Anyone that lived in Edmonton in 1987 will remember Black Friday—the day a powerful tornado tore through the city, causing well over $300 million in property damage and destroying more than 300 homes. While natural disasters are rare in Edmonton, weather and other risks such as fire, water damage and theft are still a concern. Whether you live in Inglewood, Royal Gardens, Sherwood Park or St. Albert you’re probably concerned about protecting the most expensive asset you probably own: your home.
Edmontonians see a wide range of temperatures and weather. This is tough on your home! Common claims we see in Edmonton include:
- Burst pipes
- Sewer backup
- Overland water (flood)
- Roof damage (due to wind or snow accumulation)
- Damage caused by falling trees or branches
It’s important to carry out proper maintenance on your home to minimize the damage. This includes repairing problems when they’re small instead of waiting for them to get bigger. You can also invest in damage mitigation devices like security systems, water alarms, sump pumps, sewer backup valves and fire suppression systems. Regrading your property and landscaping can also help your home deal with water accumulation.
You should also have the proper home insurance to ensure you are covered if your home is damaged.
What does home insurance cover in Edmonton?
A basic home insurance policy has three areas of protection:
- Property Coverage – Helps replace your belongings and repair or rebuild your home if they’re damaged by an insured peril such as fire.
- Additional Living Expenses – Helps cover additional expenses incurred due to being forced from your home by a mandatory evacuation order or claim from an insured peril.
- Personal Liability – Helps cover expenses if someone is injured or has their property damaged due to your unintentional actions. For example, if someone falls of your trampoline, gets hurt, and sues you.
Exactly what’s covered will depend on your individual policy. Your policy will also have exclusions such as wear and tear, damage by pests, and intentional damage by yourself or someone who lives with you. For a full list, you should speak to your broker or read your policy documents.
What additional coverage is available for Edmonton homeowners?
There are a few optional coverages or extensions available for Edmonton homeowners, including:
- Sewer backup coverage – Helps cover damage caused by sewer or drain backup into your home. Often has a separate limit and deductible. Not all insurers offer this coverage nor are all homes eligible.
- Overland water coverage – Helps cover damage caused by water accumulation through rainfall or snowmelt. Other insurers also include overflow from a freshwater body of water like a river or lake. Not all insurers offer this coverage and it isn’t available to all homeowners.
- Groundwater coverage – Helps cover damage caused by water rising up beneath your home. Not all insurers offer this coverage.
- Service Line coverage – Covers costs relating to repairing or replacing service lines you’re responsible for within your property. Different insurers define service lines differently but can include water, sewer, electric, internet, and phone lines. This isn’t offered by every insurer.
- Earthquake coverage – Covers damage caused by an earthquake or another earth movement. This coverage usually has a separate deductible.
- Floaters – If you have items of higher value such as jewellery, collections, art, sports equipment or electronics, a floater will ensure they’re protected for their proper value.
You also have a lot of options when it comes to the amount of insurance you have. This is known as your limits. For example, you should ensure you have enough coverage to cover the costs to rebuild your home and replace all of your belongings. Some policies have separate limits for separate categories of content such as outbuildings and personal belongings.
How much does home insurance cost in Edmonton?
On average, home insurance in Edmonton costs $125 per month or about $1500 per year. Your premiums may be higher or lower depending on your individual situation.
Home insurance premiums in Edmonton depend on the following factors:
- Your insurance options
- Your insurance history
- Your credit rating
- Your demographics
- The crime rate and claim rate of your neighbourhood
- Your home’s proximity to risks like a river
- How close the nearest fire station and fire hydrant are to your home
- The type of home you have
- The construction material of your home
- The age and type of roof
- The age and type of electrical, heating and plumbing system in your home
- If you have any risks like a pool or trampoline or wood-burning stove
- The square footage of your home
- The cost of rebuilding your home
There may be additional factors as every insurer calculates rates differently.
Alberta’s home insurance rates have been increasing due to the high number of natural disasters that have affected our province.
Do I really need home insurance?
Home insurance is not required by law, but it will be required by your mortgage lender. If your home is paid off, insurance reduces the financial burden of an unexpected event. If you couldn’t afford to rebuild your home out of pocket, you should have home insurance.
Have more questions about home insurance in Edmonton?
We have multiple branches located in Edmonton and the surrounding area. Contact one of our experienced home insurance brokers to get a quote or discuss your options. They’re happy to answer your questions and provide independent insurance advice.