Best home insurance

Get comprehensive coverage from an insurer you trust.

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What are the best home insurers?

While there’s no holy grail home insurance policy that’s right for everyone, there are a few ways you can make sure you’re getting the best policy for your needs.

You’ll find home insurance companies everywhere you look, but that doesn’t make them all the same. Look at some of the best options out there to fit your needs.

How can I make sure I’m buying the best home insurance policy?

To find the best policy to keep your home safe:

  • Insure your home for the right amount. If you’ve owned your home for more than a few years, consider having it professionally appraised to get an updated idea of its value. And for the most comprehensive coverage, insure your home for its replacement value, not its market value.
  • Choose an affordable deductible. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premiums, but you should still choose an amount that you can afford to pay if something happens to your home. Your policy is useless if you can’t afford the deductible after an accident.
  • Check personal property coverage limits. Make sure the policy provides sufficient coverage for your valuable items by checking the limits and sub-limits. For example, if your $3,500 computer is destroyed by fire and your policy limits computer coverage to a maximum of $1,000, you’ll end up significantly out of pocket.
  • Check the exclusions. Not only is it important to know what your policy covers, but also what it doesn’t cover. Read the list of general exclusions and talk with your insurer to find out if you need to purchase additional coverage.
  • Compare insurers. Get quotes from your top insurers, and then compare based on price and the provider’s reputation. Sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau can give you a good idea of how past customers have felt about the claims process.

What should the best home insurance cover?

The most comprehensive type of home insurance is a Comprehensive policy, which covers everything except the exclusions specifically stated in the policy, such as flood damage or wear and tear. It will also cover emergency repairs and temporary accommodations while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. In comparison, Standard and No-Frills policies cover only specific events listed in the policy. A Broad policy is provides hybrid coverage between Standard and Comprehensive coverage. Learn more about the different kinds of coverage here.

What additional coverage options are there?

If you want to tailor home insurance coverage to suit your needs, you can also purchase:

  • Increased coverage for valuable items. Valuable personal property insurance, is additional coverage above your sub-limits for specific valuable items, like jewelry, artwork or electronics.
  • Flood insurance. Home insurance won’t cover floods, but you can purchase flood insurance through insurance companies like Aviva, Cooperators, and RSA Canada.
  • Earthquake insurance. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, consider adding on extra coverage.
  • Inflation guard coverage. This increases your coverage along with inflation, so you don’t end up underinsured and paying out of pocket after a covered event.
  • Sewer backup coverage. This covers the cost of repairs after a sewer backup. Without the additional coverage, sewer backups generally aren’t covered under a home insurance policy.

What should I look for when trying to find the best home insurance company?

When choosing a home insurer, compare providers based on:

  • Customer service. Is your insurance provider easy to deal with? Does it have an online chat service? Can you contact customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Making a home insurance claim can be a very stressful time, so being able to talk with an agent when you want to is crucial.
  • Claims process. How easy is it to file a claim with the insurer? Is there a 24/7 claims service available? Can you submit a claims form and supporting documentation online? If you need to make a claim you want the entire process to be as smooth and hassle-free as possible, so investigate how you can claim and how long the insurer takes to process claims.
  • The underwriter. It’s also essential to consider the underwriter that actually issues the home insurance policy. Is it a respected company with ample experience and a strong financial position? Does it have a good reputation for paying out claims?
  • Policies offered. Does the insurer offer home insurance that offers the benefits and features you need? Can you tailor cover to your requirements by adding or removing optional extras?
  • Reviews and recommendations. Check out online reviews to find out what sort of experiences other homeowners have had with the same insurer. Ask friends and family members who they insure with and whether they would recommend their insurer.

When to switch insurers

Your insurer will send you a letter at least 30 days before your policy ends and, in most cases, will invite you to renew. But automatically renewing can be a costly mistake for two reasons:

  • You could be paying too much for coverage. Don’t assume that just because you’re a long-term customer your insurer will offer you the best possible price. You may be able to access similar coverage from another insurer at a much lower price.
  • There could be a better policy out there. Your home insurance policy may have met your needs a few years ago, but that might not be the case now. There may also be different policies and features available in today’s insurance market, so shopping around could help you find coverage that’s better tailored to your needs.

So when your next home insurance renewal appears in your mailbox or email inbox, don’t just pay the premium quoted to you straight away. Take some time to compare quotes from a few other insurers to see if there’s a better deal out there. Switching home insurers is quick and easy, and it can make a surprisingly big difference to your bank balance.

Bottom line

There’s no single best insurance policy, but there is a policy out there that’s the best fit for your needs and budget. Compare home insurers to find the one that’s right for you.

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