There are many reasons to purchase home insurance in Calgary. First, you want to make sure your home, cottage or apartment is covered against damage, theft and flooding. Second, you want to know if you’re paying too much for your home insurance and, if so, if you have access to a more affordable insurer. We can help you get in touch with a live insurance broker who will give you the information you need to insure your home in Calgary. You can also request a quote from at least 10 Canadian home insurers so you can compare rates.
Typical home insurance rates
Home insurance prices are different for rented and owned properties. Renters’ insurance for rented homes covers the basic contents of a home and some liability (you may need a separate policy for artwork, wine collections, furs and other expensive and unusual items). Renters insurance is often less expensive than homeowners insurance.
Homeowner’s insurance covers the building and its exterior, as well as risks related to theft, fire, earthquake, etc. Since the value of the building is much higher than the contents of a rental unit, the premiums for homeowners insurance are significantly higher than those for renters insurance.
To get a broader picture of home insurance rates in Canada, here are statistics on average home insurance rates in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Canada. These statistics are provided by InsurEye.
In Alberta, monthly home insurance rates are typically $84 for homeowners and $49 for renters.
In Ontario, monthly home insurance rates are typically $78 for homeowners and $42 for renters.
In British Columbia, monthly home insurance rates are generally $85 for homeowners and $47 for renters.
Across Canada, monthly home insurance rates are typically $77 for homeowners and $41 for renters.
Sample Calgary Home Insurance Quotes
Calgary home insurance quotes depend on the size of the building, its location and possible risks (such as flooding). The following sample home insurance quotes will help you better understand how much home insurance can potentially cost you:
- For a 2,800-square-foot, two-story home in Calgary’s Altadore neighborhood near River Park, figure about $98 per month ($1,176 per year).
- For an 850-square-foot, two-bedroom condominium on the 12th floor in downtown Calgary near Central Memorial Park, insurance costs are about $23 per month ($276 per year).
- For a one-storey home in Calgary’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, located near 4th St NW and the Trans-Canada Highway, insurance is about $62 per month ($744 per year).
Flood Coverage for Calgary Homes
Because flooding is common in Calgary, every homeowner should be prepared for the possibility of this risk and should understand the key aspects of home and flood protection. One thing you should keep in mind is that home protection in flood-prone areas of the city is more expensive because of the much higher risk.
There are four main types of flooding. It’s important to remember that your home insurance policy treats each one differently:
- Overland flooding occurs when water (rain or melting snow) enters your home from the outside. Standard insurance in Calgary does not cover expenses related to surface flooding. However, some companies offer coverage for this type of flooding for an additional cost.
- Roof leaks may or may not be covered, depending on the factors that caused them. If the roof was in bad shape from the start, your insurer will not cover the damage. Your homeowners insurance will most likely cover damage caused by a natural cause, such as hail.
- Your insurer will cover plumbing problems only if you follow the rules in your policy, such as having someone visit your home when you are not there for long periods of time (for example, when you are on vacation).
- Sewer backup occurs when sewage is backed up into your home. Traditional home insurance does not cover this type of flooding. However, you can still purchase this type of coverage as a supplement to your homeowners insurance policy.
The difference between condo and renters insurance in Calgary
Condominium owners can purchase home insurance for their condominium. The condominium corporation purchases commercial insurance for the condominium. The difference between these two policies is the portion of the condominium that they cover. The homeowners insurance covers the contents of the condominium. Coverage also includes protection for improvements, locker contents, liability, theft, additional living expenses and sometimes special insurance assessments.
Commercial condominium corporation insurance covers the exterior (shell) of the building, as well as its infrastructure and common areas.
Calgary condo tenants need renters insurance to cover the contents of their condos. This type of coverage is usually mandatory and part of the lease agreement. In addition to covering the contents against theft, fire and other risks, the insurance also covers liability and additional living expenses. Living expenses are for when the condominium is uninhabitable (due to earthquake, flood, fire, etc.), so the tenant is forced to live in a hotel or rental unit until condominium repairs are completed.
10 Ways to Save on Home Insurance in Calgary
Here are some ways to save on your home insurance. For more savings, get an insurance quote and contact an insurance expert.
- Professional Membership. Members of unions or professional organizations can get a discount on their home insurance. Insurance companies, such as Meloche Monnex Insurance, also offer policies to their members.
- Fire hydrant or fire station. If your home is near one of these, you can ask your insurer for a discount.
- Student discounts. Some insurers give discounts to students. For dependent students who live alone, their parents’ home insurance may cover their apartment at no extra cost. For example, Desjardins Insurance offers this discount.
- Graduate discount. TD Insurance is an example of an insurer that offers discounts to graduates of post-secondary institutions like McGill University or the University of Toronto.
- Quit smoking. Many insurance companies are increasing home insurance premiums for smokers because of the potential fire risk.
- Change your policy. Those with renters insurance should rethink the scope of their coverage – perhaps some items that are not very valuable do not need additional coverage.
- The security of your home. Does your home have additional security, such as a doorman or security guard? This could help you get a discount from your insurer.
- Direct insurer. Also called a captive agent, a direct insurer represents a single company and can offer its products at a lower price than insurance agents or brokers.
- Consumer reviews. Other home insurance consumers often share their experiences buying insurance and making claims. With this information, you will be able to avoid unexpected costs and overpayments.
- Compare prices. You can get a cheaper Calgary home insurance quote with price comparison tools that show you rates for the same services provided by different insurance companies.