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Why are Alberta home insurance rates increasing?

Home Insurance

By Samantha Lemna | July 8, 2019

If you’ve received your home insurance renewal recently you may have noticed a price increase even if you haven’t made a claim in the past year. It’s understandably frustrating. That’s why we’re going to walk you through the reasons why your premiums may have increased and how to keep them as low as possible without sacrificing your coverage.

First we’ll identify the factors that impact individual home insurance premiums. Second we’ll go through the larger contributors to the rate increases. Finally we’ll review what you can do to keep your rates as low as possible.

What Affects Alberta Home Insurance Premiums

There are ten high-level individual factors that affect the cost of your home insurance:

  • Your claims and insurance history.
  • Your deductible and coverage options.
  • The value of your home and belongings.
  • The age of your home and roof.
  • The distance of your home from a fire hydrant and fire station.
  • Your home’s proximity to natural hazards such as rivers.
  • The crime and claim rates of your postal code.
  • The presence of high-risk items like pools on your property.
  • Changes to your home such as remodels or additions.
  • Natural disaster frequency.
  • Unfortunately Alberta has experienced a large number of natural disasters over the past few years. The 2013 floods and 2016 wildfires cost $14 billion in damages. The frequency and severity of natural disasters are a major factor in your home insurance premiums.

    Other Factors Impacting Alberta’s Home Insurance Rates

    There are several other influences impacting your rates as well as the individual factors noted above:

    • The cost of building materials
    • The cost of labour
    • The replacement value of items
    • Cost of providing additional living expenses
    • Insurance fraud

    All of the factors listed above have been increasing across Canada. Reconstruction costs have risen 4%  in 2018 alone. Let’s take a look at water-related claims as an example. Aging infrastructure and weather events have contributed to a 9% increase in this type of claim in 2018. Repairing the damage has also become more expensive thanks to increases in the costs of labour and materials.

    What can you do to keep your home insurance rates lower?

    Here are a few tips to help you keep your premiums as low as possible:

    • Pay your insurance on time
    • Stay insured – gaps in your insurance history means your rates will be higher
    • Don’t change insurers unless it’s truly worthwhile
    • Bundle your insurance with one company to save
    • Avoid submitting claims for minor damage or damage you can afford to fix yourself
    • Increase your deductible (this will lower your premium)
    • Reduce your exposure to risks by installing monitored security alarms water shutoff valves water sensors sump pumps backup generators and gas leak detectors. Some insurance companies offer discounts for these items too!
    • Be aware of insurance fraud and scams

    Finally one of the most important things you can do isreview your coverage with your insurance broker. You should do this at least once a year. They can help advise you on how to save money as well as get you the best coverage for the best price.

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