Get Cheap Home Insurance in Ontario

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How home insurance works in Ontario

Home insurance isn’t required by law anywhere in Canada, though many lenders will only offer a mortgage to those who have it.

The benefits of coverage are greater than any associated with avoiding a monthly premium. In addition to protecting the home, which for many is their most significant asset, home insurance also offers liability protection. This means that the homeowner will be protected financially if someone is injured while visiting the home. It also means that the homeowner will be protected if they unintentionally damage someone else’s property while away from their own home.

While there are many decisions to make around what type of Ontario home insurance policy to purchase, it’s helpful to first understand what most policies include:

  • Property coverage: Protects the homeowner financially if the home and nearby structures (for example, a garage) are damaged by a covered peril such as fire or wind.
  • Contents coverage: Protects the homeowner’s belongings if they’re damaged by a covered peril, including theft. When homeowners have especially valuable items like fine art, specialty sports equipment or jewelry, we recommend that they add additional coverage in the form of an endorsement or rider. This will extend coverage beyond the standard coverage limit for contents.
  • Additional living expenses: Protects the homeowner financially if they’re forced to leave the home due to a covered peril and must pay out-of-pocket for accommodation and food.
  • Liability protection: Protects the homeowner financially if someone is injured at the home. It also protects the homeowner financially if they unintentionally damage someone else’s property.

Next, the homeowner must choose a policy type. Home insurance providers in Ontario tend to market their products using similar language. They’re often described in the following terms:

  • Basic: This policy is sometimes called a ‘named perils’ policy because it provides coverage for perils explicitly named in the policy.
  • Broad: Is sometimes called a ‘standard’ policy. It covers all perils to the home and covers named perils for its contents.
  • Comprehensive: Is also called an ‘all perils’ policy because it covers all perils to the home and its contents – except for exclusions listed in the policy. This policy type offers the greatest amount of protection.

Be aware that there are some perils that are not covered, regardless of policy type. These are referred to in the insurance industry as ‘exclusions’. For the home to be protected against a peril that is excluded, the homeowner can update their policy with add-ons – which are optional, but well worth considering.

Common add-ons:

  • Flood protection: Protects the homeowner financially if the home is damaged by water. Home insurance providers distinguish between different types of flooding, including overland flooding and sewer back-up. While some home insurance providers in Ontario offer water protection packages with coverage for all flooding types, others require that homeowners add each kind of flood coverage, separately. So, a homeowner would have to add overland water protection to be protected against water overflowing from a nearby waterway, and, also add sewer back-up protection for the home to be protected against damage from water that comes up through a toilet or drain (which is common when the water table is overwhelmed).
  • Earthquake: Protects the homeowner financially if the home is damaged by shifting earth -- which refers to earthquake and/or landslides. While earthquakes are not common in Ontario, the province has been impacted by them in the past. In 2010, homes near Ottawa were damaged by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the region.
  • Home-based business: Protects the homeowner if they have a home-based business that’s affected by a covered peril. Without an endorsement, home insurance is unlikely to cover damage to a business. If the home insurance provider is unaware of a business operating from the home, they may deny the claim altogether.

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Average Ontario home insurance rate change

According to RATESDOTCA’s Insuramap tool, in 2022, the average premium for home insurance in Ontario was $1,487.

Throughout the province, premiums increased an average of about 10%, though homeowners in more rural areas and near water experienced the greatest increases.

For example, year-over-year, residents in Keewatin, Ontario received the most significant home insurance cost increase: 18%, going from an annual premium of $1,715 to $2,033, between 2021 and 2022

In 2022, residents in LaSalle, near Windsor, had the most expensive rates in the province: $2,411 – up about 15% from the 2021 rate of $2,098.

RATESDOTCA insurance expert cited the risk of flooding as one of the main factors driving up coverage costs.

Applied Systems also reflected on recent home insurance trends in Ontario noting that in Q1 2020, the average change in premiums compared to same quarter in 2019 was 10.4%.

Insurance Bureau of Canada statistics offer some insight about what lead to this premium increase: a steady increase in the volume and cost of catastrophic losses from severe weather across the country.

While insured damage for severe weather events reached $2.2 billion in 2020, leading that year to rank as the fourth highest in insured losses of this type since 1983, significant losses from a host of smaller severe weather events from coast-to-coast lead to record claims in 2018 and in 2019.

Following 2020, rates continued to increase: Applied Systems reported that between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, the average year-over-year increase in national personal property premium rates was 6.5%.

In addition to risks associated with the volume of severe weather incidents taking place around the world as well as global catastrophes such as the pandemic, home insurance premiums also tend to increase because of how insurance is regulated.

In Ontario, car insurance premium increases require approval from a regulatory body while home insurance premiums do not. This means that insurance providers can more easily increase home rates.

Tips for getting cheap Ontario home insurance premiums

There are many ways to get cheap home insurance coverage in Ontario. Some of the most easy-to-execute tactics include:

  • Bundling: By opting to have more than one policy held by a single insurance provider in Ontario, policyholders can save. Bundling means that the insurance company holds more of the customer’s business – one or more of their policies. In exchange, the provider is often willing to offer a significant discount.
  • Comparison shop: By comparing available rates each time a home insurance policy in Ontario is up for renewal, the homeowner can secure the best coverage at the lowest available rate. Comparison shopping when the policy is up for renewal also allows for the homeowner to side-step any penalty for breaking the policy early.
  • Pay upfront: Homeowners who pay the full-year policy term at the beginning of the policy may be able to save.
  • Increase the deductible: When a homeowner in Ontario increases the deductible for their insurance policy, they may be able to secure a lower monthly premium. However, we recommend that they closely consider whether they have the cash available in the event of having to file a claim.
  • Install alarms: When a homeowner takes steps to mitigate potential risks they may be able to secure a discount. For example, by installing fire and burglar alarms as well as carbon monoxide detectors, they signal to a home insurance provider that they’ve taken reasonable steps to avoid having to file a claim for covered perils such as fire or theft.
  • Repair: Making sure that the home is in good repair can lead to savings because it indicates to the insurance provider that damage from neglect is being prevented.
  • Keep a clean record: Homeowners who have no history of filing insurance claims may be eligible for discounts. Insurance providers are always trying to assess how likely a policyholder is to file a claim. They consider a homeowner’s claims history to be a reasonable indication of future their behaviour.

Top Ontario home insurance companies

CompaniesType of CompanyPhoneAddress
Aviva InsuranceInsurance Company1-877-689-363410 Aviva Way, Suite 100, Markham, ON, L6G 0G1
CAAInsurance Company1-800-268-375060 Commerce Valley Dr E., Thornhill, ON, L3T 7P9
ChieftanInsurance Company1-800-268-8447165 University Ave., Toronto, ON M5H 3B9
CoachmanInsurance Company1-416-255-334710 Four Seasons Place, Suite 200, Toronto, ON, M9B 6H7
EchelonInsurance Company1-905-214-79702680 Matheson Blvd E. Ste 300, Mississauga, ON, L4W 0A5
EconomicalInsurance Company1-800-265-2180111 Westmount Road South, P.O. Box 2000, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 4S4
Lowestrates.caQuotes comparison1-855-487-69111910 Yonge St. Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3B
PerthInsurance Company1-519-570-8208111 Westmount Rd. S., P.O. Box 2000, Waterloo, ON, N2J 4S4
RATESDOTCAQuotes comparison1-844-726-0907360 Adelaide St. W Suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
RSAInsurance Company1-416-440-8777700 University Ave., Suite 1500A, Toronto, ON, M5G 0A1
Scoop InsuranceInsurance brokers1-416-955-6286300 Lincoln St. Unit 22, Welland, ON L3B 4N4
Square OneInsurance Company1-647-749-6933439 University Ave. #500, Toronto, ON M5G 1Y8
Western AssuranceInsurance Company1-416-440-8777700 University Ave., Suite 1500A, Toronto, ON, M5G 0A1

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Frequently asked questions about Ontario home insurance

How can I find the cheapest home insurance quote in Ontario?

Finding the cheapest home insurance quote in Ontario begins with shopping around to find the best coverage at the lowest rate. It also relies on the homeowner customizing their policy so that they’re only paying for the coverage they need and nothing more. Once they’ve tailored the policy, there are other steps they can take to reduce their premium such as bundling their policies, increasing their deductible, installing alarms and keeping the home in good repair. A policyholder with no claims history may also be able to secure savings.

How much is home insurance in Ontario?

In 2022, the average home insurance premium in Ontario was $1,487, according to RATESDOTCA’s annual Insuramap survey. In general, premiums vary depending on several factors, including location. Homes located near water often pay the most expensive home insurance costs due to the perceived risk of damage from flood.

For example, in 2022, a RATESDOTCA survey of provincial home insurance costs found that residents in LaSalle, Ontario near Windsor paid the most in the province: $2,411. This represented a 15% increase from 2021.

Across Ontario, home insurance premiums went up about 10% between 2021 and 2022. In addition to the risk from flooding and incidents of severe weather, residents in more rural areas tend to pay more for home insurance coverage. This can be attributed to in large part to location, including distance from a fire hydrant. When it’s difficult for emergency services to put out a fire, the homeowner should expect to pay more for coverage.

Do I need to update my Ontario home insurance provider if I am running a short-term rental on Airbnb or Vrbo?

Yes. It’s crucial that homeowners who are renting out their homes inform their insurance provider and secure a landlord policy.

It will cover them for property damage from tenants in the rental unit. It will also provide legal liability for injuries or property damage as well as loss of rental income if the tenants vacate the unit due to a covered event. Insurance providers may deny a claim if damage is found to have been caused by a tenant and they were unaware that the home was being rented out – regardless of whether it was rented out on a short-term or long-term basis.

How can I file a home insurance claim in Ontario?

When a home is damaged by a covered peril, we recommend the homeowner immediately contact the insurance provider to acknowledge the damage. Most providers publish emergency contact resources on their websites.

Homeowners should also consider taking steps ahead of time that will make filing a claim as simple as possible. For example, keeping an inventory of belongings provides the homeowner with an overview of what they own and how badly it has been damaged. There are many apps that help homeowners make a comprehensive inventory.