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How we find you the best home insurance policy in the Yukon

A house is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, but it’ll probably rank as one of your best investments, too. Building equity in real estate is a time-tested way to increase wealth.

That’s why home insurance is so important. It protects your property — and, by extension, the wealth that’s tied to it. A good policy can help you grapple with financial losses if your home is ever damaged. It can also offer you financial protection if your belongings are damaged or stolen.

There are many different types of home insurance policies out there, and choosing the right one is a matter of knowing what you need. Factors to consider include the type of home you live in (is it a detached house, an apartment, or a condo?), as well as the level of protection you want, and the monetary value of the items you want to protect.

We'll walk you through the things you need to think about if you’re looking to buy home insurance in the Yukon, one of Canada’s vast northern territories.

What affects home insurance rates in the Yukon?

Insurers calculate the cost of your home insurance premium using a variety of factors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of home you live in (house, townhouse, condo, etc.).
  • Your home’s age and state of repair.
  • Your home’s location.
  • How much it would cost to repair or replace parts of your home.

It should go without saying that the more extensive your coverage, the higher your premium will be.

Risk factors in the Yukon

The Yukon is a stunningly beautiful region of Canada — but the land is not without its hazards. According to the federal government, residents who live in the Yukon are at risk of experiencing the following:

Avalanches, earthquakes and landslides

The Yukon is particularly susceptible to earthquakes, avalanches and landslides, which have been known to demolish structures, or at the very least, cause them to become structurally unsound.

Regions at highest risk: Several mountain ranges intersect throughout the Yukon, making most the territory vulnerable to these types of events.

Flooding

Floods will infiltrate and wreak havoc on your home. In the Yukon, they usually occur due to rapidly melting snow in the spring, or from ice jams on the rivers. Flooding is expected to become an even bigger hazard in the Yukon as climate change intensifies.

Regions at highest risk: The Yukon government has highlighted Dawson City, Carmacks, Old Crow, Ross River, Mayo, Southern Lakes, Lake Laberge, Pelly Crossing and Whitehorse as being at high risk for flooding.

Wildfires

There have been some serious wildfires in the Yukon recently. Hot, dry weather meant the 2017 wildfire season in the Yukon was a particularly active one: there were 115 wildfires in total, burning a total of 471,000 hectares of forest.

Regions at highest risk: Nearly every region in the Yukon is at risk for wildfires, according to the Government of Canada, however, the regions most at risk are south of the treeline.

What kind of coverage do you need in the Yukon?

There are four basic types of home insurance:

Comprehensive - This is the kind of home insurance you’ll want to get if you want the most coverage. A comprehensive policy will cover damage to your property and belongings against most standard perils — the only exceptions are the perils that are covered by additional endorsements (like earthquakes) or perils that are specifically excluded from most policies (events that stem from the homeowner’s lack of due diligence, for example).

Basic or Named Perils - This type of coverage only protects against perils that are explicitly named in the policy, such as fire, lightning, theft, explosions, and falling objects. It is less expensive than comprehensive insurance. 

Broad - A broad policy falls somewhere between comprehensive and basic home insurance. It offers comprehensive coverage if the structure of your home is damaged, but only offers basic coverage when it comes to your home's contents.

No-Frills - This is the most bare-bones type of coverage you can get. These policies typically only cover your home in the case of fire and a handful of other perils. People usually only get no-frills insurance when their homes have structural issues that make them ineligible for a basic policy. No frills insurance can protect what you have while you are making repairs, but once your home is up to your insurer’s standards, you can switch over to another type of policy.

Depending on where you live in the Yukon, you’ll want coverage for the hazards your region is most at-risk for. All home insurance policies cover fire damage, but you might want add-ons for flood damage and replacement cost coverage (i.e., coverage to help you rebuild your home after a total loss) as well. Because home insurance won’t cover damage that occurs because you’ve neglected important repairs, make sure to weatherproof your home for the Yukon’s harsh winters, too.

Who regulates the home insurance industry in the Yukon?

In the Yukon, the insurance industry is regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance. It is the governmental body in charge of licensing insurance companies, regulating insurance products and market conduct like underwriting, rates, claims, and marketing practices, and overseeing the financial soundness of insurance companies in the province.

If you have a claim that's been denied, you can file a complaint with the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO), an independent adjudicative body that operates Canada-wide. In order for your complaint to be heard, your insurance company must be a GIO member. However, it's recommended that you first attempt to resolve disputes with your insurer's own ombudsperson before escalating complaints.

What can you do to save on home insurance in the Yukon?

As in any other province, there are several things you can do to cut down on home insurance costs, while also getting the coverage that you need. These include:

  • Bundling your home and auto policies with the same insurer.
  • Raising your credit score.
  • Avoid making small claims.
  • Don’t smoke indoors.
  • Purchasing a ‘claims protector,’ an optional product that will stop your premium from going up if you make a claim.
  • Installing a home sprinkler system.
  • Installing a home alarm system.
  • Comparing quotes from different companies — never settle for the first option.

What companies offer the best home insurance in the Yukon?

Because everyone has different coverage needs, risk tolerances, and budgets, this answer will vary for everyone. Always look for a plan that offers you the best coverage at the lowest price point. And it never hurts to read reviews: they’re not always completely reliable, but they can be a pretty good indicator of whether or not a company is going to follow through on its promises — and do it well.

Some of the insurance companies serving the Yukon include:

  • The Co-operators
  • Intact Insurance
  • TD Insurance

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