Get Cheap Home Insurance in Ottawa

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How home insurance works in Ottawa

For homeowners in Ottawa there are two practical advantages to having home insurance. First, it’s an important tool for protecting a significant financial asset, a home. Second, most financial institutions will only offer mortgages for insured properties.

To get the best coverage, it’s crucial to understand how home insurance products are structured. Here, we breakdown the key elements of home insurance policies, different policy types and explain how homeowners can extend their coverage by adding to a policy.

Mandatory home insurance coverage in Ottawa

All home insurance policies in Canada include the following four elements of coverage:

  • Additional Living Expenses: Covers any costs the homeowner assumes when they’re forced to leave the home due to a covered peril. For example, if they must live in a hotel after their home is damaged by fire, ALE will cover the cost of accommodation.
  • Property: Covers costs if the property is damaged by a covered peril. Often includes coverage for external buildings such as a garage. Since policies may vary, we recommend that each policyholder confirm with the provider any buildings on the property that are not covered.
  • Contents: Protects the homeowner’s belongings against damage from a covered peril. For valuable items such as specialty sports equipment, an art collection or jewelry, an endorsement can be added to the policy for greater coverage.
  • Liability: Protects the policyholder financially if someone is injured visiting the home, and/or, if the policyholder unintentionally injures someone and/or damages someone else’s property. In this respect, the liability protection in home insurance policies has two distinct aspects.

Ottawa home insurance policy types

  • Basic: Offers protection for the home and its contents against perils that are named in the policy. It is also known as a ‘named perils’ policy.
  • Broad: It is also known as a standard policy, protects the home against all perils while also protecting contents against named perils.
  • Comprehensive: It is also known as an ‘all perils’ policy and provides the greatest amount of coverage to the home and its contents, protecting each against all perils except those named as exclusions. (‘Exclusions’ are a term used in the insurance industry to refer to restriction to coverage by certain causes of loss).

Optional coverage for Ottawa home insurance policies

Homeowners can extend home insurance coverage beyond what’s available through a policy by adding to it. In the insurance industry, the mechanism for doing so is referred to as ‘adding an endorsement’. Some of the most common endorsements are:

  • At-home business: Homeowners who sell products or deliver service from their homes can add an endorsement to their Ottawa home insurance policy for coverage of a home-based business. This will protect business assets against covered perils. Homeowners should be aware that operating a business from the home without disclosing it to the insurance provider creates a risk of having a claim denied.
  • Earthquake: We recommend that homeowners in Ottawa consider adding earthquake protection to their home insurance policies. While earthquakes are not common in Ottawa, they do happen. The most recent earthquake was in 2010 when a magnitude 5 earthquake struck the region. Earthquake is named as an exclusion in most home insurance policies.
  • Mass evacuation: This endorsement covers any costs associated with a government-ordered evacuation.
  • Overland water: Flooding is a named exclusion in most home insurance policies. To be protected against it, homeowners must add endorsements. However, insurance providers distinguish different types of flooding. Overland water and sewer backup are two common endorsements that extend protection. Overland water protects the home against damage from water that overflows from a nearby waterway such as during a rainstorm or thaw.
  • Sewer backup: This endorsement protects the home if it’s damaged by water that overflows from a drain or toilet. This could happen if Ottawa receives significant rainfall in a short period of time and the municipal sewer system is overwhelmed.

As incidents of severe weather become more common across Canada, including, in Ottawa, we recommend that homeowners be sure to add flood protection to their home insurance policies. The cost of not having it can be significantly more than any cost associated with adding an endorsement.

Some insurance providers offer water protection packages that protect against overland water and sewer backup. In these instances, a package can be purchased rather than individual endorsements.

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Ottawa’s average home insurance rate

RATESDOTCA’s Home Insuramap tool reflects that in 2022 Ottawa homeowners paid an annual average of $1,247 for home insurance. This rate is about 16% less expensive than the provincial average cost of $1,487.

The same data reflects a year-over-year increase for Ottawa home insurance from $1,282 in 2021.

According to postal code regions in Ottawa, in 2022, homeowners in the Riverview neighbourhood of the city (K1G) were paying the most for coverage while those in the Centretown (K2P) area paid the least – an average of $1,044.

While it’s difficult to zero-in on specific factors that increase home insurance costs in a specific neighbourhood, flooding is often one of the most significant. As incidents of severe weather increase across the country, some home insurance companies are increasing premiums in flood prone areas. In other words, homeowners who live near a waterway in any city should expect to pay more for home insurance coverage.

Average Ottawa home insurance premiums by postal code region

Postal code region in Ottawa Avg. 2022 premium
K1G0A1 $1,398
K1H0A1 $1,369
K2C0A1 $1,369
K1Z0A1 $1,342
K1K0A3 $1,328
K1R0A1 $1,325
K2B0A1 $1,319
K1J0A1 $1,291
K1A0A1 $1,287
K1Y0A1 $1,248
K2A0A1 $1,231
K1V0A1 $1,183
K1S0A2 $1,076
K1N0A1 $1,088
K1P0A1 $1,054
K2P0A1 $1,044

Factors that determine your Ottawa home insurance premium

When offering an Ottawa home insurance quote, providers consider a range of factors to measure the likelihood of a claim.

Some of the key factors they look at are specific to the home while others are specific to the homeowner.

Home

  • Location: Homes located near a body of water will be more expensive to insure due to increased flood risk. A high crime rate can also drive up the cost of home insurance.
  • Dwelling type: Larger homes will cost more to insure than smaller ones or condos. Insurance providers will consider many details such as the house’s electric wiring, the condition of its roof and the overall quality of its construction.
  • Replacement cost: A home that is costly to replace due to its construction, age and fixtures will be more expensive to insure.
  • Proximity to fire hydrant: Homes that are far from a fire hydrant are more likely to insure because providers anticipate that if a fire broke out it would be more likely to destroy the home than simply damage it.

Homeowner

  • Claims history: Homeowners with any history of making an insurance claim in the past may pay more for coverage. Insurance providers consider past behaviour an indication of future behaviour.
  • Pets: Homeowners with pets may pay more for coverage, especially if the pet is considered exotic or illegal. The risk of triggering a liability claim is greater if someone may be injured by a dangerous pet.
  • Smoking: Homeowners who smoke may have higher premiums because providers consider the risk of fire to be greater.

Top Ottawa home insurance companies

Insurance Companies Company Type Phone Address
Aviva Insurance agency (613) 235-6775 112 Kent St. Suite 2100, Tower B, Ottawa, ON K1P 5P2
CAA Insurance Insurance agency 613-820-1890 PO Box 8350 / STN T CSC, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3T2
Chieftan Insurance Insurance agency 1(613)233-1363 155 Queen St., Ottawa, ON K1P 6L1
Economical Insurance agency 1(800)267-8318 343 Preston St. #500, Ottawa, ON K1S 1N4
Insurance Hotline Quotes comparison 1(855) 821-7312 360 Adelaide St. W. Suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
KBD Insurance Insurance broker 1(613) 212-2352 440 Laurier Ave W Suite 200, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X6
LowestRates.ca Quotes comparison 1(855) 487-6911 1910 Yonge St. Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3B2
RATESDOTCA Quotes comparison 1(844) 726-0907 360 Adelaide St. W. Suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
Scoop Insurance Insurance brokers 1(866) 456-6620 300 Lincoln St. Unit 22, Welland, ON L3B 4N4
Tanner Insurance Insurance agency 1(613) 232-5704 200-2435 Holly Ln, Ottawa, ON K1V 7P2

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Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Ottawa

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

There are many ways to find the cheapest home insurance in Ottawa. Comparison shopping is an important first step, allowing homeowners to quickly assess what range of quotes is available to them using our online quote tool. It’s fast and free.

For homeowners looking to reduce their insurance costs further, we recommend the following tactics:

  • Bundling: When homeowners have more than one insurance policy with a provider, they may be eligible for a discount. In the insurance industry, this tactic is called ‘bundling’. It’s most common to bundle auto and home insurance policies.
  • Customizing the policy: When a homeowner takes the time to carefully assess what coverage they need and what they can do without, they’re likely to save. More coverage costs more. Homeowners who are comfortable with less coverage can customize their policies so that they’re only paying for what they need and nothing more.
  • Increasing the deductible: Homeowners who have the cash available to pay a higher deductible may be able to secure a discount on their annual premium.
  • Improving safety: Homeowners who take steps to improve the overall safety of their homes may be able to confirm a lower deductible. Insurance companies are always trying to gauge how likely a homeowner is to file a claim. Any steps they take to mitigate risk such as installing a burglar alarm, smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor could result in savings.
  • Paying up front: When a homeowner can pay the full year cost of a premium, they may be able to secure a lower overall cost for the policy.

How much is home insurance in Ottawa?

In 2022, the average home insurance premium in Ottawa was $1,247. This is about 16% less than the provincial average in the same year: $1,487. Homeowners in the Riverview neighbourhood of Ottawa had the highest premiums, $1,398 while those in the Centretown neighbourhood paid the least, $1,044. Because of how many factors go into determining a premium, it’s difficult to confirm precisely why rates are higher in some neighbourhoods. However, in general, homes located near water are likely to be more expensive to insure due to the increased risk of flood.

What kind of risks do Ottawa homeowners face?

We recommend that all homeowners in Ottawa seriously consider adding overland water protection and sewer backup protection to their coverage. With severe weather becoming more and more common across the country, including in Ottawa, incidents of damage resulting from it are also on the rise. Overland water protection will cover the Ottawa homeowner financially if their home is damaged by water overflowing from a nearby water way while sewer backup will cover damage from water that overflows from a water or drain. Since earthquake is excluded from most home insurance policies and Ottawa is in a region prone to earthquakes, we recommend that homeowners consider adding an endorsement to their policies.

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

Yes. To avoid having a claim denied, homeowners should tell their insurance provider if the home is occupied by renters. A landlord policy may be required. Or, coverage to an existing policy may need to be updated or extended.

How can I file a home insurance claim in Ottawa?

Homeowners should contact their insurance provider as soon as they become aware of damage to their home or an incident that could trigger the liability protection of their policy, for example, if they unintentionally cause damage to someone else’s property. To avoid any confusion about what contents have been damaged, we recommend that homeowners take a video of their home and its contents or keep a spreadsheet that details their belongings as well as their cost. There are many apps that also make this task seamless.

*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on InsuranceHotline.com from January to December 2021 saved an average of 20%. The average savings percentage represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by InsuranceHotline.com.