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Home insurance is an important consideration for all Albertans, homeowners and renters alike, but to choose the right insurance policy for you, first you have to understand your options. This article breaks down the different types and levels of property insurance available in Wild Rose Country, as well as their typical costs and other pertinent information.
Let’s get started with some useful info on local insurance providers. The table below shows some of the most reputable insurance companies operating in Alberta; you can see their products and customer reviews right here, or click on their names for more info.
First things first: who actually needs home insurance? Well, unlike auto insurance, home insurance is not a legal requirement in Alberta; technically this means that all homeowners and renters can choose not to purchase insurance.
However, if you have a mortgage on your home, your mortgage provider will almost certainly mandate a minimum level of home insurance coverage. And even if you don’t have a mortgage, or if you are renting, having home insurance is by far the safest and most responsible way to protect your assets and financial future.
There are a couple of different types of property insurance available in Alberta; although all three are known as “home insurance”, they are actually distinct. They are:
Homeowner’s insurance is what most people think of when they say “home insurance”. This type of insurance covers the physical buildings that constitute a home (including detached structures), personal belongings within the home, and personal liability in the event that someone is injured on the property.
There are different levels of protection within homeowner’s insurance:
As well as choosing the level of protection you want for your home via the level of policy you go for, it is also possible to have specific add-ons or endorsements - for example, if you live in a high risk area for a specific peril, such as flooding. In general, the more coverage you get, the more your insurance will cost.
Alberta’s two largest cities, Edmonton and Calgary, are home to booming condo markets, and condo insurance is the appropriate form of insurance for residents in these homes. Condo insurance is very like homeowner’s insurance, but it only covers the named unit within a condo building - not the larger building’s structure. The condo building itself will have its own insurance policy to cover the common areas and main structure of the property.
Lastly, for those who don’t own their own home but who still want protection, there is tenant’s insurance. Tenant’s insurance does not cover the building in question, but it does cover your personal belongings within the building, as well as personal liability in the event that you cause damage to the building. Tenant’s insurance is much cheaper than homeowner’s or condo insurance.
Alberta is home to over 100 different insurance companies who offer different forms of property insurance. Many of these are national companies, though some are more local. Albertans searching for property insurance can go directly to one of these companies for help, or work with an insurance broker to find the best deal. Overwhelming, Albertans choose to search for, apply and purchase their home insurance online.
The average homeowner’s insurance policy in Alberta costs between $800 and $1,200 a year - or between $66 and $100 a month. This range reflects the difference that location, property size and coverage level can make on cost. Tenant’s insurance is in general much cheaper, averaging $25 a month.
There are a lot of factors that influence the exact cost of an insurance policy, including:
Some of the above factors may seem incredibly specific, but all affect how an insurance company will calculate risks and the probability of claims. The lower risk you and your property are considered to be, the cheaper your insurance.
Shopping around is the number one way to save on your home insurance, but you may also try:
Albertans must purchase their home insurance from one of the dozens of private insurance companies operating in the province. Some of these companies are listed in the table at the top of the page.
Yes, absolutely, and protecting your vacation home is important. You can often add vacation property coverage (or mobile home coverage) to your main homeowner’s insurance policy to save money. You can also take out a separate policy.
The Alberta Superintendent of Insurance regulates insurance providers in Alberta.
Although Alberta’s insurers are regulated by a provincial authority, it is up to each individual insurer to calculate and set their own rates. This is why shopping around to find the best deal on your insurance actually works.
No, unless you run a home business, in which case you will need business insurance coverage as well as your standard homeowner’s coverage. In this case, only the supplemental business insurance will be tax deductible.
Technically, yes, any individual insurance company can deny you coverage, but this is very rare. If you are denied, you can ask why and potentially solve the problem or find another provider.
Alberta has seen some wild weather in the past decade, and is at increased risk for flooding, forest fires and extreme cold. These risks drive up the cost of insurance for everyone in the province, regardless of whether you’ve been affected by them personally.
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