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Whether you live in a house, apartment, or condo, insuring your property and its contents is one of the smartest personal finance moves you can make. But finding the right home insurer shouldn’t be a rushed decision. Different lenders are going to offer you different rates, which is why you — and your pocketbook — will benefit from shopping around.

LowestRates.ca compares home insurance rates in Saskatchewan and connects you with the company offering you the best rate. But as the future holder of an insurance policy, you still need to figure out what your needs are. And that means asking the right questions. We’ll try to answer them on this page.

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What you need to know about home insurance in Saskatchewan.

 

What affects home insurance rates in Saskatchewan?

Home insurance covers the cost to replace the structure of your home — not its market value.

What kind of factors influence the cost of your premium? Lots, actually. Insurance is all about risk, so insurers want to know if there’s anything about your home that might make you more likely to file a claim.

To determine your premium, insurers will take into account:

  • Where you live.
  • If your neighbourhood has a high instance of claims.
  • How close you live to a fire hydrant or fire station (the sooner you can put out a fire, the smaller your claim will be).
  • Your claims history.
  • Your home’s electrical wiring, piping, whether you have a wood stove (having one puts you in a higher-risk category), and the age of your roof.

In Saskatchewan, some insurers will factor in your credit score when determining your premium. In other words, they use your credit score to determine what kind of risk you might be to them in the insurance world — the idea being that credit score is a strong indicator of how responsible you are.

This is called your “insurance score.” Some insurers may even offer discounts for a good insurance score. Your credit score will only be used to determine whether you qualify for premium discounts, not increases.

Risk factors in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is most at risk for drought and major storm events, followed by forest fires and winter storms. Saskatchewan sees mountain runoff in the summer months, plains runoff in the spring, and lake flooding from April through July. The Saskatchewan River is also known for flooding, which puts most of the province’s large communities at risk. Flooding is fast becoming the top environmental concern facing homeowners.

Extreme temperature fluctuations

Saskatchewan sees harsh winters and hot summers where temperatures can fluctuate anywhere from -45 C in the winter all the way up to 45 C in the summer. Extreme cold can freeze and damage the pipes in a home, which can result in water damage. Sudden, unexpected thaws in winter and spring can cause pipes to burst.

Regions at highest risk: Densely populated areas in the south, such as Regina and Saskatoon, where roughly half the province’s population lives, would be most at risk for these types of weather events.

Tornadoes

Saskatchewan’s vast swaths of prairie land also provide the ideal conditions for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to form during warmer months. In fact, of all the provinces, Saskatchewan has the highest number of annual tornadoes, averaging about 18 a year. Southern Saskatchewan, in particular, is one of the country’s most active tornado corridors. Hail and strong winds can result in damage to roofs and even structural collapse.

Regions at highest risk: Densely populated areas in the south, such as Regina and Saskatoon, where roughly half the province’s population lives, would be most at risk for these types of weather events.

What kind of coverage do you need in Saskatchewan?

Home insurance policies fall under these four basic categories:

Comprehensive - The most extensive and costly home insurance policy available, it covers your home’s structure and the contents within it from all perils and losses, save for any perils that have been explicitly left out of your policy.

Basic or Named Perils - This type of home insurance policy only insures your house and personal property against perils that are specifically named within the policy.

Broad - A broad home insurance policy insures your house for all risks of direct physical loss or damage unless excluded. It also offers protection for your personal property, but only against named perils. A broad policy is generally considered to be a good middle ground between a comprehensive and basic policy.

No-Frills - Very basic coverage for properties that don’t meet normal underwriting standards.

Personal liability coverage is usually included in home insurance policies. This covers you if you’re held liable for unintentionally causing bodily injury or property damage to other people.

On the other hand, coverage for floods and sewer backups is not included in home insurance policies. Protection against these threats is available, but only in the form of add-ons coverages, which are called riders or endorsements.

Who regulates the home insurance industry in Saskatchewan?

Home insurance in Saskatchewan is regulated by the Superintendent of Insurance. Its job is to licence insurance agents, regulate insurance products and market conduct according to the Saskatchewan Insurance Act. The Superintendent of Insurance falls under the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) of Saskatchewan, which is Saskatchewan's financial and consumer marketplace regulator.

Consumers can access the Superintendent of Insurance to read up on Saskatchewan insurance legislation and basic insurance information, confirm whether your agent is licensed to sell insurance, find out whether an insurance professional has ever been disciplined, and learn how to file a complaint.

If you have a dispute with your home insurer, these are your options:

  • First, try to resolve the issue with your broker or insurer.
  • If you’re unsuccessful there, you can contact the insurance company’s complaints liaison officer or ombudsperson.
  • If you’re still unsuccessful, you can contact the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO), which is an independent, self-regulating organization. Your insurance company must be a GIO member.
  • If you’re still not satisfied, you can file your complaint with the Superintendent of Insurance.
  • Your last recourse is the civil court system.

If you have a complaint against your insurance agent specifically, contact the Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan.

What can you do to save on home insurance in Saskatchewan?

  • Maintain a good insurance score.
  • Raise your deductible.
  • Outfit your home with emergency protection features (e.g., sewer backup valve, hail-proof roof, or a home security system).
  • Remain claims-free for three years or more.
  • Stay with the same insurer for a period of time (varies by insurer).
  • Bundling (e.g., buying home and auto insurance from the same provider).
  • Get your family members to insure with the same company.
  • Buy a newer home.

What companies offer the best home insurance in Saskatchewan?

Of course, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question, since it will be different for everyone. The most important thing is finding an insurance company and policy that suits your individual needs.

Some of the major insurance companies operating in Saskatchewan are:

  • SGI Canada.
  • Wawanesa Insurance.
  • The Co-operators.
  • CAA Saskatchewan.
  • Aviva Insurance.

Always compare rates before you decide on an insurer. It’s your first — and best — defence against overpaying.

Do some research on potential insurers, too. See if they’ve received any complaints through the Better Business Bureau. Use the Superintendent of Insurance’s website to find out if regulatory action has been taken against an insurance professional. And when you do speak with a broker, pay attention to how they make you feel. You should never be pressured into buying a policy.

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