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June 24
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June 22
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GOO RATE GOOD RECEPTION
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Alberta home insurance

Protecting one of your largest investments with insurance is crucial to your financial well-being; however, choosing the right insurance company and policy can be confusing. That’s where LowestRates.ca comes in.

We search the market to find you the best deals on home insurance. Comparing the market is important because different companies can offer you different rates. Not only do they model risk differently, but their coverage offerings can also vary greatly. The quote you get with one company is not always indicative of what another company might be able to offer you.

When you take the time to shop around, you’ll see whether you’re overpaying and whether other companies are willing to give you a better rate. We’ll automatically connect you with the broker or insurance company offering you the best rate.

Why you should get home insurance in Alberta

Home insurance in Alberta is crucial for several reasons.

First, while not mandatory in the province, most mortgage lending institutions will only provide a loan if you have proof of home insurance.

Why? The lending institution is also making an investment, and they want to know if insurance will protect their asset in the face of catastrophic losses or damage.

Second, Alberta home insurance protects you and your belongings. Damage to a home, forced evacuation, theft and other loss-causing events can cost tens of thousands of dollars if you pay out of pocket.

Insurance will reduce your risk of spending a lot of money to rebuild, re-purchase, or fix lost or stolen items. It’s buying peace of mind today for unforeseen losses in the future.

Is the Alberta home insurance industry regulated?

Unlike auto insurance, home insurance prices are not regulated by any government authority; insurance companies can set rates — and deny coverage — as they see fit. However, Watchdogs at provincial and federal levels oversee the business conduct of the insurance industry in Alberta.

On the federal level, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions monitors the solvency and financial soundness of property and casualty insurers in the province. The Alberta Superintendent of Insurance oversees the conduct, products, and underwriting practices of insurance providers operating in the province.

As the regulatory authority, the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance will conduct exams, review and approve all filings made by insurance companies, interpret legislation and make recommendations to the provincial government on insurance policy.

Types of home insurance coverage in Alberta

There are four types of coverage:

Comprehensive - The highest level or most coverage you can purchase. It insures the building and its contents against all risks or perils, except for ones that are specifically excluded. For example, if your policy names earthquakes and sewer back-ups as excluded perils, you would not receive coverage for those events.

Broad - Offers coverage for building and some of its contents. It only extends to coverage of contents for named peris. Usually, the insurance is covered for things like fire, lightning, smoke, theft, explosions, electrical current, aircraft or vehicle impact and falling objects.

Basic - This type of policy provides a minimal level of coverage for your home, covering only stated perils like fire, wind, theft and vandalism. Don’t count on basic insurance to cover anything beyond the perils named in your policy.

No-Frills - Offers basic coverage for properties that are hard to insure (e.g., homes that have numerous structural issues). Forest fires are covered by home insurance policies, and that also covers some expenses you might incur if you’re ever forced to evacuate your home. You may need to purchase additional insurance coverage, called an endorsement, for overland flooding. Endorsements for flooding were once difficult to purchase, but insurers are beginning to offer it.

Personal Liability – This part of your Alberta home insurance policy protects in cases where you are found legally responsible for unintentionally causing injury to another person or loss or damage to their property

Common optional coverages and endorsements – Also known as riders or add-ons, optional coverages protect you from additional events that can provide greater protection, usually at an additional cost. Some endorsements can include:

Exclusions - Home insurance exclusions are specific types of damage or loss that your Alberta home insurance won't cover.

How we find you the best home insurance quotes in Alberta.

Safeguarding your home with insurance is important, but choosing the right insurer and the right policy can be confusing. That’s where LowestRates.ca comes in.

We search the market to find you the best deals on home insurance. Comparing the market is important — different companies can offer you different rates because they model risk differently and their coverage offerings can vary greatly. The quote you get with one company is not always indicative of what another company might be able to offer you.

When you take the time to shop around, you’ll see whether you’re overpaying and whether other companies are willing to give you a better rate. We’ll automatically connect you with the broker that’s offering you the best rate.

Factors that determine your home insurance quote in Alberta

Your home insurance policy will be customized to suit your needs and the property you’re insuring.

Home insurance premiums are determined by dwelling type (is it a single-detached home, a house with a basement tenant suite, or a condo?). Insurance companies also try to predict the kind and size of claim you might make in the future.

Here are some of the criteria insurance companies look at when calculating your premium.

  • The square footage of your home.
  • Contents and quality of construction.
  • The location of your home.
  • Distance to a fire hydrant.
  • Your insurance claims history.
  • The age of your roof.
  • Your home’s plumbing.
  • Your home’s electrical system.

Risk factors for homeowners in Alberta

Alberta is a large, geographically diverse province susceptible to extreme weather events year-round. So far, 2023 has been a terrible year for raging forest fires in Canada, especially in Alberta. The province is near its record for hectares burned and has suffered devastating losses and evacuations.

In 2022, severe weather caused $3.1 billion in insured damages. Alberta made up $135 million of that total.

Municipal governments have outlined some of the following perils as ones that Alberta homeowners should be especially mindful of.

Flooding

Flooding is a significant concern in Alberta. There's a lot of development on the banks of the Bow and Elbow rivers, both of which flow through Calgary, so even residents of urban neighbourhoods need to be on the alert.

There are three types of floods that Albertans may be exposed to:

Overland flooding

Overland flooding occurs when water overflows from creeks, streams, rivers or lakes. It can creep into backyards, garages, basements, or the streets. In Alberta, this happens during the spring thaw, when frozen catch basins, storm drains, and piled snow begin to thaw and melt, accelerated by spring rains. Regions at highest risk: Most of southern Alberta. Communities that have been hard hit recently include the City of Calgary, the Municipal District of Taber, Lethbridge County, Vulcan County, Willow Creek, and Forty Creek County.

Basement seepage

Basement seepage happens when the level of the underground water table under a home rises. Water seeps through the soil and eventually into your home's foundation through cracks, holes, or joints. Regions at highest risk: All of Alberta — all homes are technically at risk for basement seepage.

Sewage backup

Sewage systems can be overloaded when overland flooding occurs. It can force sewage back through the sewer line and into your basement.

Regions at highest risk: All of Alberta — anyone's basement is at risk for sewage backup.

Forest fires

Increased development and urban sprawl have meant that local governments in Alberta have had to suppress naturally-occurring wildfires. It leads to an overabundance of old vegetation, a considerable fire risk. Development paired with a changing climate means large-scale forest fires are fast becoming normal every summer in Alberta.

Regions at highest risk: Communities within the Boreal forest region of Alberta — which covers 58% of the entire province — are highest at risk for forest fires. Population centres include Fort McMurray and Fort Vermillion.

Extreme cold

Alberta winters are frigid, and frozen water lines and pipes are a common occurrence. Thawing pipes can burst, creating a flood risk.

Regions at highest risk: Arctic air masses deliver sub-zero temperatures to every corner of Alberta. Temperatures can dip to -46C to the south and -54C in the north.

Outline of a house. Illustration.

See how our Alberta customers save big on home insurance.

Type of homeLocationPrevious claimsLowest rateAverage rateSaved
Quote from June 24, 2024
Type of home
Detached 1,864 sq ft
Location
Fort McMurray
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$153/mth
$1,836/yr
Average rate
$194/mth
$2,328/yr
Saved
$41/mth
$492/yr (21.00%)
Quote from June 24, 2024
Type of home
Semi-detached 1,450 sq ft
Location
Calgary
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$95/mth
$1,140/yr
Average rate
$194/mth
$2,328/yr
Saved
$99/mth
$1,188/yr (51.00%)
Quote from June 24, 2024
Type of home
Detached 1,790 sq ft
Location
Claresholm
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$119/mth
$1,428/yr
Average rate
$262/mth
$3,144/yr
Saved
$144/mth
$1,728/yr (55.00%)
Home insurance quotes are compared from CAA, Dominion Insurance, Economical Insurance, Gore Mutual, Max Insurance, Pembridge, SGI, Square One Insurance, and Wawanesa Insurance.
 

Tips on how to lower the cost of your home insurance policy in Alberta

Getting insurance for your home is easier than you think. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada recommends following these steps when shopping for home insurance to get the lowest rate possible.

Compare home insurance quotes from various providers. LowestRates.ca makes that journey easy by providing your quotes in seconds from the top Alberta home insurance providers.

Ask your broker or agent about bundling your home and car insurance policies. Bundling shows your loyalty to your provider and helps them save on administrative costs.

Ask your broker or agent about which discounts you qualify for. You can further reduce your Alberta home insurance rates by increasing your deductible (the amount you pay toward a claim before your insurance kicks in) and offering to pay your insurance bill annually instead of monthly.

Increasing your deductible is one way to save on home insurance in the short term. Just make sure you have money reserved for this purpose. Increasing your deductible decreases your risk factor in the eyes of your Alberta home insurance provider and helps reduce costs.

Focusing on finding cheap quotes isn’t always a good idea. Having the right amount of coverage — now that should always be the goal.

There are other ways homeowners can reduce the cost of their home insurance premium:

  • Allow insurers to run a credit check: In Alberta, your broker may offer you a lower rate if you have a high score.
  • Compare quotes: Shopping around online is a risk-free way to find a competitive rate.
  • Pay annually: Insurance is slightly cheaper when you forgo monthly payments in favour of one lump sum payment annually.
  • Adjust your coverage: Only some people need a comprehensive insurance policy. Explore your options with a broker or agent to see what’s best for you.
  • Catalogue everything you own: Knowing exactly how much it would cost to replace your home’s contents will ensure you don’t overpay to insure them.
  • File claims sparingly: The fewer claims you file, the less of a risk your insurance provider considers you. Providers will look at claims histories as a predictor of future behaviour.

Frequently asked questions about home insurance in Alberta

What affects home insurance rates in Alberta?

The criteria that insurance companies consider is basically the same across the country — meaning, the guidelines for homeowners in Alberta are the same in any other province or territory.

A number of factors are used to determine the cost of home insurance. The major thing that insurance adjusters look at is how much it would cost to replace your home, contents included. Insurers only cover the cost to replace the structure and contents of your home — your benefit is not based in any way on the current market value of your home.

Where you live has a big impact on your premium. Insurance is pooled risk, so neighbourhood demographics, as well as its claim history, matter. However, your personal claims history carries more weight.

The topography of your neighbourhood is another factor, too. If you live near a lake or river, your adjuster will definitely take that into account, since there's an increased risk of flooding. Living close to a fire hydrant, as most urban dwellers do, can have a positive impact on your premium.

Of course, insurance companies calculate risk differently and that can result in different rates. That’s why it’s important to shop around.

Other considerations unique to Alberta

In Alberta, home insurance providers are allowed to take your credit score into consideration when determining your premium. Insurance companies maintain that insurance risk is correlated to credit scores. Consumers must give their consent to brokers or agents to look at their credit scores, so revealing your credit score isn’t actually mandatory. If you have a high credit score (generally considered to be 650 or over), an insurer may offer you a substantial discount on your insurance. The reverse is true for people with low credit scores — it may jack up your rate. There’s also the chance that insurers will hike your rate if you choose not to disclose. Not all insurers look at credit scores, but the practice is becoming increasingly common.

Who regulates the home insurance industry in Alberta?

Watchdogs at both the provincial and federal levels oversee the insurance industry in Alberta.

On the federal level, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions monitors the solvency and financial soundness of property and casualty insurers in the province. The Alberta Superintendent of Insurance is in charge of supervising the conduct, products, and underwriting practices of insurance providers operating in the province.

How much is home insurance in Alberta?

Home insurance in Alberta can be a variety of things. Some people may need comprehensive insurance with additional add-ons, while others are ok with basic home insurance. Someone may live in a high-risk area and someone else may be in a low-risk area. Because everyone’s circumstances are so different the cost for home insurance in Alberta will vary from policy to policy.

What can you do to save on home insurance premiums in Alberta?

There are a number of things you can do to save on home insurance premiums in Alberta. For example:

Comparison shop – Check sites like LowestRates.ca for more than 50 of the top home insurance providers. You’ll receive a quote in seconds and it’s free to use.

Increase deductibles – By increasing your deductible you are lowering the risk factor for the insurance provider. This allows them to pass on the saving to you.

Install an alarm system – Homes with home security and fire alarms can receive a discount on insurance.

Allow a credit check – A high credit score indicates to providers that you are a relatively low risk, and it can help you receive a discount.

Only cover what you need – Take stock of your home and belongings to insure only what you need. Over insuring for unnecessary events or items will cost you.

Pay annually – Paying a lump sum each year saves your provider on administration costs, which can help offset your insurance costs.

Apply for discounts – Membership in some organizations like a union or alumni association can get you discounts. Ask your provider about the various discounts you can apply for.

Bundle – Bundling the services you get from your insurance company can save you money. Your insurance provider appreciates your loyalty andbusiness andd can offer a discount for taking on more than one product from them.

Which companies offer the best home insurance in Alberta?

It’s difficult to say. Insurance costs depend on individual needs, circumstances, home location and other risk factors. Everyone’s needs are different. Here’s a list of some of the home insurance companies operating in Alberta:

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*Shoppers in Alberta who obtained a property quote on LowestRates.ca from January to December 2023 saved an average of 36%. 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 LowestRates.ca. Excludes tenant and condo insurance.