Home Insurance

Home Insurance

Home insurance helps protect your home and personal belongings against theft, loss, and damage. In Canada, home insurance is not legally required, however, your mortgage lender will likely require you to have it. It is meant to protect you, your family, and your home from the unexpected.

Learn more about home insurance and how it can provide protection for the structure of your home, personal belongings, and liability.

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Which type of home insurance do you need?


Homeowner insurance covers your home, the contents inside your house, as well as its attached structures such as sheds and garages. It may also provide you with third-party liability coverage should someone visiting your property suffer an injury like a slip-and-fall accident.



Condominium insurance covers damage and loss that may occur inside your unit. It also covers your contents as well as any damage you accidentally cause to a neighbouring unit. The condominium corporation will have a master policy which covers the outside structure of the building and common areas within the building which you pay for through your condo fees. However, the condo fees you pay don’t cover any damage or loss that takes place in your unit. 



If you’re renting an apartment, condominium, or house, you need a tenant’s insurance policy to cover damages or losses to your belongings such as your furniture, clothing, and electronics. Your landlord’s insurance policy does not provide coverage for your possessions if they are stolen or damaged by a fire or flood. Tenant’s insurance also provides financial support for additional living expenses if your apartment is uninhabitable following an insured loss, and you must live elsewhere until you can return or find another apartment. Moreover, tenant insurance also includes third-party liability protection if someone suffers an injury while visiting your apartment, or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property.


Seasonal (cottage)

Seasonal insurance helps protect your home away from home. Whether it is your secondary home or vacation home, seasonal insurance protects the building, its outdoor structures like a shed, and your personal belongings against risks like fire, theft, vandalism, and damage by some animals. It also provides coverage for third-party bodily injury or property damage at your seasonal property.


Landlord (i.e., rented to someone else)

Landlord insurance is for anyone who owns a rental home, apartment, or condominium. It covers things such as, dwelling, liability, and your personal contents within the home. It is best to have your tenants look into tenant’s insurance as well.

What does home insurance cover?

Building (the actual home)

Building or dwelling insurance covers your physical home. It also covers attached structures, permanently installed structures, as well as, swimming pools, and attached equipment on your property.



Content insurance covers things such as clothing, furniture, electronics, and more. You should keep a record of your belongings in an updated personal inventory list. Most policies typically provide coverage for theft or burglary of your personal property within, or on your vehicle when parked on your property. 



Liability insurance can protect you in the event that someone is injured on your property. It also provides protection if damage is caused to neighbouring houses by your home or property. It will help protect you whether someone sues you or not. Your policy will pay for personal injury costs, property damage, and legal fees.


Living expenses (i.e., cost to rent a place while your home is being repaired)

Your insurance can help cover the cost of additional living expenses such as moving costs, storage, rent, or hotel rooms in certain circumstances. If your home becomes unlivable due to loss, damage, or repairs, you may be required to temporarily move out. In these circumstances your insurer may pay or reimburse you for the cost accumulated during this time.

Coverages may you have to specifically add onto a policy

Sewer back-up

Sewer back-up may cause a lot of unexpected and unwanted damages and is not typically included in a homeowner’s policy. Sewer back-up is an optional type of coverage you can add to your policy to damages caused by a municipal sewer backing up into your dwelling, and damages related to a malfunctioning sump pump, septic tank, or flood drainage system.



Flooding is the most costliest disaster affecting homeowners and business property owners annually in Canada. Flood insurance protects against damage inflicted on your home by overflowing rivers, nearby lakes, and coastal floods. Commonly referred to as overland flood insurance, it is an optional type of protection you need to add to a standard homeowner policy. Many homeowners may not realize that their home insurance policy does not automatically include flood protection. Flood damage occurs when a large quantity of water flows over land and seeps into your home.



Most standard home, condo, and tenant insurance policies do not include coverage for damages from an earthquake. Earthquake insurance offers coverage for damage caused directly or indirectly by an earthquake including landslides, snow slides, or other aftershocks resulting from an earthquake.


Home-based business

Home-based business insurance can be added as an extension to your policy. This type of insurance covers business inventory and office equipment. It also covers you for liability for clients, employees, and delivery personnel.


Valuable items (e.g., art and wine collections)

Items such as art, wine collections, jewellry, and furniture can be appraised and insured separately. Coverage for these items may be limited so it is important to speak with your insurance representative. 


Sports equipment (bicycles, ski gear)

Most sports equipment is covered by your home insurance policy. You can increase your coverage limit to protect your gear and equipment from things such as theft and unintentional damage.


Musical instruments

Coverage for musical instruments are also usually covered in a home insurance policy against damage caused by water, fire, or theft. However, you can increase the limits of that coverage.


Builder’s Risk and Renovations

Builder’s risk insurance can help protect what you’ve built. This type of policy can protect against property loss or damage, as well as, claims that may arise during a construction project.


Identity theft

Identity theft is one way to safeguard your identity. Thieves can obtain and use your personal information in many different ways. Most home insurance policies include coverage for identity theft.


Elements standard home insurance policies typically do not cover, and you have to work with a specialty provider to get this covered


Home sharing

Home sharing insurance may be right for you if you own a rental property that is used for short-term rentals. It can cover loss or damage to the building and personal belongings and loss of rental income.



Vacant or unoccupied insurance coverage should be considered when your rental property, secondary home, or primary home is empty.  It can ensure your home is protected against theft, vandalism, explosion, lightning to fire, etc.


Short-term rentals (Airbnb)

Most homeowners policies do not provide coverage for hosting guests in your home. Short-term rental coverage can protect you from damage and loss caused by renters using services such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway.

How much does home insurance cost?

The average home insurance cost in Canada is around $1,200 per year. Home insurance cost is determined by several different factors including, but not limited to, location, type of home, and other risks. Homeowners and renters have the option of bundling their insurance which will also be a factor in determining the total yearly cost. It is important to understand your options to ensure you are properly insured. Typically, home insurance will cover your property, personal belongings, and personal liability. It is important to know what your policy does and does not cover, as well as, what additions and endorsements can be added.

Frequently asked questions

What is not covered by homeowners insurance?

Although homeowners insurance provides coverage for the structure of your home and personal belongings, there are several things that may not be covered. For example, typical home insurance policies do not cover collectables, valuable jewellery and artwork, damages caused by earthquakes or floods, or identity theft protection. However, these types of coverages may need to be added to your policy.

What is covered by homeowners insurance?

With many different options of homeowner insurance, the typical policy will cover the following:

  • The actual structure of your home and any structures permanently attached.
  • Detached structures such as sheds and garages.
  • Your family’s personal belongings.
  • Additional living expenses in the event that you cannot stay in your home and need to either stay at a hotel or rent another home for some time due to loss or repairs.
  • Your personal liability.
What is a homeowner insurance endorsement?

A homeowner insurance endorsement or rider is optional coverage you can add to your policy to up the protection you need for your personal belongings and parts of your home that are not covered in a standard policy. Adding endorsements can increase coverage for your home business, protect you from damage caused by water back up, and coverage for personal items such as fine jewellry and art.

How can I determine the cost to replace the personal belongings within my home?

Personal belongings can be insured two different ways: replacement cost coverage and actual cash value. The replacement cost coverage may be limited to a dollar amount, however, you can be paid the dollar amount needed to replace an item without deduction for depreciation. Unless specified in your homeowner policy, coverage for personal belongings is for actual cash value. This coverage will pay you the amount equal to the replacement minus depreciation.

Do I need homeowners insurance in Canada?

Homeowners insurance is not a legal requirement in Canada, however, it is usually required by all mortgage lenders. Although you may not need or want a mortgage, home insurance is still highly recommended. It is meant to protect you from the unexpected. Homeowners insurance protects you in the event that your home or personal belongings are damaged, someone is injured on your property, or to repair or replace your belongings following an insured event.

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