Why do I need home insurance in Fort McMurray?
While home insurance in Alberta is not mandatory, unlike car insurance, there are circumstances where you may need it. In fact, it might be necessary to take out a mortgage loan to buy your home as mortgage lenders are allowed to make it a stipulation of their loan agreements. Because of this, many Fort McMurray homeowners end up purchasing home insurance when they want to apply for a mortgage. Likewise, landlords can also make a valid tenant insurance policy a condition of a rental lease.
Of course, even if you don't have a mortgage, it is still a good idea to protect your home and contents with home insurance. Contact BrokerLink to learn more about home insurance requirements in Fort McMurray.
Get the right type of coverage for your Fort McMurray home insurance
As most homeowners are aware, owning a home comes with a unique set of risks. And depending on where you live, these types of risks can vary. Here are some of the risks you may experience as a homeowner in Fort McMurray:
Sewage pipe backup
A backed-up sewage pipe could cause significant damage to your home and its contents. There are a few causes of sewage pipe backup, such as a clog, old pipes or an overflow of the municipal system.
Fires have become a lot less common due to mandatory smoke detectors. However, a simple mistake like leaving an element on can be the start of a fire. And even a small fire can result in significant damage.
Cold weather leading to burst pipes
Residents of Fort McMurray know just how cold it can get! Even if you are one of those people who love winter, it’s important to know cold weather can impact your home. When the temperature drops, the water in your pipes could freeze. This can lead to burst pipes. This is one of the most common causes of property damage in the winter.
What is covered by my home insurance in Fort McMurray?
As we mentioned above, home insurance is not mandated in Alberta. Yet there are many reasons why homeowners may choose to purchase it. While the details of your home insurance coverage in Fort McMurray will vary depending on the plan you purchase, standard home insurance policies typically include the following:
1. Dwelling coverage
Dwelling insurance covers your physical home in Fort McMurray. If your property is damaged by an insured peril , you may be protected under the dwelling portion of your home insurance policy. Examples of common perils covered by dwelling insurance include:
- Car/aircraft impact
- Falling objects
2. Contents coverage
This protects your personal belongings inside your home. Items that insurance may cover in the event of loss or damage include furniture, utensils, clothing, electronics, jewelry, sporting equipment, equipment breakdown, and more.
3. Personal liability coverage
This coverage can come in handy if a third party injures themselves while on your property. In such an instance, you could be held liable and be responsible for paying all sorts of expenses, including legal and medical fees. But with home insurance, the personal liability portion of your policy might help cover these fees. It may also cover you if your home or property causes damage to a neighbouring home.
Additional Fort McMurray home insurance coverage
For some homeowners, basic home insurance may not provide enough coverage. Luckily, Fort McMurray homeowners have several optional coverage types to choose from. Here are some of the options:
1. Business coverage
A business insurance add-on is important if you operate a business out of your Fort McMurray home. In fact, it might even be necessary as most basic home insurance policies in Alberta do not cover damage caused by business operations. Therefore, if something happened as a result of your home business, your insurance provider may not cover it - unless you add a business coverage endorsement to your policy.
2. Sewer backup coverage
Some Fort McMurray homeowners may wish to add sewer backup insurance to their homeowners policies. Adding this coverage to your policy can help cover the costs of repairing damage to your home caused by a sewer backup.
Please note that the additional insurance coverages listed above are typically added as riders or endorsements to existing home insurance policies.
3. Flood coverage
Also known as overland water or overland flooding, this add-on helps to cover damage that occurred due to bodies of freshwater overflowing onto dry land. This usually includes flooding due to a natural disaster, such as melting snow, excess rain and overflowing riverbeds. However, if you live in an area that is at high risk for flooding, you may not be able to purchase this coverage.
What is not covered by home insurance in Fort McMurray?
While many Fort McMurray home insurance policies feature dwelling coverage, contents coverage and personal liability coverage, you may find that it doesn’t cover as much as you may expect. Therefore, it is important you speak with your insurance provider to make sure you thoroughly understand what your insurance policy does and does not include.
Below are a few things you might not have coverage for:
An uninsurable peril is something insurance companies typically don’t provide coverage for. It’s usually something that has a high chance of occurring. For example, if your home is in an area that has flooded many times in the past, it’s unlikely you will be able to get flood coverage.
Wear and tear
Your home insurance policy may become invalid if you neglect the maintenance of your home and allow it to fall into a state of disrepair. For example, if your roof is missing shingles which causes water damage, your insurance company may refuse to pay for the damage.
If your property is empty for long periods of time (e.g. more than one month consecutively), it’s important to tell your insurance company, as a vacant home can impact your rates. So before you head south for the winter, get in touch with your insurance broker. Otherwise, if a loss or damage occurs while you are away, your existing Fort McMurray home insurance provider may not cover you.
It has become commonplace for homeowners to rent out their homes for short periods of time as a way of earning extra income. This concept is sometimes referred to as home-sharing and was popularized by platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. While home sharing can provide monthly cash flow, it can also void your home insurance policy if you fail to inform your insurance advisor.
Finally, your Fort McMurray home insurance policy may not cover you if property damage occurs as a result of a renovation. If your home is undergoing a renovation, we suggest informing your insurance broker as soon as possible since upgrades can influence the cost of home insurance premiums.
What can affect my home insurance in Fort McMurray?
When purchasing the right home insurance policy in Fort McMurray, your broker will ask you about various aspects of your home. However, if things change later on and you fail to tell your broker or the insurance company, your policy could become void. Here are some things you must disclose:
Failing to maintain
If you allow your home to fall into a state of disrepair, you may not be covered. For example, if your roof is missing shingles, and you incur water damage as a result, your insurance company might decide you are not covered.
Running a home business
If you run a business out of your home, you will require additional coverage. If you fail to tell your insurance company about your at-home business and there is damage as a result of the business, you might not be covered. If you need additional coverage for your business, talk to an insurance broker. (Note that working from home is not the same as running a business out of your home.)
It is important to advise your agent if you are leaving your home for a period of time, if your home is going to be vacant for a period of 30 days or more your insurance company may request your home be checked at minimum every 72 hours. Failure to do so can result in the denial of a claim if something were to arise.
In the long run, renovations can add to the value of your home. However, it’s important to tell your insurance broker about any renovations you make to your home. They could affect the insurance coverage you require.
How much is home insurance in Fort McMurray?
Now that you are familiar with the ins and outs of Fort McMurray home insurance, the next obvious question is how much it's going to cost you. The fact is, there is no set price because of the many factors that determine the cost of home insurance, such as the size and value of your home, where in Fort McMurray you live and your previous insurance history. For an accurate quote, reach out to BrokerLink to speak with one of our licenced insurance brokers.
How can I save money on home insurance in Fort McMurray?
Here are a few ways to help you save on home insurance:
1. Bundle multiple policies and save
Combining your Fort McMurray home insurance with other policies, such as car insurance or business insurance, could result in 15% savings on each policy!
2. Install a security system
Installing a professional alarm system could result in savings. Some insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners that install certain types of security systems in their homes due to the added layer of safety they offer, thanks to their security features. Check with your insurance broker before you buy — not all security companies are recognized by insurance carriers.
3. Upgrade your home
Different home renovations can result in savings on your insurance bill. Updating things like plumbing, heating, electrical wiring and your roof could result in paying less for insurance. Be sure to update your insurance company if you make any of these changes.
4. Quit smoking
Insurance companies measure policies in terms of the risk of loss, for example, if you smoke in your home it is more likely that there may be a fire in your home, which would increase your policy premiums. If you opt to quit smoking and inform your insurance company they may reduce your rates.
5. Increase your policy deductible
Increasing your Fort McMurray home insurance deductible is a quick way to reduce your insurance premiums. This tip applies to all types of insurance! Whether it’s auto insurance or business insurance, a higher deductible often comes with a lower premium. Because you are taking on a greater portion of the risk by increasing your deductible. Contact BrokerLink for more information and a professional opinion on whether raising your home insurance deductible is right for you.
6. Pay annually instead of monthly
Many insurance companies charge administrative fees for every payment you make. Therefore, paying off your insurance in one installment versus twelve installments will often save you money. Some insurance companies charge anywhere from 2-5% for monthly installments. If your insurance provider gives you the option of paying for your Fort McMurray home insurance policy monthly or annually, be sure to inquire about the fees associated with each.
7. Avoid purchasing a house with a pool
You may be surprised to learn that you can save more on home insurance by not buying a house with a pool. Swimming pools, especially those that are unfenced, are a major liability risk! If your home has one, your insurance premium is likely to be higher.
8. Buy a house near a fire hydrant or fire station
Some insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders whose homes are located near fire hydrants or fire stations. If you are interested in saving money on property insurance and living near emergency services, such as a fire station, be sure to speak with a broker. They can inform you about the specific conditions that need to be met to qualify for this insurance discount.
9. Consult with a BrokerLink insurance advisor
Last but not least, if you want to save money on Fort McMurray home insurance, we recommend consulting with a BrokerLink insurance advisor. BrokerLink has a team of fully licenced brokers, each of whom is dedicated to matching our customers with the best possible policy. We will take the time to understand your unique needs and find you a Fort McMurray home insurance policy that meets them. Plus, we do the work for you, which makes shopping for home insurance easier than ever before. If you want an expert at your fingertips who will compare quotes and unlock discounts on your behalf, look no further than BrokerLink.
Three reasons to work with a BrokerLink insurance advisor
With so many options out there, shopping for Fort McMurray home insurance can be overwhelming. That’s where BrokerLink comes in. We make home insurance shopping hassle-free thanks to our superior customer service and unparalleled resources. Keep reading to discover three benefits of working with a BrokerLink insurance advisor:
1. Brokers work independently of insurance providers
The first benefit of working with an insurance broker is that they work independently of insurance providers. This allows BrokerLink to put the customer first — always. We will listen to your unique needs and provide unbiased, objective advice on the best policy for your home.
2. Brokers do the work for you
If the last thing you want to do at the end of a long workday is research home insurance policies on the internet, then we recommend working with a broker. Insurance brokerages like BrokerLink have insurance advisors who do the work for you. They shop around on your behalf by contacting Canada’s top insurance providers and obtaining quotes. From there, they compare the quotes and unlock discounts to present you with top-quality policy options within your budget.
3. Brokers are home insurance experts
One final benefit of working with a BrokerLink insurance advisor is that we are home insurance experts. BrokerLink has been in business since 1991, which means we know the ins and outs of the home insurance industry. We will use our resources and expertise to match you with a competitive policy with great coverage.
We’re in your community
Getting involved in the community is a big part of who we are. We live and work in your community. We love meeting our neighbours!
Local Alberta insurance links
If you’re a member of a group or association, you may be eligible for more discounts.
Get the right coverage for home insurance in Fort McMurray!
We understand that choosing the right home insurance policy can be overwhelming. But finding the right home insurance plan doesn’t have to be difficult! That is why we are here to help you navigate the process. Call a BrokerLink insurance broker, and we will work together to find a plan that is unique to you!
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