How we find you the best home insurance policy in Nunavut
For most people, buying a home is the largest investment they’ll ever make. Insuring your home isn’t required by law, but it’s highly recommended — not only to protect the structure, but also the contents inside. The vast majority of mortgage lenders also require prospective homeowners to get insurance before they can be approved for a mortgage.
But buying home insurance can be confusing. For example, did you know that insurance companies usually offer different rates to each customer? That’s why it’s important to shop around for multiple quotes before getting a policy.
We’ll explain what factors affect home insurance premiums in Nunavut, how to compare policy types, and how to figure out how much coverage you need.
What affects home insurance rates in Nunavut?
There are many different factors that can affect the cost of your home insurance policy. The type of policy you choose and the amount of coverage you want will be the main deciding factors. There's also risk assessment: each company views risks differently and uses their risk threshold to determine premiums.
These are some of the factors that can affect your insurance policy premium:
- Proximity to a fire hydrant and/or fire station.
- Quality and age of the home’s structure.
- Alarm system and/or fire alarms installed.
- Any previous insurance claims history.
- The home’s electrical and/or plumbing system.
Risk factors in Nunavut
Nunavut is the northernmost territory in Canada and has a fair amount of mountain coverage, with the Arctic Cordillera running along the northeastern shore of Baffin Island.
Regions at highest risk: Due to Nunavut’s mountains and ice caps, avalanches can happen throughout the territory.
In 2016, Nunavut experienced its snowiest winter in almost 50 years. The Department of Environment has noted that storms come in quicker than in the past and are less predictable.
Regions at highest risk: Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital city.
Permafrost is the thick layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year in the Arctic. Rising temperatures are causing the permafrost to melt and this poses a major threat to Nunavut’s infrastructure. The foundation is shifting, weakening the integrity of the structures that are built on top of it.
Regions at highest risk: Every corner of the territory is at risk for the dangers posed by melting permafrost.
What kind of coverage do you need in Nunavut?
There are multiple types of home insurance policies available to homeowners in Nunavut. Choosing one depends on your needs and your budget.
Comprehensive - This policy covers you for the majority of insured perils. Your home and its contents are insured. It’s also the most expensive option.
Basic or Named Perils - This policy covers the home and its contents from specifically named perils.
Broad - This policy is a compromise between basic and comprehensive policies. It covers your home against all insurable perils, but only covers the contents against specifically named perils.
No-Frills - The most basic policy available for properties that don’t meet normal underwriting standards.
In addition to the above policy types, you can purchase additional coverages. These are called endorsements and they protect you from perils that are normally excluded from your policy. These include perils like overland flooding, sewage backup, and earthquakes.
One other point to keep in mind: insurance companies won’t reimburse you for the market value of your property. Many people assume that an insurer will reimburse them based on the price they paid for their home, which includes the value of the land and the structure that sits on top of it. In fact, the insurer will only contribute toward the cost of repairing or replacing the structure.
Who regulates the home insurance industry in Nunavut?
The Government of Nunavut regulates the territory’s insurance industry through the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, which is located in Iqaluit. The territory’s Ministry of Finance is responsible for the Nunavut Insurance Act, which sets out the legal framework that insurers operating in the territory must follow.
If a claim is denied, homeowners should first contact the insurance company’s in-house ombudsperson. But if that doesn’t resolve your complaint, your next option is to file a grievance with the General Insurance Ombudsperson, a self-regulating industry organization. Your last option is to settle the matter in civil court.
What can you do to save on home insurance in Nunavut?
Owning a home is expensive, but there are things you can do to lower the cost of home insurance. Some strategies you can try include:
- Insure your car and home with the same company. Most insurers will offer a discount for bundling your policies.
- Purchase a new construction home. In most cases, the newer the home, the lower the premium.
- Outfit your home with an alarm system.
- Increase your deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket when you make a claim).
- If you’re a senior citizen, make a point of mentioning it to your insurer. Most will offer a discount to older homeowners.
- Ensure you have working smoke detectors throughout the home.
- Group discounts are sometimes available for union members and university or college graduates.
- Choose your location carefully. The proximity to a fire station and fire hydrant, along with the crime rate of the neighbourhood are all factors in your insurance premium.
- Be sure to shop around and compare. LowestRates.ca allows you to compare multiple insurance companies and policies at the same time, so you know whether you’re getting the best rate.
What companies offer the best home insurance in Nunavut?
The answer to this question will be different for everyone — it depends on your individual situation and budget. That’s why it helps to comparison shop.
There are a few ways to make sure you’re only looking at reputable insurance companies. First, check out the Better Business Bureau’s online database to see if any past policyholders have made any complaints against the insurer. A quick Google search for the company’s name should provide some more background information.
Here are a few reputable companies operating in Nunavut:
- CAA Insurance
- TD Insurance
Finally, always be sure to ask your agent any questions you have. A reputable one will be happy to assist you with any question you might have about your policy.