Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
Home insurance isn't required by law in Ontario – as well as the rest of Canada. While it's highly recommended that you carry some form of coverage to protect such as large asset, it's also entirely up to you as the homeowner.
The one exception, however, is if you have a mortgage on the property. It's no surprise that many lenders will require you to carry home insurance as part of the lending agreement as a safeguard for their investment.
A home insurance policy doesn't just pay for the repair and replacement of your property in the event of physical damage. It can also cover all the personal belongings within it and act as a financial safeguard against liability claims. To learn more about all things home insurance in Ontario, be sure to read on.
Different home insurance companies will offer different types of home insurance policies – here, we cover three common options for property owners in Ontario. Keep in mind, however, that most policyholders will go for the comprehensive choice as it provides the best range of coverage.
Additional living expenses coverage
You also have the option to enhance the coverage on your Ontario home insurance policy further with add-ons. Keep in mind that these are just a few examples, and your options may differ depending on the insurance company you go with.
Home-based business insurance
If you run a business from home, you may want coverage agaisnt commercial-related risks (e.g. damaged stock).
These policies are typically sold separately. They offer an extension to your auto or home insurance's liability limit – plus cover additional forms of liability.
Identity theft insurance
If your information is stolen with the intent to commit crime, this coverage can help you with the recovery process financially.
Extended contents insurance
Some items (e.g. art, jewelry) have set coverage limits. With this add-on, you can increase the limit for peace of mind.
This covers you for flood damage (which can include overland water and sewer backup) – highly recommended for homes in flood-prone areas.
Earthquakes are usually an uninsured peril unless you add the coverage to your policy. Consider doing so if you live in an area that could be impacted.
Get the best home insurance quotes in Ontario with us today.
In just a few minutes, view personalized home insurance quotes from the province's top providers – your best rate is only a few steps away.
There is no one set cost for home insurance in Ontario. While insurers look at various different factors to determine your quote, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 for an annual policy. To find an exact number for your coverage needs, be sure to compare personalized home insurance quotes with us today.
Location plays a big role in your personalized home insurance quote. Here, we compare the average cost of home insurance (plus the average cost to replace a home) in six popular Ontario cities based on our own user data – all numbers were last updated in January 2024.
Ottawa home insurance
We found the average replacement cost of an Ottawa home to be $532,329.
Hamilton home insurance
In Hamilton, the average replacement cost of a home is $543,786 – based on our user data.
Windsor home insurance
We found the average replacement cost of a home in Windsor to be $516,498.
Brampton home insurance
According to our data, the average replacement cost of a Brampton home is $623,293.
Mississauga home insurance
According to user data, homes here cost an average of $704,945 to replace.
Toronto home insurance
Based on our numbers, the average replacement cost of a Toronto home is $657,573.
Home replacement cost
Renovations & betterments
Pools & acessory dwellings
While insurance companies are the ones that quote you, there are still many steps you could be taking to ensure you're getting the best rate possible. Here, we cover eight different methods you can try to get cheap home insurance in Ontario.
Shop and compare
Different insurers have different methods of quoting their customers. So you won't know which one offers the best rate until you shop around with us.
P&C insurers offer discounts to customers who bundle multiple policies under them. So if you have other coverage needs (e.g. auto insurance), consider bundling.
Some insurance companies may offer discounts to long-term customers. But of course, don't let this deter you from switching to a cheaper provider.
Upgrade your property
While some property upgrades (e.g. remodelled kitchen) can increase your home insurance rate, others (e.g. roof replacement) can help lower it.
Improve your credit
The best rates go to those who opt-in for a soft credit check (and also have a good credit score, of course). So improving your credit can lead to cheaper home insurance.
Install safety systems
Home insurance companies may also offer discounts if you have safety systems in place, such as a centrally monitored fire alarm, to help lower the risk of a claim.
Increase your deductible
A deductible is the set amount of money you're responsible for paying out before your insurer foots the rest. Higher deductibles lead to lower premiums.
Simply asking for a discount can help you uncover savings – for instance, your insurer may offer group rates for certified professionals or special alumni.
Ready to secure cheap Ontario home insurance?
We're ready to help you – compare home insurance quotes from top Ontario providers with us today.
How do I get the best home and auto insurance in Ontario?
Well, good for you. The fact you're searching for both home and Ontario car insurance together means you can save. Ontarians can save up to 25% on their insurance premiums by bundling.
Now, to get the best home insurance typically means more coverage thus reducing your exposure to risk. While a comprehensive home insurance policy does protect you from most risks, there are some things you may need to add to your existing coverage.
For instance, water damage on a typical home insurance policy is only covered if it originates from a burst pipe. But, a sewer backup or overland flooding (think rising lakes or even fast-thawing snow) can cost you thousands without a flood insurance add-on to your policy.
Also, if you have valuable possessions such as jewellery, rare art, or even expensive bikes, consider upping your contents insurance limits. A home insurance policy will typically cover appliances, furniture, and electronics, but only up to a certain amount. If you have things of value, buy extra insurance to cover them.
With car insurance, you can add collision insurance which protects your car while it's moving and comprehensive car insurance that protects your car from theft or a falling tree when it's parked. Also consider Ontario Policy Change Forms (OPCF) such as rental car insurance (OPCF27), or extra family protection (OPCF44r).
How do I get the cheapest home insurance in Ontario?
If you're looking to save money on your home insurance, there are a few things you can do right away.
One, if you haven't already, compare quotes. By comparing quotes you'll know which company will offer you the best price.
Knowing you're paying the best price in the market, you can then call your provider and ask for ways to save money. For instance, you can increase your deductible (the portion you pay before the insurance company pays out the claim). By increasing your deductible, there's less risk that you'll submit a claim.
You can also ask for discounts if you're a union member or belong to a group or association (e.g. university alumni).
If you can afford it, pay annual premiums. It's less administrative work for the company and they'll thank you for it.
Sometimes an insurer wants to look at your credit score and doing so can lead to a decrease in premiums. If so, and your credit is good, ask them to check it.
Finally, bundle with your auto insurance to get up to 25% savings on your overall cost of insurance.
Off the phone, consider how to deter thieves (e.g. alarm systems) and increase safety, such as by installing extra hand railings. The longer you can go claims-free, the less you'll pay in home insurance.
Home insurance is not a maintenance plan, so if your roof needs repairs, get it done. If your roof springs a leak and your insurance company finds out it was due to wear and tear, you could be in for a hard claims battle.
What are the best home insurance companies in Ontario?
Ontarians look at companies like Belairdirect (Intact), Sonnet (Economical), and Aviva as great insurance companies. However, the biggest insurance companies don't mean they're the best for you. Comparing home insurance quotes is quick and easy and you get to see prices from multiple providers (including some of the big players).
From there, you truly view which insurance company will give you the best rate based on your unique home and profile. Know that every insurance company will offer the same coverage and add-ons. Don't be afraid to go with a smaller provider, either. Every insurance company is backed by reinsurance, so even if they go under (which they almost never do), another company is there to support you.
Here's a quick tip: home insurance companies change prices every year depending on their budgets. So, every year, when you get the slip in the mail, quickly check here to see if your provider is still offering the best rate.
Is home insurance mandatory in Ontario?
No, Ontario home insurance is not mandatory. However, your lender probably requires it as a condition of your mortgage with them. If you're renting, you only need it if your landlord requires it. But, if you're in a condo, the condo board may insist on insurance.
However, home insurance protects you from significant risks. Anything can happen and without a contingency plan in place, if your house burns to the ground, you'll be paying out of pocket.
If you're mortgage-free, you don't need insurance, but it also will cost much less. So before you give up your policy, weigh all your options. No one can predict a hurricane or tornado damaging your home.
What are the high-risk home insurance companies in Ontario?
We work with Perth, Coachman, and Echelon Insurance who are specialists in high-risk home insurance. High-risk home insurance is if you have a history of filing many claims or missing a payment, you can end up in a high-risk category.
Also, multiple mortgages, century-old homes, or even vacant home insurance in Ontario (or unoccupied) might require high-risk coverage.
Do I need home construction insurance in Ontario for my renovation?
Yes, but it's not complicated and it's relatively inexpensive at about $30 extra per month. If you're renovating, you need to inform your insurance provider both before and after renovations. If you'll be out of the house for more than 30 days, it could complicate matters. However, if you check the mail, mow the lawn or shovel the snow – you should be fine.
Home insurance companies are trying to manage their risk against a claim. While your contractor has insurance for their work and their labourers, you don't want to find yourself in a situation arguing over who's responsible for what if you need to make a claim.
Also, once you're done with your renovations, your insurance company needs to reassess. If you've added value to your home – put on an extension, added a home theatre, or a state-of-the-art kitchen, your insurance could go up, but everything is protected. If something happens, you don't want to be denied coverage, or given a smaller claims payout because they didn't know about all the upgrades. Your insurance could also go down if you've improved safety with alarm systems and stronger deadbolts on the doors.
What is the home insurance claims process in Ontario?
After making a claim, create a list of damaged or stolen items. Call your insurance provider as soon as you can and ask about what you’re entitled to, especially if you can’t currently live in your home as you may receive accommodation and food expenses.
A claims adjuster will be in contact with you to fill out a proof of loss form. Ask about using your own contractor or if you’re required to use one they supply to repair the property.
Depending on the severity of the damage, the claim payout could be quick or not. The best way to ensure a fast process is to have an honest discussion with your insurer every time you speak with them. Renting out your basement? Tell them. Considering Airbnb? Ask if they cover it. Renovating? Let'em know.
Also, keep an up-to-date inventory of your stuff. A video walk-through of your house is a great way to keep a record of what you own (and easy), but a detailed list of photos with matching receipts is even better.
Finally, ask if you have a replacement cost or actual cash value policy. An ACV policy includes depreciation meaning you may only get a percentage of the value of the items that need replacing. A replacement cost policy, though, is much more expensive.
Who is the best home insurance broker in Ontario?
Finding the best home insurance broker is a difficult process. Friends and family can have great recommendations based on personal experience, but you could experience something quite different with the same brokerage.
By getting an insurance quote with us, we're able to help you compare rates from different companies. Not only that but once you pick your provider, we'll connect you with a preferred insurance broker who can help answer any questions you may have before putting the finishing touches on your policy.
What is not covered by a typical home insurance plan in Ontario?
There isn't much excluded from standard policies. If it's not covered, it's most often due to wear and tear that gets worse due to negligence. For instance, mould is seen as a lack of maintenance from a homeowner. If a home insurance claim could have been avoided with regular maintenance, you can expect it to not be covered.
Other common exclusions include infestations from termites or rats, home businesses, dangerous dogs, and sewer backup.
Otherwise, you're likely covered. The question then becomes should you make a claim? The easiest answer is the cost of the claim should grossly outweigh the cost of your deductible. If your kid smashes a window and you want to file an insurance claim, first get an estimate on the repair. If the repair is $200 and your deductible is $1,000 then it really doesn't make any sense to file a claim.
Can you cancel home insurance in Ontario?
Yes, if you’re unhappy with your rate or customer service, feel free to move on. However, before you do, know that it's better to switch insurance companies to avoid any fees or gaps in coverage.
What is a home insurance peril in Ontario?
A home insurance peril is an unknown or accidental event. For instance, if your home is struck and damaged by lightning, creating a hole in your roof, there is no way you could have prevented it. But a home insurance policy is not a maintenance plan so if your roof has slowly degraded over time and now needs replacing, it is not a peril since its eventual replacement is expected.
What is a home insurance deductible in Ontario?
Your deductible is the portion of the claim you’re responsible for paying before the insurance company will pay the rest. A higher deductible, meaning you'll pay more than standard in the event of a claim, will result in lower premiums.
Do I need home insurance for Airbnb in Ontario?
Yes, is the simple answer. While Airbnb does provide host protection, it may not be enough. You should contact your insurance provider before any changes to your policy and that includes renting it out. If they’re not fine with you renting your property, you can move your policy to another provider who will.