We totally get it. You love your home. It’s your castle, your sanctuary, your life. That's why you wouldn't ever want to worry about not being able to keep it safe and sound. By having the proper home insurance policy, you ensure your largest investment is protected.
In Canada, damage to homes caused by extreme weather averages $1 billion annually. This figure does not include other losses due to theft or accidents. The reality is that mishaps occur, and they can be extremely expensive. In the event of a loss, home insurance will help rebuild your home, replace its contents, and provide the funds to cover additional living expenses if you are forced to temporarily live elsewhere.
Navigating through all the available options can be tedious and confusing—and you shouldn’t have to do it on your own. A dedicated insurance broker, such as a Morison Insurance team member, can take care of the hard part for you. Our insurance brokers will get quotes from several Canadian insurance companies with the goal of finding you the best homeowners' insurance policy possible. Your broker will review the quotes with you, and help you choose the policy that best meets your needs.
Home insurance is a type of property insurance that covers certain losses and damage. Home insurance policies can protect your assets and provide liability coverage in case there is an accident in your home or on your property. This type of policy ensures your private residence is financially covered in the event of various disasters and mishaps.
If you are a homeowner, you should have home insurance. Having home insurance protects your most expensive asset from unavoidable losses from fires, floods, or natural disasters. Such incidents can be absolutely devastating, and while a home insurance policy won't be able to stop accidents from occurring, it can ensure that you are financially protected in the worst case scenario.
While home insurance is not a legal requirement in Ontario, it is required by mortgage lenders. Whether you're applying for a mortgage or already have one, you must have home insurance. This way the lender is assured that you'll be able to continue making your mortgage payments, even when disaster strikes.
While the amount of coverage you'll need largely depends on your unique needs, it's helpful to know what's included in a standard home insurance package in Ontario. Generally, basic home insurance covers the following:
Home insurance covers damage or loss to the actual building, or dwelling, you live in. Basic coverage protects against a set of occurrences that could harm your home. These are known as insured perils and usually cover accidents, damage from weather/storms along with the circumstances listed below.
Did you know that 40% of damage to homes is caused by water? Every day homes across Canada suffer water damage and the risk of it happening to your home is on the rise. With the recent changes in weather patterns, severe weather events are becoming more frequent and have been causing more damage.
Extreme storms that used to happen every 40 or 50 years in Canada now occur in some areas or regions every 5 or 6 years. Changing weather patterns are forcing the insurance industry to change policies to address these new—and now common—risks. This is especially true in terms of coverage for water damage to your home.
Typically, most insurance companies cover water damage that is sudden or accidental; for instance, if a pipe burst in your wall and flooded part of your home. However, there are additional coverage options available which we’ll address in a subsequent section of this guide.
That said, it's important to keep in mind the following: Because of the nature of water damage and the various leaks that can be prevented or fixed promptly, many insurance policies will not cover damage due to a lack of regular maintenance. For example, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that a leaky toilet is repaired before it causes any damage to your home.
Most standard policies will cover loss and damage due to fire. However, some policies do have certain exceptions and it is best to have an insurance professional guide you through your options. Insurance companies are very strict on forfeiting coverage when a fire was started intentionally by the homeowner. Otherwise, the cause of an accidental fire doesn't generally matter for this kind of coverage. Fires could be caused by:
Most home insurance policies protect against theft, break-and-enters and burglaries. While the details of a given coverage may vary per insurance provider, usually you will be reimbursed for most personal belongings stolen during a robbery. Also, if your home was damaged during the break-in, theft protection can help cover the cost of repairs.
It's important to note that not all policies are the same, and what's considered an insured peril may vary per provider. For instance, lightning strikes may be considered an insured peril under one provider's home insurance policy, but not others. That's why it's so very important to talk to your dedicated broker at Morison Insurance to ensure you have the best coverage for your home.
This kind of insurance covers loss or damage to personal belongings kept within your home. This could include clothing, furniture, electronics or other goods. However, even a comprehensive policy may limit the amount an insurance carrier will cover for specific items that are stolen, damaged or lost. That's why it's integral to talk to your insurance broker to find the best coverage possible, especially if you have high-value items you want to keep safe, like a collection of rare antiques or expensive camera equipment you use for work.
Most standard Ontario home insurance policies offer protection if you're found legally responsible for unintentionally damaging another person's property or causing injury to someone else. Personal liability coverage will protect you in two ways:
With this type of coverage you are protected in the event that someone is hurt on your property and chooses to sue you. Your legal fees will be covered and any resulting medical expenses that may need to be paid to the injured party.
It's possible you or your family may accidentally damage your neighbours' property throughout the time that you live in your home. After all, accidents happen! For example, maybe your children are playing baseball and the ball breaks a neighbour's beautiful stained-glass window. With property damage liability coverage, you are insured against subsequent expenses.
While a standard home insurance policy covers the basics, you may want to consider a few other important coverages depending on your needs, where you live and the value of your home and possessions. For instance, if you reside near a flood zone you may have to include extra coverage that protects against an extreme weather event.
A qualified broker at Morison Insurance will be able to help you ascertain what coverages you need to protect your home against risks that could cause serious loss or damage to your property. Coverages to keep in mind while searching for a comprehensive policy that works for you include:
As we established above, standard home insurance companies in Ontario tend to have some coverage for water damage. However, it will usually only cover the costs of repairs if the damage was sudden and unforeseen (such as the drenching of your drywall from a burst pipe). There are certain misfortunes that usually aren't covered by basic home insurance—but can be added to your policy, such as:
Overland Water Coverage protects you from sudden flooding due to heavy rains, spring run-off or overflowing lakes or rivers. An example of this would be water accumulating in your backyard and entering through your basement window.
With this type of additional coverage you will be protected from any backup, discharge or overflow from a sewer system or septic tank.
Your home will be protected from underground water damage with this type of additional coverage. Damage of this sort commonly occurs in the spring when snow is thawing or after heavy rainfall, and must be due to sudden and accidental causes.
Ensure your policy provides the best coverage to protect your home and property if water damage should occur. Water damage can catch you off guard. With the proper policy, you'll be able to quickly recover from a disaster and get back to being the queen or king of your castle!
Sometimes the worst happens: We lose our home due to water, fire or extreme weather events. If ever you find yourself in a situation where your entire home needs to be rebuilt, you will be extremely grateful to have guaranteed replacement coverage.
What does this type of coverage do? It replaces the total value of your home if you ever lose it. With the constantly changing (and increasing) home market, what you paid for your home 10 years ago won't get you the same type of home today. Guaranteed replacement coverage ensures that you will receive the appropriate funds to replace your home's physical structure—even if the damage exceeds your policy's limits. With it, you can have peace of mind knowing you'll always be able to rebuild your home to its pre-claim condition.
Personal identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada. More than 35,000 Canadians are victims of identity theft every year. If you make purchases or payments online using a credit card, you could be at risk.
It takes a criminal a shockingly short amount of time to steal your identity. Personal identity theft coverage can be added to your current property policy by endorsement. It covers not only you, but also others living in your home by mitigating the cost associated with repairing your financial history or resolving problems resulting from identity theft, including:
A standard policy most likely will not provide the necessary coverage for your jewellery. If you have any high-end accessories, you may want to consider extra coverage for them. Protect your most treasured possessions with the proper coverage.
What does jewellery protection cover? There are various options depending on the policy type, but some commonalities include theft, loss and damage. Additional coverage options also exist. While a replacement doesn’t recover sentimental value, jewellery protection can provide you with the financial reimbursement you deserve.
This extra coverage protects you from changes in by-laws that may cause you additional expenses to bring your home up to compliance. By-law change coverage is particularly recommended for owners of older homes or buildings. Building code and zoning law changes constantly, and often these changes apply to existing buildings and homes. This is further magnified if you suffer a loss to your home. For example, you may have to rebuild with the new current by-law standards. This coverage will protect you from any additional expenses required to meet new by-law requirements.
We know that policies can be confusing. If you have questions, you’re not alone! In fact, we’ve listed some of the most commonly asked questions. Take a look below to see if any of these answers provide clarity for your home insurance queries.
Generally, the higher the value of your home the more insurance you will need to cover the additional cost of repairs and replacements. Through the insurance company's eyes, the more space you have, the more space there is for something to get damaged.
There are also various additional types of coverages you may want to consider adding to your policy, like additional jewellery coverage, vacant home coverage or sewer backup damage coverage. A qualified insurance broker at Morison Insurance can help you decide what type of insurance you need and what is not necessary for your home. We are here to help every step of the way.
There are many factors that can influence your home insurance premium, including—but not limited to—the following:
Since there are many factors that can impact your home insurance premium, we recommend chatting with one of our qualified insurance brokers. We'll comb through all the details that could influence your premium and the amount of coverage you need so you can rest assured your property is properly covered.
The cost of home insurance in Ontario typically ranges between $600 to $3,500 annually for homes with a replacement cost between $250,000 and $600,000. As stipulated above, the cost of your home insurance is dependent on many factors.
|Location||Building Value (Replacement Cost)||Insurance Quotes (per year)|
Female, Age 54
|St. Catharines||$267,500||$893 - $1,479|
Male, Age 55
|Hamilton||$322,655||$637 - $1,495|
Male, Age 35
|Hamilton||$357,570||$713 - $1,246|
Female, Age 58
|Stoney Creek||$369,991|| |
$844 - $1,634
|Male, Age 63||Port Dover||$471,586|| |
$1,138 - $3,578
|Female, Age 56||Hamilton||$473,053|| |
$1,225 - $2,422
|Female, Age 50||Hamilton||$519,600|| |
$718 - $2,042
|Female, Age 67||Oakville||$596,444|| |
$663 - $1,739
*Each quote above was provided with the assumption that there is no more than one mortgage registered to the property.
If your home is damaged or your possessions stolen, and you have resulting repair and replacement costs, the deductible is the amount of said cost you've agreed to cover independently before your insurance company takes care of the rest.
Often, a standard deductible is about $1,000. To put that into perspective, if a tree falls on your roof after a storm and the repair costs are $4,000, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance policy will cover the remaining $3,000. Keep in mind your deductible often influences your insurance premium. It's worthwhile to talk to your dedicated Morison Insurance broker to see what deductible rate is best for your coverage needs.
It might. Most insurance companies are more lenient if it is your first time making a claim. However, if you become a repeat claimant (especially if you file claims multiple times a year), your insurance company may reassess the risk that surrounds you and your home. They may deem it appropriate to raise your home insurance premiums or not offer a policy renewal.
When an unfortunate event occurs at your home, sometimes it's best to assess whether home insurance is worth calling upon. For example, if your home is broken into and the insured loss is limited, you may want to consider not making an insurance claim. Suppose the loss is $1,200 and your deductible is 1,000. It may make more sense to pay the total costs yourself rather than risk an increase in your insurance premiums. An insurance broker can provide further guidance about the impact of making a claim on your home insurance. We are here to help.
If your home gets damaged or you experience loss or damage to your possessions, you may need to file a home insurance claim. Before completing the following process, the most important consideration is safety. If your home was damaged due to a flood, fire or other devastating event, get out as soon as possible and do not go back inside. Likewise, do not enter your home if upon arrival it looks like it's been broken into. It's imperative to call 911 right away and ensure your family's safety.
If you deem it safe to prevent further damage from occurring, do what you can to mitigate the damage to your home. For instance, if your basement floods, turn off all electrical outlets and your water supply. Again, only do so if you can stay safe.
After ensuring your safety and the safety of your family, complete these steps:
One of the most important reasons you need to disclose pertinent information about your home and its contents to your insurance agent or broker is so that you are properly covered. The more you disclose, the better protection you will have. If you don't disclose something—while recently completing a renovation for example—and a loss or damage occurs, your insurance company may not be able to honour your claim. This would leave you with the full cost of repairs or replacement.
Yes, you need to notify your insurance broker if you renovate your home because part of your home insurance premium is calculated based on the value of your home. By renovating, you increase the value of your home. For instance, if you update your kitchen, your insurance company now has to take into account the value of these improvements in case they ever have to be repaired or replaced. You should always let your insurance broker know about anything that will change the value of your home, so that we can help you find the best solution for your changing needs.
Your home insurance policy will typically cover any family members living in your home, such as your spouse, children or parents. Your entire home is protected from liability and your personal property is also insured. In terms of valuables, the belongings of family members living under your roof will be equally insured under your policy. Should your living situation change, say you move in with a partner or your aging parents come to live with you, be sure to let your broker know, so we can make any necessary adjustments to your policy.
Yes. There may be some exceptions, but generally speaking, if you are temporarily leaving your home to go on a trip, then your insurance policy will cover valuable items you take with you, such as a laptop, camera or jewellery. Reach out to your dedicated broker at Morison Insurance to understand the details of your policy before heading out on vacation with your belongings.
At Morison Insurance, our team of excellent brokers are committed to helping you find the best home insurance policy possible. Your dedicated broker will work with you to establish your coverage needs, answer any questions you might have, and always respond promptly to your inquiries. We're here to help protect your greatest assets, and truly care about your peace of mind.
Get started today by filling out the quote request form on our website, or by giving us a call at 1-800-463-8074. We're looking forward to hearing from you and helping you find the right home insurance policy for your needs.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.