Owning a home is one of the biggest investments you can make, so why wouldn’t you protect it. While home insurance is not mandatory in Alberta, it’s vital to have a home insurance policy. Most lenders will ask for proof of insurance to approve your mortgage and a secure home insurance policy protects your finances in case of an insured loss.
Why You Need Home Insurance in Alberta?
There are many ways homeowners can benefit from having a solid home insurance policy in Alberta. Unstable weather conditions pose one of the biggest risks to homes in Alberta and one of the main reasons why home insurance is crucial.
Alberta winters expose your home to:
Extreme Cold WeatherWinters in Alberta can be brutal as temperatures dip well below zero in the winter, which can cause water pipes to burst and cause a flood risk.
FloodingAlberta homes are at risk of a few different types of flooding including:
When water from rivers, creeks or lakes overflow onto land, it is called an overland flood. This can spread to the streets, basements, garages and backyards. Overland flooding in Alberta is common during the spring thaw when the frozen catch basins and storm drains begin to melt.
An overloaded sewage system can cause sewage to flow back into the sewer system and your home.
Forest firesThe combination of development and a changing climate has led to large-scale forest fires which are becoming more common in Alberta. The highest risk areas are communities in the Boreal Forest region of Alberta, Fort McMurray, Fort Vermillion, and other population centers.
Types of Home Insurance Policies in Alberta
The most popular choice among homeowners in Alberta is a comprehensive insurance policy. Are you wondering what insurance policy is best for your abode? It’s simple to find out. Contact one of our home insurance brokers or get a quick, online quote today.
When you’re shopping around for a home insurance quote in Alberta, you’ll be offered several insurance coverage options. Choosing the best options for your home will depend on your specific needs.
Home insurance coverage options:
Building and property
This coverage covers your property from various perils, such as fire, theft, and water damage. There is extra coverage for secondary buildings on your property, such as a guesthouse or garage.
This coverage pays for medical expenses and other related costs if a third party is injured, or their property was unintentionally damaged.
Personal property and contents
This option covers your belongings: clothing, furniture and sports equipment if you must replace or repair these items due to vandalism or theft. Added coverage options include pricier items, including jewelry and fine art.
Additional Living Expenses
This protection covers your housing expenses if you are temporarily displaced due to an insured event. For example, if your home is damaged by a fire and you stay temporarily in a hotel, additional living expenses coverage will cover food, room costs, transportation, and more up to your policy’s limits.
When it comes to home insurance in Alberta, you can add items to your policy at an extra cost. The types of endorsements available will vary depending on your insurance provider. Here are some popular add-ons to consider:
Flood InsuranceFlood Insurance can be purchased as an endorsement to a homeowners insurance policy in two different forms: sewer backup and overland flood insurance.
Overland Water will cover you against any loss or damage caused by water seeping in through your doors and windows. It can happen due to overflowing lakes and rivers, melting snow or ice.
Sewer Back-up covers you against loss and damage caused by sewage escaping through different parts of your plumbing system. This is usually caused by clogged drains and damaged lines.
Most home insurance companies in Alberta do not cover flood damage caused by coastal water or saltwater, including storm surges and tsunamis. Make sure to ask one of our experienced home insurance brokers in Alberta for advice when you need it.
Identity Theft InsuranceA financial endorsement against identity theft protects you if your personal information (e.g., The SIN, credit cards, passports) is stolen. This endorsement covers you for a variety of expenses, such as long-distance calls and legal representation. Some insurers will also replace your income if you are unable to work.
To recover your identity, your home insurance provider may be able to help. You’ll be connected to a caseworker who will guide you through the process when it comes time to contact the authorities, banks, and credit bureaus.
Personal Valuables InsuranceThere are usually limits to the amount of coverage on certain items in a standard home insurance policy such as cash, bicycles, artwork, sporting equipment, technology and software, jewelry and watches. You can often extend your coverage by asking your insurer if the cost of replacing your items is higher than what your policy covers.This is known as a personal property schedule endorsement. You may be able to insure certain items for perils not otherwise covered. Ask your home insurance broker if you need to add additional items to your policy.
Home-Sharing InsuranceYou must notify your insurer in advance if you plan to rent out a part of your house, even for a short period. You’ll want to find an insurance provider that offers the appropriate coverage. The home-sharing insurance endorsement helps you cover gaps that platforms like Airbnb do not. This add-on will cover your hosting risks such as guest damage and loss of belongings.In some situations, it may replace your income if you are unable to work due to an insured incident. You’ll need to consider landlord insurance coverage for long-term rentals. This policy is designed to protect you from financial risks while still allowing someone else to rent your home.
Home-Based BusinessesAre you running a home-based business? You must let your insurance provider know in advance. Most standard policies will not cover commercial activities. Your insurer may even cancel your coverage.You can add a home-based business insurance endorsement to your standard home insurance policy if your business is small. This coverage is designed to address the specific risks associated with running a small business.You can use it to cover your office equipment or client liability claims. It may even replace income during a business disruption.If you have a large business, it may be necessary to purchase a standalone business insurance policy. Talk to an advisor about the best coverage for you.
Umbrella InsuranceUmbrella insurance increases coverage for third party liability claims instead of being limited to your home insurance policy. You can use this type of policy on top of your auto insurance policy and will be covered for any general liability claims (e.g., slander, defamation).How does umbrella insurance work? Imagine someone sues you after they’ve injured themselves on your icy walkway. Even though you have only $500,000 of liability coverage under your home insurance policy, settlement fees and legal costs can total $1 million. Your umbrella insurance will cover the remainder of the bill.
Earthquake InsuranceAn earthquake endorsement covers the damage and loss of your home and its contents after an earthquake. Some insurers cover the costs of clearing debris from your home and upgrading it to meet new building standards during the repair process.You may still be covered if you do not have earthquake insurance. For example, if an earthquake causes your gas line to burst and your home catches fire, your home insurance policy may help cover some of the damage.
Consult our expert home insurance brokers on which coverage options are ideal for your needs or get a fast, free online quote. Get a Quote
What Factors Impact your Insurance Rate in Alberta?
Alberta insurance providers consider the following factors when determining your premium:
LocationYour insurance premiums will be higher if your home is at a greater risk because you live in a neighbourhood with high crime rates. Or, if you live near an airport, your home is at risk of being damaged by falling debris or vibrations. A home near a lake, river or other water source is also at risk from flooding.
Property TypeYour home insurance premium is affected by the size and structure of your home. Some houses have a higher liability than others which means a more expensive premium.
Credit ScoreAlberta is one of the provinces where home insurance companies can use your credit score in determining your rate.However, they can only do so with your consent. Poor credit will not affect your insurance rate, but good credit may qualify you for a discount.
Replacement CostCalculate your replacement cost by estimating the cost of rebuilding your home. Remember to inform your insurer of any home renovations that you have completed so that the replacement value can be adjusted to reflect these additions.
Home StructureYour home’s internal construction, including the plumbing and electrical systems, will directly impact your insurance premium.Old installations are more likely to cause problems like water leakage or fire. Old wiring and fuse boxes may also increase the risk of fire, and old or damaged home appliances.Old lead or clay pipes may also burst and cause heavy water damage to your home. Repairing water damage to your home could cost you thousands of dollars.Check the age of your water and electrical pipes. You can reduce your insurance costs by updating them.
RoofYour roof will be inspected by the insurer for its age and material. Standard asphalt roofs will begin to show signs of wear and tear in 10-15 years depending on the external conditions.Your roof may need to be repaired if it is weak or old to prevent leaks during wet and freezing months. Your house insurance may be reduced if you have a roof made of metal, as it is more resistant to wear..
History of Past ClaimsYour insurer will ask you how many claims you have submitted in the past 5 to 10 years. Your monthly premium may increase if you make frequent or unsuccessful claims. Before filing an insurance claim, always check to see if the problem can be fixed yourself.
Accessory DwellingsA swimming pool in your backyard can affect your insurance rates because of its replacement cost and the risk of drowning. The risk associated with other accessory dwellings, such as a treehouse or outhouse, may also increase the cost of your home insurance rate in Alberta.
How to Get a Free Home Insurance Quote in Alberta? Looking for a home insurance premium estimate? Get an online home insurance quote in Alberta now with the help of one of our dedicated brokers. Get a Quote
Alberta Home Insurance FAQs
The average annual home insurance cost in Alberta is about $2282.29 per year. Keep in mind that this amount depends on many factors and can fluctuate widely. Access Insurance shops around for you to get you the ultimate insurance coverage at affordable rates.
You can change your home insurance provider whenever you want. However, there are penalties you may face if you leave your current insurer. A few things to check when you’re switching over to a new insurer: ensure the dates of your new and old home insurance policies are in line, so you do not experience an insurance coverage gap. You may be charged an early cancellation fee if you change home insurance companies before the expiration of your current policy. Ask one of our insurance brokers for advice.
Alberta’s insurance industry is regulated by both provincial and federal watchdogs. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions at the federal level monitors the financial strength and solvency of the property and casualty insurance companies in the province. The Alberta Superintendent of Insurance supervises the products, underwriting, and conduct of all insurance providers in Alberta.
The guaranteed replacement cost coverage allows you to rebuild your property or replace it, even if your policy limits are exceeded. It is important to ensure that the value of your home is accurate and current. Always consult a broker or your insurance company if you need more information about your home insurance policy, replacement costs, and more.