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How we find you the best home insurance in Toronto.

Home to nearly three million people, Toronto is a city with every type of dwelling: houses, condos, apartments — you name it. Living in the city is increasingly expensive. If you’ve invested in real estate, chances are, it’s well 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 lenderswon’t give you a mortgage unless you provide proof of home insurance first.

This page will give you a good idea of all the things you need to consider before buying home insurance in Toronto.

At LowestRates.ca, you can compare home insurance quotes from Toronto’s top home insurance companies in less than three minutes.

Types of home insurance available in Toronto.

Three main types of home insurance packages are available to most homeowners in Canada, regardless of location. It’s up to the homeowner to decide what coverage they want, what the associated coverage limits are and whether they’d like to add additional coverage to whichever package they select.

The main packages include the following:

Comprehensive or All Perils — Includes the most coverage, protecting the property as well as its contents. This tends to be the most popular type of home insurance in part because it offers an easy way to get the most protection. With comprehensive policies, there are some perils not covered, but they are explicitly listed in the contract as ‘exclusions’ such as protection against earthquake and flooding. Instead, both need to be added to the policy.

Broad or Named Perils — This type policy covers your home and its contents against perils specifically named in the policy. It’s less expensive than the comprehensive option but leaves the homeowner at greater risk.

Basic — This policy offers baseline coverage for properties that fail to meet normal underwriting standards. Speak with your broker or provider for details.

For coverage or perils that are named as exclusions in a policy, you can add coverage. Flooding and earthquake are common exclusions and since they have each been known to affect homeowners in Toronto, we recommend that you consider adding them to your policy.

What does your home insurance cover in Toronto?

Comprehensive home insurance policies will protect you against common perils, including:

Comprehensive policies are often referred to as All perils policies because of the wide range of perils that they offer protection against.

On the other hand, if you purchased Broad policy, you’ll have less extensive coverage. Specifically, you’ll be protected against damage from perils explicitly named in the policy. For this reason, broad policies are sometimes referred to as Named Perils policies

You can add coverage to any policy type as well increase the coverage limits. If you’re inclined to add more and more coverage to a broad or basic policy, consider simply getting a comprehensive policy.

Take some time to consider what coverage you genuinely need to protect your home and suit your risk tolerance. If you’re comfortable with less coverage, you may be able to save money.

Regardless of what type of home insurance you get, most policies have four core components: property coverage, contents coverage, liability protection and additional living expenses.

What type of risk won't your home insurance cover in Toronto?

Depending on what type of policy you choose, your contract may have exclusions such as earthquake and flooding.

Like homeowners across the country, those in Toronto are experiencing more and more incidences of severe weather. For this reason, we recommend adding flood protection.

The water damage protection that’s included in most policies will cover homeowners if a pipe bursts. However, to be protected against damage from sewer back-up and overland flooding, flood protection must be added. In other words, while most home insurance policies include protection against water damage, in order to be protected against flooding, additional coverage must be added.

Insurance providers characterize flooding in three categories: sewer back-up, overland flooding and tidal flooding. Some companies may package these coverages so that when you add flood protection to your policy, you’re adding two forms of flood protection such as sewer back-up and overland flooding.

Protection against tidal flooding is not relevant to Toronto homeowners, though many homes are certainly vulnerable to overland flooding.

We encourage Toronto homeowners to also consider whether they’d like to add earthquake protection to their policies. While earthquakes are not common in the region, they have occurred. In 2010, Toronto residents reported feeling tremors from an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale. Its epicenter was recorded in the Ottawa region.


 
Outline of a house. Illustration.

See how much you could be saving on home insurance.

Type of homeLocationPrevious claimsLowest rateAverage rateSaved
Quote from October 01, 2022
Type of home
Semi-detached 1,216 sq ft
Location
Toronto
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$121/mth
$1,455/yr
Average rate
$188/mth
$2,251/yr
Saved
$66/mth
35.00%
Quote from September 29, 2022
Type of home
Semi-detached 1,648 sq ft
Location
Toronto
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$40/mth
$485/yr
Average rate
$68/mth
$821/yr
Saved
$28/mth
41.00%
 

Tips on how to lower the cost of your home insurance policy 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 – Bundling insurance policies (e.g., auto and home) so that each is held by a single provider will result in a discount of 5-15%. While the exact discount is at the discretion of the provider, bundling is one of the most significant discounts you can get.

Credit check – In some provinces, your credit score can be used by insurance companies to get a discount on insurance. Ontario is considering this approach, though it is not currently permitted by law. In provinces where it is, your consent for a credit check is required. And a bad credit score cannot be used against you. In other words, you won’t receive a more expensive premium, if you have a bad credit score.

File claims sparingly – Your insurance claims history is a factor that insurance providers consider when determining your premium. The fewer number of claims you’ve filed, the more likely you are to receive a lower premium.

Improve security – When you take steps to mitigate security risks to your home, you may be rewarded with a lower premium. Consider installing security, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Increasing your deductible – When you agree to pay a higher deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket for damages), your monthly insurance premium will be lower. However, before agreeing to do so, make sure that you’re confident you’ll have the cash on hand in the event of a claim.

Annual payment – Paying an annual lump sum up front as opposed to monthly premiums, which include administrative costs, can result in a lower premium.

Memberships – Being part of a union, certain organizations, or an alumnus of certain universities can result in a lower home insurance premium.

Age – Being a senior citizen may mean you’re eligible for lower rates.

Quality of construction – Newly-built homes can sometimes qualify for a discount. Insurance companies may deem it unlikely that a claim be filed for a new home.

File claims sparingly – Your insurance claims history is a factor that insurance providers consider when determining your premium. The fewer number of claims you’ve filed, the more likely you are to receive a lower premium.

Finding affordable home insurance in Toronto doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Fill out a form on LowestRates.ca. In less than three minutes you’ll have received the best rates from 50+ of the most-trusted providers in Canada.

Factors that determine your home insurance quote in Toronto

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.

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. In just a few minutes, you can compare home insurance quotes from 50+ of the top providers across the country. 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.

Jessica Vomiero

Jessica Vomiero

About the Author

Jessica is the former Associate Editor for LowestRates.ca. Before joining the team, Jessica worked as a National Online Journalist with Globalnews.ca and previously spearheaded the launch of the Business Section at one of Canada's largest technology websites, MobileSyrup.

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