year, and it’s associated with the postal codes starting with L2H – which are also far away from the more touristy parts of the city.
Postal codes starting with L2G and L2E have higher rates – $1,357 and $1,354 per year, respectively – with both neighbourhoods sitting amidst all the tourist attractions. It’s possible that the combination of slightly higher crime rates and higher likelihood of flooding is leading to more expensive premiums there. Even so, those premiums are not significantly above the city average and are all below Ontario’s average of $1,427, making Niagara Falls’ home insurance affordable across the board.
|Average 2022 premium
Comparing Niagara Falls home insurance against other cities in Ontario
When compared to other cities in Ontario, Niagara Falls is on the lower end in terms of home insurance prices. For comparison, in 2022, LaSalle had the most expensive average annual premiums, according to the RATESDOTCA Insuramap – at $2,411, which is 82.0% above Niagara Falls’ average. Ajax, on the other hand, had the cheapest annual average that year – at $1,068, which is 19.4% below Niagara Falls’. But no matter how you slice, Niagara Falls’ premiums are in a good place when it comes to affordability.
|Average 2022 premium
|Difference from Niagara Falls’ 2022 average
|Hearst, Foleyet & South Porcupine
Factors that determine your Niagara Falls home insurance premium
Here are some of the biggest factors home insurers consider when calculating their premiums in Niagara Falls:
- Replacement cost: Most insurers will take into consideration the cost of rebuilding your home from scratch. As part of this factor, they will look at your home’s age, square footage, number of floors and construction to make their calculations. And as you might’ve already guessed, the higher the replacement cost, the higher the premium.
- Plumbing: Older pipes, which tend to consist of either galvanized steel or lead, are more likely to leak or crack, which can cause water damage to your home. Because of the risk they pose, your premiums will be higher. If you end up purchasing an older home with outdated plumbing, consider switching to either copper or plastic pipes (they are better for your health, too).
- Electrical wiring: Aluminum or knob-and-tube electrical wiring poses a significant risk of fire damage. That’s why before insuring you, your agency may ask you for a guarantee that your home doesn’t include such wiring (it’s also very much outdated). If your provider decides to insure you despite this, your premium will be expensive as a result. Same applies if your home has fuses instead of breakers or an electrical service that’s below 100 amps, as they pose a higher risk of fire too.
- Roof age: If your roof has not been renovated in over 20 years, then it’s old enough to start having issues such as poor insulation and leaks, both of which can cause severe damage to the rest of your home. Because of this, insurers may cover no more than 25% of the roof’s replacement cost should an issue arise, in addition to charging you higher premiums.
- Location: Certain perils, such as relatively regular flooding and severe weather, can cause your insurance premiums to go up. Higher crime rates, including theft and vandalism, can do the same. Fortunately, crime rates are relatively low in Niagara Falls, so this shouldn’t impact most homeowners.
- Closeness to fire halls and hydrants: This is more of an issue for homes in rural areas than homes in larger cities like Niagara Falls. Even so, the farther your home is from a fire hall or fire hydrant, the more fire damage it is likely to suffer, since the fire would not be put out on time to prevent significant damage. The risk of this is what can lead to more expensive premiums.
- Claim history: Aside from various risks, there’s also your claim history. The more claims you make, the higher the premium. Avoid making claims for minor issues. For instance, if you have a minor pipe leak in your basement, then it’s probably not worth filing a claim for, as the insurance price hike may be bigger than paying for fixing the problem yourself. On the flipside, if your entire basement is ruined because of a sewer back-up, then contact your insurer immediately.
- Mortgage: The less mortgage you owe, the lower your premium will be. In fact, you may get a discount ranging from 10% to 20%. Check with your insurer to see if you’re eligible.
- Credit score: Home insurance data shows that people with good credit scores tend to file fewer insurance claims. So, if you have a good credit score, then you may want to agree to a soft credit check to lower your premiums. There is no downside to this, because in Ontario, insurers aren’t allowed to use your credit score to increase your premiums.
Top Niagara Falls home insurance companies
|Type of Company
|All-Risks Insurance Brokers Limited
|7-8279 Lundy's Ln, Niagara Falls, ON L2H 1H5
|Allstate Insurance: Niagara Agency
|2-3969 Montrose Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2H 3A1
|Billyard Insurance Group - Niagara Falls
|8-6710 Drummond Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 4P1
|225 King St W, Suite 1000, Toronto, ON, M5V 3M2
|401-1910 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S 3B2
|Olsen-Sottile Insurance Brokers Inc
|4307 Queen St, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 2K9
|225 King St W, Suite 1000, Toronto, ON, M5V 3M2
|300 Lincoln St. Unit 22, Welland, ON L3B 4N4
|Thompson Insurance Brokers Inc
|C-7 4025 Dorchester Rd c7, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 1A3
|Youngs Insurance Brokers
|57-5681 Regional Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2J 1A1
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Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Niagara Falls
Find answers to all your Niagara Falls home insurance questions here.
How can I find the cheapest home insurance quote in Niagara Falls?
You can find cheap home insurance in Niagara Falls by shopping around online. If you go to InsuranceHotline.com, for example, all you need to do is share a few details about yourself, and the website will deliver cheap home insurance quotes from over 50 providers in a few seconds. Why would they be cheap? Because our providers compete with each other to offer you the best premium available. This process is both free and easy.
Alternatively, you can contact an insurance broker. While this method will take a little longer, the results will be similar.
If you’re still not happy with the quotes you get, there are a few other things you can do to lower your premiums (right away or over time):
- Bundle your home insurance with your car insurance under one insurer. This will also simplify your payment process.
- Increase your deductible – at the cost of the payout you will receive should something damage your property or its contents.
- Agree to a soft credit score check – if your credit score is in a good place. This won’t impact the score itself, and since Ontario prohibits premium increases based on credit scores, this won’t increase your premiums either.
- Remove certain risks to your home by ensuring proper maintenance. Install burglar and fire alarms, keep your roof in good shape and make sure your plumbing and electrical wiring are all up to date and in good order.
What kind of risks do Niagara Falls homeowners face?
Niagara Falls is a relatively safe place to own a home. Major disasters like tornadoes, overland floods and earthquakes rarely affect it, and for the most part, homes are safe from theft and vandalism. Some of the biggest risks in Niagara Falls include:
- Windstorms: Though Niagara Falls doesn’t get too many windstorms, they do happen. In 2022, for instance, a derecho in Ontario and Quebec caused $1 billion in damages, affecting the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Trois-Rivières, Quebec City and several other areas in those provinces.
- Freezing temperatures: Winter temperatures in Niagara Falls can sometimes be as low as -30°C. This increases the potential for burst and frozen pipes.
- Flooding: Thawing snow in spring and overflowing rivers are known to cause floods in Niagara Falls. The drainage system in Niagara Falls is solid enough to prevent this from happening in most cases, but like all systems, it can fail sometimes. This is especially a problem if you have a basement.
Do I need to update my Niagara Falls home insurance provider if I am running a short-term rental on Airbnb or Vrbo?
Yes. Putting up your home for rent via Airbnb or Vrbo changes the risk. You’ll likely need a customized rental insurance policy to protect your home and yourself from unforeseen events or third-party liability issues.
So, if you want to avoid a lower payout or getting your claims denied, you should notify your insurer ahead of time.
How can I file a home insurance claim in Niagara Falls?
If your home and/or its contents get damaged or lost because of an unforeseen event, contact your home insurer as soon as you can, and they’ll walk you through the process.
Make sure you have inventoried everything that got damaged, explaining the damage in detail, with photos or videos included, if possible. In addition, you should also attach proofs of purchase, receipts, police reports, owner’s manuals and warranties. Don’t throw away any of your damaged possessions (unless they pose a risk to your health) until you notify your insurer and confirm with them if you can dispose of them. As a rule of thumb, always be as detailed as possible when describing your circumstances and ask as many questions as possible.
Once you file your claim, the insurer will assign a claims advisor to your case, who will contact you shortly.
If requested, file a ‘proof of loss’ form that lists all damaged or lost property or possessions with the cost of the damage or loss. You must confirm that all the statements are true. If found not to be true, your insurance could become void.