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Home to nearly three million people, Toronto is a city chock-full of dwellings: houses, condos, apartments — you name it. Investments this big are worth protecting. That’s why finding the right home insurance in Toronto, Ontario is so important.

Unlike auto insurance, home insurance isn’t mandatory by law — that goes for Toronto, and every other city in Canada. But in most cases, home insurance is a necessity. For example, most banks and lenders won’t give you a mortgage unless you provide proof of home insurance first.

Home insurance can also refer to condo insurance. This page will give you a good idea of all the things you need to consider before buying home insurance in Toronto. Here at LowestRates.ca, you can compare home insurance quotes from Toronto’s top home insurance brokers and direct to consumer insurance companies in just a few minutes.

Your home insurance questions, answered.

How much is home insurance in Toronto?

It’s difficult to say exactly what your home insurance price in Toronto will be. Because insurance is such a customized product, the average cost of home insurance in Toronto probably wouldn’t be an indicator of what you’ll pay. When selecting your quote, you may notice your quoted premium varies by company. That’s because insurance companies approach risk differently. How much they charge for home insurance depends on the size and quality of their insurance pool (i.e., the households and individuals that pay premiums to the insurance company).

An easy way to get Toronto home insurance estimates from a wide array of insurance companies is to apply for a quote through a rate comparison site like LowestRates.ca. All you have to do is fill out the form above and hit the pink button. You’ll then be taken to the best home insurance rates from 15+ providers serving your area. Once you select your rate, a broker or agent will be in touch with you to set up your policy. In certain cases, you may be able to purchase your policy entirely online.

What perils are specific to Toronto?

While property insurance in Toronto doesn’t differ greatly from property insurance in other cities, there are some specific risks to be aware of.

  • Fire. Toronto’s dense population means building fires can spread quickly to adjacent properties.
  • Cold temperatures. With temperatures that can plummet to -30C, Toronto residents need to be on guard for frozen or burst water pipes in the winter time.
  • Flooding. Because of its low elevation, Toronto can see flash flooding, which can cause severe water damage to residences.
  • Earthquakes. They’ve been known to occur in Toronto, though they’re usually moderate in scale. Still, an earthquake could do considerable damage to a city full of multi-unit residences.

What does home insurance cover in Toronto?

Generally speaking, house insurance in Toronto will cover your:

  • Personal belongings (e.g., appliances, furniture, some electronics).
  • Additional living expenses (should you need to relocate for a period of time).
  • Personal liability, should you be sued for an injury sustained on your property. What many people don’t know about home insurance is that a typical policy will also cover liability or negligence anywhere in North America, subject to exclusions for business and professional activities.

Generally speaking, your home insurance coverage in Toronto will include the following perils:

  • Fire.
  • Lightning.
  • Smoke damage (excluding fireplaces).
  • Theft.
  • Wind and hail.
  • Electrical current.
  • Explosion.
  • Vandalism.
  • Water damage.
  • Broken windows.
  • Falling objects (unless propelled by a landslide, avalanche, or earthquake).

If you’re like many Torontonians, you rent or own a condo. That means you’ll need a personal condo insurance policy. This is different from your condo corporation’s commercial policy, which does not cover your unit. A personal condo policy will cover:

  • Personal property (e.g., clothing, appliances and furniture, and items stored in your locker).
  • Additional living expenses, should the event result in you having to relocate.
  • Unit upgrades.
  • Your personal liability for any injury or damages unintentionally caused to others.
  • Liability coverage: Provides North American-wide coverage should you be sued for negligence.
  • Loss Assessment: This policy will vary depending on the insurance policy held by the condo owner. This type of coverage includes situations where the condo corporate policy is insufficient to cover the loss or damage.

For renters, a tenant insurance package will cover most of the same things, with the exception of unit improvements and loss assessments.

What risks won’t home insurance cover in Toronto?

Unfortunately, home insurance doesn’t protect against everything. Most home insurance providers in Toronto won’t cover:

  • Sewer backup.
  • Flooding caused by overland water.
  • Earthquakes.
  • Landslides.
  • Damage from freezing outside the home.
  • Pollution.
  • Damage from insects and rodents.
  • Water damage caused by frozen or burst pipes in the winter.
  • Damage to property acquired illegally.

Some of the above, including sewer backup, flooding caused by overland water and earthquakes are available for purchase from most insurance providers for an additional price. Furthermore, while you could technically buy a home insurance policy that doesn’t include sewer backup and flood coverage, our experts advise against it.

When it comes to personal condo insurance, here’s what’s usually not covered:

  • Water damage caused by flood or underground water.
  • Earthquakes and mudslides.
  • Damage caused by settling, deterioration, or contamination.
  • Damage caused by birds, rodents, insects, or domestic animals.
  • Bodily injury or property damage that is expected or intended by the insured.
  • Business activities.

What kind of home insurance do you need in Toronto?

There are four basic types of homeowners insurance in Toronto:

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 insures your house and personal property for perils 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 a basic policy.

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

Additional or optional coverage can be purchased for things like sewer backup, flooding, earthquakes, fine jewelry and home-based business equipment. These will top up the limits on these items in your regular home insurance policy. While purchasing extra coverage will likely increase home insurance premiums for Toronto residents, it’s important to ensure that your assets are adequately protected. If your assets aren’t properly protected, the costs of repairs and damages might outweigh the cost of additional coverage.

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

Living in Toronto is expensive, but finding cheap home insurance in Toronto can help you cut costs. To make sure you’re saving as much as you can on home insurance, it’s important to learn about all the applicable discounts out there. Most home insurance companies offer discounts for:

  • Bundling insurance policies (e.g., auto and home) with the same insurance company.
  • Increasing your deductible (e.g., the amount you pay out of pocket for damages).
  • Paying an annual lump sum up front as opposed to monthly premiums, which include administrative costs.
  • Being part of a union, certain organizations, or an alumnus of certain universities.
  • Equipping your home with smoke detectors and monitored intruder alarms.
  • Never having made an insurance claim (being “claims free”).
  • Being a senior citizen.
  • Newly-built homes can sometimes qualify for a discount.

Finding affordable home insurance in Toronto doesn’t have to be a struggle. Fill out a form on LowestRates.ca to view the best rates from the top providers across Canada.

What are the best home insurance companies in Toronto?

When it comes to home insurance, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Furthermore, there’s no one insurance provider that provides the best home insurance rates to all Toronto customers. What matters most is that you get the coverage you need at a price you can afford. So take the time to shop around, do research on the insurance companies on your shortlist (it’s possible to check their ratings online and verify whether complaints have been made against them with the Better Business Bureau), and don’t hold back from asking an agent or broker any questions that come to mind.

What if I own a condo or rent? Can I still buy property insurance online?

You’re in luck! LowestRates.ca offers policies to renters and condo owners. If you’re on the market for either of these policies, you can actually fill out the property insurance form above and select the Condo Insurance or Renters Insurance option on the first page. If you’re looking for more information about either of these products, feel free to visit either our dedicated Condo Insurance or Renters Insurance pages.

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