What type of home insurance coverage do I need in Alberta?
The type of home insurance coverage you need is based on your home, lifestyle, budget, and your personal circumstances. Therefore, this answer will be different for anyone. The reality is that home insurance coverage only works if it's tailor-made to you. That is why BrokerLink specializes in personalized coverage. We want your policy to be a reflection of you and your home - nothing more and nothing less. BrokerLink insurance advisors have experience helping customers find everything from vacation property & cottage insurance to condo insurance, and much more. No matter what you’re in the market for, we will explain your coverage options and help you create your ideal policy. To give you an idea of some of the most common home insurance coverages in Alberta and how they work, we’ve put together the following list:
Dwelling coverage is the first and one of the most important types of Alberta property insurance coverage. It protects the physical structure of your home, like its doors, windows, walls, and foundation, from damage caused by insured perils. Insured perils featured in your policy may include:
- Car / aircraft impact
- Falling objects
Contents coverage also covers you in the event of property damage, but this time it pertains to the belongings inside your home. In other words, if a peril that you are insured against damages your home, and by extension, the items inside of it, your insurer will help pay to repair or replace these items under the contents coverage portion of your policy. Examples of items that contents coverage may protect include clothing, furniture, decor, electronics, and more. To be prepared for an emergency or evacuation, it can be a good idea to take photos of the rooms in your home periodically to easily maintain a home inventory list or photo inventory.
Personal liability coverage
Finally, personal liability coverage is also commonly found in Alberta home insurance plans. It is designed to protect policyholders if they face a legal claim. For example, if a third party, such as a neighbour, alleges that they slipped, fell, and injured themselves while on your property, they could sue you. If this happened, your liability coverage would kick in and help pay for legal fees, medical expenses, and more. It can also cover you if your home causes damage to another person’s property.
Is there any other home insurance coverage I need in Alberta?
While the three types of home insurance coverage listed above are the most common in Alberta, there are several other types that you can add to your policy. Home-based business coverage, equipment breakdown coverage, sewer backup coverage, and overland water coverage are a few of these types, any of which can be added to Alberta house insurance plans as endorsements or riders. Keep reading for some insight into how each of these policies works:
Home-based business coverage
Home-based business insurance is the only way to protect yourself against business-related losses. Standard homeowner’s insurance in Alberta only covers personal use of your home, which means if damage occurs due to business activity, your claim will likely be denied - unless you added a home business coverage endorsement to your policy, that is. With this type of endorsement, you will be protected against risks like property damage, legal claims, and more that relate to the business use of your home. Home business insurance is not just for business owners who run businesses out of their homes, it is also for employees who work from home. A commercial coverage rider is especially important for employees who have customers or clients visit their homes, store business stock or inventory at their homes, or have expensive business-related equipment in their homes, such as computers and other electronics. If you do not want to add a home-based business coverage rider to your Alberta property insurance policy, you can also purchase a completely separate commercial insurance policy, however it is often cheaper to add the endorsement if possible.
Equipment breakdown coverage
Equipment breakdown coverage can protect you from the cost of a broken down piece of household equipment. Given how expensive it can be to fix or replace a major piece of equipment, like a furnace, this type of coverage is worthwhile for many Alberta homeowners. Specifically, it will compensate you for the cost of repairing or replacing a piece of covered equipment in your home if it breaks down to an internal failure, like an electrical or mechanical failure. While it will not cover you for lack of maintenance, sudden and accidental failures would be covered.
Sewer backup coverage
Sewer backup coverage is designed to protect policyholders in the event of this worst-case scenario: a sewer backup. Sewer backups are known to cause extensive water damage, which is what makes them so risky. But with sewer backup coverage, your insurer will help pay for the cost of any necessary repairs following an incident.
Overland water coverage
Overland water coverage is another type of additional home insurance coverage that protects you from the cost of water damage. You will be covered if your home is flooded due to a nearby lake/river, overflow, heavy rain, or rapid snow melt.
How much does home insurance cost in Alberta?
Home insurance costs in Alberta can vary significantly from person to person. For this reason, instead of providing a cost estimate, we have chosen to explain how property insurance costs are calculated. Insurance companies consider a multitude of factors when setting insurance premiums. Thus, it’s impossible to estimate how much your insurance policy will cost without knowing more about you and your home. For a free Alberta home insurance quote, contact BrokerLink. In the meantime, read through the following list of details that an insurance company will assess when determining your premium:
- The value of your home.
- The neighbourhood you live in.
- How close your home is to emergency services.
- The age and condition of the roof on your home.
- The type, age, and condition of the heating system in your home.
- The type, age, and condition of the electrical system in your home.
- The type, age, and condition of the plumbing system in your home.
- Whether or not you have a pool on the premises.
- Whether your home is equipped with a home alarm system and what kind.
- Whether there are any additional structures on your property, and what they are.
- The coverages, limits, and deductibles you select for your policy.
Finding affordable Alberta home insurance just got easier thanks to these tips
Many customers believe that affordable insurance is an oxymoron. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that affordable insurance can be your reality if you know where to look. We recommend starting with a broker. A licenced and experienced home insurance broker, like those at BrokerLink, knows the industry like the back of their hand. This means that they have all kinds of money-saving tips and advice to lower your premium. To help you get started, the BrokerLink team has compiled the following list of tips to help Alberta customers find affordable insurance solutions for their homes:
Consult with a home insurance expert in Alberta
As mentioned above, our first tip for finding an Alberta home insurance policy you can afford is to consult with an insurance broker. Brokers are home insurance experts with years of experience helping homeowners just like you find great policies. They also have experience working with a wide range of budgets. Get in touch with us, let us know what coverage you need and the budget you’re working with, and we’ll start searching for you. We will compare rates to ensure you get the best coverage at the lowest price, in addition to informing you about various discounts and other ways to save.
Install a burglar alarm system on your property
You can keep insurance costs low and protect your home by installing a security system on your property. Please note that to qualify for this type of Alberta home insurance discount, your insurer may require that you purchase a certain type of system, such as a monitored alarm system. Be sure to consult with your broker to find out what conditions must be met to be eligible for this type of home insurance discount. For more home protection tips, contact BrokerLink.
Buy multiple insurance policies at once
Buying multiple insurance policies at once is another way to save big on Alberta home insurance. This process is known as insurance bundling, and it can be extremely lucrative if you’re looking to save money on insurance. Many insurers allow bundles to feature different types of insurance, which means you wouldn’t even need to buy two types of Alberta home insurance. Instead, you might be able to bundle home and auto policies or home and commercial policies.
Raise the deductible on your Alberta house insurance plan
Premiums and deductibles are directly related, which means that the deductibles you choose have a considerable impact on the premium you pay. This goes for any type of insurance, including home insurance. So if you want to keep your premium low, carefully think about the highest deductible you can afford to pay, and select that.
Make your home more energy efficient
If you are interested in renovating your home or are in the midst of purchasing a new home, consider one with energy-efficient features. Living in a home with features like solar panels that reduce energy consumption may make you eligible for a property insurance discount.
Pay for your Alberta house insurance policy upfront
Avoid any hidden transaction or administrative fees by selecting a yearly payment plan for your Alberta home insurance policy. If you are given the choice between a yearly one and a monthly one, make sure to ask what the total cost for each will be. You might be surprised to learn that some insurers charge extra if you want to pay monthly in the form of additional fees.
Install a sewer backup prevention device or sump pump on your Alberta property
Mitigate the effects of water damage and become eligible for a home insurance discount by installing a sump pump or sewer backup detection device somewhere on your property.
We’re in your community
BrokerLink is a pillar of the Alberta community, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We strive to connect with our customers all across this province, whether you live in Edmonton, Calgary, or Canmore. Learn more about the ways in which we give back by getting in touch today.
Local Alberta insurance links
If you’re a member of a group or association, you may be eligible for more discounts.
At Alberta BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible.
You can reach us by phone, email, or in person at any one of our locations across Alberta. No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool that can provide you with a competitive quote in minutes.
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Alberta house insurance FAQs
Will my Alberta home insurance policy cover me for high-value belongings?
Depending on your policy, you may be covered for high-value items in your home. If you have lots of expensive items, make sure that you choose a coverage limit that reflects this and would pay for the cost of replacing these items in the event of a total loss. You may also wish to consider purchasing high value home insurance, which is specially designed for homeowners with lots of high-value items in their homes, like artwork, vintage wine, musical instruments, fine jewellery, etc.
If I live in Alberta, do I need to buy home insurance?
Home insurance is not a legal requirement in Alberta the way that car insurance is, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Beyond the many financial benefits that come with purchasing home insurance and the peace of mind it brings, you might be required to purchase home insurance by other third parties, such as a mortgage lender or landlord. If you bought your Alberta home with a mortgage or are a renter, be sure to read the terms and conditions of your loan agreement and lease agreement to find out if you are obligated to purchase home insurance. For borrowers, your bank or mortgage lender may require you to have a valid homeowner’s insurance policy until your loan is paid off. Meanwhile, for renters, your landlord might stipulate that you need to have valid tenant and renters insurance coverage until your lease is up. Learn more about tenant insurance works and what it covers by reading the tenant insurance guide.
What are some tips for finding cheap home insurance in Alberta?
You can find cheap home insurance in Alberta by inquiring about discounts. Insurance companies offer all kinds of property insurance discounts, like sump pump discounts, burglar alarm system discounts, and even employment or alumni-based discounts. You can also keep the cost of Alberta home insurance low by selecting a high deductible for your policy, bundling multiple insurance policies into one, making all your payments on time, and comparing plans before buying a policy to ensure you’re getting the most competitive rate.
Do I need personal liability coverage for home insurance in Alberta?
Although liability coverage for home insurance may not be a legal requirement in Alberta, it is still extremely important, and policyholders would be wise to include it in their policies. Why? It comes down to the fact that personal liability coverage is the only type of home insurance coverage that protects you from legal claims. While dwelling and contents coverage are also important, they are only designed to protect you from the cost of property damage.
This means that if a third party claim from a neighbour or house guest was brought against you, these coverages would do nothing to help you. Thus, you need personal liability coverage. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to pay for the cost of the lawsuit yourself, not to mention other associated costs, like medical expenses and repair bills. Given how expensive lawsuits can be, adding personal liability coverage to your Alberta property insurance policy is even more important.
How can I minimize the odds of a fire breaking out in my Alberta home?
Fire is a major fear for many homeowners. Not only can it threaten the lives of those who live inside the home but it can also cause major property damage. For this reason, fire safety is of the utmost importance. A few precautions you can take to minimize the odds of a fire breaking out in your home are as follows: keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home, install smoke detectors on every floor and test them regularly, do not leave open flames unattended, never pour water on a grease fire, hire a professional to inspect your furnace and chimney annually and perform maintenance as required, and do not plug multiple appliances into the same electrical outlet.
What does Alberta home insurance not cover?
Alberta home insurance doesn’t cover everything. While each policy’s terms and conditions will be different, there are a few situations that you should never expect your home insurance plan to cover you for. First, if you choose to leave your home empty or vacant for more than 30 days in a row, and damage occurs during this time, your claim will likely be denied.
An insurance company may also deny your claim if damage occurs while your home is being renovated, due to business use of your home, or due to home sharing. However, you may be able to purchase a rider or endorsement that covers you for business-related losses and renovation damage. Finally, under no circumstances will your Alberta home insurance policy cover you if a loss or damage occurs due to your failure to maintain your home. If your home falls into a state of disrepair due to neglect, your insurer will reject your claim and might even void your policy.
How can I get a free home insurance quote in Alberta?
You can get a free home insurance quote in Alberta by reaching out to a local insurance provider or broker. Many insurers now offer complimentary quotes to prospective customers, so get in touch, explain the type of coverage you’re looking for, and receive a competitive quote in less than five minutes.
If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.
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