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Article Contents
Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated on February 6, 2024

Visit author page
Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated February 6, 2024

Visit author page

14 minute read

Article Contents

Belleville home insurance may not be legally required, but there are still many excellent reasons to get it if you’re a homeowner. A home insurance policy can cover damage or loss of your home, personal possession, and attached buildings like your garage or tool she

It can even cover you if accidents in your home cause injuries or damage to your property. Home insurance policies have three varying levels of coverage, each with standard inclusions and optional add-ons for protection from more risks. Learn how Belleville home insurance works, reasons why you should get it, and how to get your preferred coverage at affordable quotes.

What Risks Affect Belleville Homeowners?

Belleville homeowners are exposed to several hazards that can result in damage or even total destruction of their homes or belongings. These are common risks that typically affect Belleville homeowners and should be serious considerations before choosing your home insurance coverage:

Flooding

Belleville is close to large bodies of water like the Bay of Quinte and the Moira River. When rainfall is unusually heavy, this may cause these and other water sources to overflow and seep into nearby structures. Belleville homeowners should be vigilant against increasing water levels and consider adding a rider for flood coverage to their home insurance policies.

Crime

The incidence of both non-violent and violent crimes has gone up in Belleville, according to data from the Canada Crime Index. A rise in Belleville crime rates means greater risk to your life, home, and personal property. Protect yourself against thieves and trespassers by installing security systems, getting strong locks, and putting fencing around your home.

Fires

A fire can be caused by a wide range of events, from defective appliances to a carelessly discarded match or cigarette. Homeowners should take precautions against fire hazards, especially if they live in densely populated parts of Belleville where fires are likely to spread more quickly.

How Does Home Insurance in Belleville Work? 

As with other insurance products like tenant insurance or condo insurance, Belleville home insurance gives you financial coverage for your home in the event of certain unforeseen events. By purchasing a home insurance policy, you can file a claim that allows you to handle the cost of damage or losses covered under your policy terms.

There are three types of home insurance policies that you can buy in Belleville. Here’s a basic overview of each type:

The typical Belleville home insurance policy may come with these types of home insurance coverage and liability coverage. Here’s a quick description of each standard coverage inclusion:

  • Additional living expenses: If you’re suddenly displaced from your home because of an insured risk, your policy will also cover the cost of temporary housing.
  • Detached private structure: This covers damages to private, detached structures on your property, such as a detached garage or tool shed.
  • Dwelling: This covers damages to your home (a.k.a. your dwelling) and its attached structures, like a garage. Coverage is typically for damages caused by risks such as lightning or fire, depending on the terms of your policy.
  • Personal liability coverage: This covers settlements and legal expenses in case someone is accidentally injured on your property.
  • Personal property: Home insurance policies also cover your personal property, such as furniture and appliances. Note that some special or high-value items like artwork may need additional coverage.
  • Voluntary medical expenses: This coverage helps you pay for the medical expenses of a person you’ve unintentionally injured on your property or someone who accidentally hurts themselves on your property. This usually covers up to one year of expenses up to one year from the time of injury, with certain cost caps.
  • Voluntary property damage: This covers direct damage or loss that you’ve unintentionally caused to someone else’s property. This also applies to unintentional loss or damage caused by a minor who is 12 years old or younger in your care. 

Apart from the standard coverage offered by Belleville home insurance policies, there are other types of coverage you can purchase for extra protection for your property. These are some of the most common coverage add-ons:

  • Credit and debit card forgery: This additional coverage will offset any financial losses or other damage you suffer because of credit or debit card forgery.
  • Earthquakes: This add-on covers damage or losses due to earthquakes.
  • Flooding: Protection from flooding typically includes both overland water and sewer back-up coverage. While you may opt to purchase these water-related add-ons separately, you may want to combine them into a flooding protection package because of severe weather and other regional risks.
  • Freezer food: This protects food in your property’s freezers if your freezer malfunctions or there’s a power outage.
  • Home sharing: Standard policies don’t cover loss or damage caused when you rent out your home. This add-on covers your property if you plan to use it for short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb.
  • Identity theft: This covers the cost of replacing crucial documents for identification, such as your birth certificate and driver’s licence.
  • Lock replacement: Some insurers offer to cover the cost of replacing your home’s locks.
  • Mass evacuation: If the government issues an evacuation order due to an incident like a flood, this add-on covers some expenses incurred during your absence from your home.
  • Overland water: Rainfall or thawing snow can cause nearby freshwater and wastewater sources to overflow beyond their typical levels. This add-on covers damage caused by this excess water when it seeps into your property.
  • Personal valuables: Standard plans offer limited coverage known as riders for items like jewelry and artwork. This add-on increases the limits for these items in the event of loss or damage.
  • Sewer backup coverage: If sewage or wastewater comes up from a main sewer, this add-on will cover the damage and losses caused.

This is usually the most affordable type of home insurance, where you can choose coverage only against specific perils. If it’s not listed in your basic policy, your insurer won’t give you coverage for that risk.

This is typically the most expensive option but also the one that offers the most protection for your home and belongings in it. Under comprehensive home insurance, you’ll have protection against all risks that aren’t explicitly excluded, as well as risks that don’t require optional add-ons.

This mid-price option offers comprehensive coverage for your home but basic coverage for your personal belongings. This means your home will be protected from all risks except those that need add-ons or are specifically excluded, while your possessions are only protected against risks listed in your policy.

Housing Data in Belleville

Curious about the average age and condition of homes in Belleville? Here’s a simple breakdown of housing data in Belleville according to the 2021 Census of Population:

Type of Occupied Dwelling

Over half of Belleville’s occupied dwellings are single-detached houses (59.4%, or 13,980 houses). 17.6% of Belleville’s occupied dwellings are apartments in buildings that have fewer than five storeys, while 9% are apartments in buildings that have five or more storeys.

Owner vs Renter Stats/Condo vs Non-Condo Owners

Nearly two-thirds of Belleville residents own their homes, with 62.5% of a 25% sample data set listing themselves as homeowners. Meanwhile, 37.5% of Belleville residents rent their private dwellings. The vast majority (92.6%) of those surveyed live in dwellings that are not condominiums, while a mere 7.4% live in condominiums.

Private Dwellings by Period of Construction: New or Older Homes?

Nearly half of Belleville’s private dwellings are older homes, with 32.7% of homes constructed in 1960 or earlier, 30.9% constructed between 1961 to 1980, and 10.6% constructed between 1981 to 1990. Only 7.1% of Belleville homes were constructed from 2016 to 2021.

Major Repairs or Just Maintenance Needed?

Most Belleville homes are in good condition, with 94% of all private dwellings needing only regular maintenance and minor repairs. A mere 6% of homes in the city require major repairs.

Who Provides Home Insurance Quotes in Belleville?

There are different ways that you can get a home insurance quote in Belleville. Here are the four providers that you can use or contact for home insurance rates:

Insurance brokers:

Insurance brokers can represent you as a buyer and get quotes from multiple insurance companies, as well as advice on choosing a policy.

Direct writers

A direct writer is an insurance company that doesn’t have independent agents offering their quotes and policies. Typically, direct writers offer their products through their official websites and/or their call centres.

Insurance agents

Insurance agents are independent professionals who can provide quotes and policy information from the companies they work with.

Insurance aggregators

Insurance aggregators are online platforms like MyChoice that allow you to compare rates and coverage options from multiple providers. Because these allow you to input your information and receive quotes from multiple providers in one place, this can save you time and effort.

What Is Not Included in a Typical Home Insurance Policy?

Even if you’ve opted for a highly comprehensive home insurance policy, there are some risks that insurers explicitly don’t include as a covered peril. These are called “exclusions” by home insurers.

Here are the most common home insurance exclusions:

Criminal activities

If your home was damaged due to criminal activity, it won’t be covered by your insurance policy.

Damage from tenants

Generally, home insurance companies require specific coverage for homeowners/landlords who plan to rent out their properties. A standard home insurance policy won’t include coverage if you rent your home out and the tenant causes damage.

Earthquakes

Most policies exclude this risk, but you can cover earthquake losses and damage as an add-on to a standard policy.

Failure to maintain your home

Damage or losses caused by poor home upkeep (e.g., clogged storm drains, broken bannisters) won’t be covered, as your insurer deems it your responsibility to manage wear and tear.

Flood damage

Flooding is typically not covered by a standard policy, but it may be included as an add-on.

Home business activities

Home businesses will need separate home-based business insurance to cover home or equipment damage.

Insect damage

Because this is considered a preventable risk, most insurers don’t cover insect damage.

Mortgage or property taxes

These are separate expenses handled by policy owners as they’re unrelated to your home insurance policy.

Mould

Mould caused by poor home maintenance is typically excluded by home insurance policies. Note that this is separate from mould caused by an insured peril, which will be covered by your policy.

Vacant dwelling risks

Many insurers may void your insurance if you leave your home vacant for a prolonged period.

This is by no means an exclusive list of risks typically excluded from a home insurance policy in Belleville. Talk to your home insurance provider to see what’s covered by your policy in case of loss or damage.

How Much Does Home Insurance in Belleville Usually Cost?

The average cost of home insurance in Belleville is anywhere between $936 to $1,312 annually. Note that this average can go up or down depending on several factors in your home’s location, such as access to emergency services, the quality of local infrastructure, and local real estate values.

For example, if your home is in a neighbourhood with a lower crime rate, has better roads nearby, or is close to fire hydrants, your home insurance premiums will tend to be lower. On the other hand, if you live in an area that exposes you to more perils and potential natural disasters like floods, your quotes will be higher.

Talk to your preferred home insurance provider to find out more about other considerations that may raise or lower your premiums. Don’t fret if your neighbourhood has higher costs than the city average, as there are still key measures you can take to get more affordable coverage.

Why Do I Need Home Insurance in Belleville?

You don’t “need” home insurance to be a homeowner in Belleville. However, it’s still a good idea to get a home insurance policy to cover huge expenses.

Home insurance isn’t mandatory in Belleville, but you may still need it to protect your home, belongings, and liability in situations that would otherwise put you out of pocket. Here are some compelling reasons why you should get Belleville home insurance:

Protection for your home and belongings

Despite taking care of and increasing your home’s safety, your property may be damaged, lost or stolen. In case of natural disasters or other unforeseen events causing damage or destruction of your home or belongings, a home insurance policy can provide much-needed funds to help you cover repairs and replacements.

Coverage for living expenses

Unforeseen events and natural disasters may cause serious damage to your home, but one of the unexpected consequences is lacking a place to stay and rest in the meantime. Home insurance policies typically cover temporary living expenses until any repairs or restoration are completed, such as the cost of staying in a hotel.

Liability coverage

Accidents happen despite our best efforts, causing injuries to someone in your home or damage to your property. A home insurance policy can cover costs related to your liability in these situations, such as medical bills, repair expenses, and even legal fees if you get sued.

What Determines the Cost of Home Insurance in Belleville?

The cost of home insurance in Belleville varies depending on several considerations, such as your zip code, your property type, and even your credit score. Here are some of the different cost factors for home insurance in Belleville:

Accessory Dwellings

Detached private structures like tool sheds, pool houses, and gazebos may increase your home insurance premiums. Further, a pool typically increases your premiums because of the increased risk of drowning, as well as the extra cost of maintaining a surrounding fence and lock. Make sure your home insurance covers all of your detached structures.

Credit Score

The majority of Canadian provinces use your credit score to determine your home insurance premium. This is because it’s often perceived that a bad credit score increases the risk of providing home insurance, as it increases the odds of late or non-payment of premiums.

Internal Construction

If your home is older, in poor condition, or needs to update systems like heating and plumbing, it may be pricier to insure. This is because older electrical, heating, and plumbing systems increase the risk of certain accidents like fires and water damage from leaks.

Location

If you live in an area prone to natural disasters like earthquakes or flooding, your premiums may be higher. Insurers also tend to charge higher premiums in areas where more homeowners have filed claims over recent years.

Replacement Cost

Replacement cost is based on how much it would cost to rebuild your home at its present condition and value. The higher your home’s present value, the more expensive it is to insure. Note that when factoring in replacement cost, you’ll need to inform your home insurer of any expensive items or upgrades like jewellery or artwork which will need extra coverage.

Past Claims History

Simply put, the more claims you have in a 10-year period, the higher your monthly premiums will be. As a general rule, make sure that the cost of your potential claim is higher than your policy deductible, which is the amount you have to pay before your insurer covers the rest.

Pets

Some insurance providers will ask you to disclose the number, type, and breed of any pets you may have, as some pets are considered an additional liability risk.

Property Type

Whether you live in a condo unit or a single-detached home, different types of dwellings will be evaluated differently by an Belleville insurer as each comes with different risks.

Renovations And Improvements

Some improvements can lower or increase your home insurance premiums. For example, converting a room into a home theatre may increase your home’s present value, so your premiums may go up. On the other hand, improvements that increase home safety like an alarm system may lower your premiums. Note that you should tell your home insurer both before and after you renovate your Belleville home.

Roof

The average asphalt shingle roof will begin to wear down after approximately 10 to 15 years. Unless it’s properly maintained and repaired, your roof may increase the risk of letting water leak in and damage your house. Belleville home insurers may lower your quotes if they see that your home’s roof is made with high-quality, durable materials.

Smoking Or Non-Smoking Policyholders

If you’re a non-smoker, an insurer may offer lower premiums as they consider it less likely that a cigarette or other smoking device will start a fire in your home.

Special Uses

While conducting business in your home won’t always increase your home insurance premiums, this depends greatly on the kind of business you’re running. For example, you can expect to pay more if you’re listing your home for short-term rentals or running a home-based catering company because there is more risk of liabilities or accidents.

Type Of Coverage You Choose

If you get a policy with a higher deductible, this will result in a lower premium. Additionally, the higher the coverage and the more risks you are protected against, the higher your premiums will be.

Your Chosen Insurer

Different insurers may offer varying quotes even for the same type of policy. Coverage costs vary between companies, so it’s important to shop around to find the best deal. 

Does Where You Live in Belleville Affect Your Home Insurance?

Yes, where you live in Belleville can affect your home insurance. Home insurance companies consider several different factors before offering you quotes, and one important factor is where you live in Belleville. Here are some ways that where you live in Belleville may affect your home insurance premiums:

Proximity to emergency services and infrastructure

Generally, the easier it is for you to access services like your local fire department or hospital, the lower your home insurance premiums will be. This is because home insurers will deem it more likely that you’ll have immediate help in case of emergencies, reducing potential damage or loss due to certain perils.

History of local claims

Your home insurer may charge higher premiums if you come from a neighbourhood that’s had many claims in the past. The more claims that have been made in an area, the more likely they consider you to file a claim as well, which increases the cost of insurance coverage and administration.

Risk of flooding

Belleville homes that are in flood-prone areas or are close to bodies of water are considered riskier to insure, so insurers will give you higher quotes if you live in these places.

How You Can Get Cheap Home Insurance in Belleville

If you’re trying to save money on your preferred home insurance coverage, here are some important steps to take:

Compare quotes

Comparison shopping between different providers will help you find the best rate for your desired policy type. Use an insurance aggregator like MyChoice to get and examine immediate quotes from various Belleville home insurers.

Increase your deductible

You can ask your insurer if you can increase your deductible, a.k.a. the amount you pay before your insurer pays out the claim. Increasing this reduces the risk for your insurer that you’ll submit a claim, so they may offer to lower your premiums.

Bundle with auto insurance

Some companies offer bundled home and auto insurance at a good discount for both policies.

Renovate old home systems like wiring and plumbing

Renovating to remove known risks like faulty wiring and old plumbing may help reduce your premiums.

Pay annually

While hefty annual premium payments may be daunting, some insurance providers give you a discount in exchange as it reduces their administrative costs.

Install monitored alarms

The safer you make your home against thieves, the higher the chances that you’ll go claim-free. This may convince your home insurer to offer lower premiums. Install monitored home security systems to deter break-ins and get immediate notifications of disturbances.

FAQs About Home Insurance in Belleville

Can you cancel home insurance in Belleville?

Yes, you can cancel your home insurance in Belleville. Check your policy’s terms and conditions for any fees or penalties you may incur, as these are typically charged if you cancel your policy before its end date.

Are Belleville home insurance fees tax deductible?

Generally, Belleville home insurance fees are not tax-deductible as they’re usually considered personal expenses. However, they may be tax-deductible in certain circumstances, such as running a home-based business or having a designated office area in your home. Consult a tax professional to learn if your insurance policies can be considered deductibles in your situation.

Do Belleville real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance?

Yes, Belleville real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance. Because high real estate prices translate to higher repair or restoration costs in the event of loss or damage, home insurers may charge higher premiums in higher-priced areas. The average price of a Belleville home is within the $620,000 to $650,000 range, making it lower than the Ontario average.

Despite having generally more affordable houses compared to the average Ontario house, Belleville real estate prices have been steadily rising since 2021. This may be attributed to its convenient location close to Pearson International Airport and major cities such as Montreal and Toronto, enticing frequent commuters to become permanent residents. These higher prices may cause home insurance quotes to go up, as this also increases insurers’ costs in case of a claim.

Do I need home insurance in Belleville for Airbnbs?

Yes, you need a specific type of home insurance in Belleville for Airbnbs. Property owners who run Airbnbs can apply for a customized rental insurance policy to protect against property damage or liabilities.

What factors aren’t used to calculate Belleville home insurance rates?

Factors that insurance providers don’t consider when calculating Belleville home insurance rates include the following:

– Sexual orientation and gender
– Marital status
– Disability
– Race
– Religion
– Political affiliation

How expensive is insurance for a home in Belleville compared to the rest of Ontario?

Insurance for a home in Belleville is about $100 lower than the provincial average. Some factors which may affect this difference include the cost of living in this city, property values, and the incidence of natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms.

In Belleville, the cost of living is about 28% lower than the provincial average. Belleville is also near several bodies of water such as the Moira River, which makes lower-lying areas of the city prone to flooding. Consult your preferred home insurer to find out what other factors may cause your Belleville policy quotes from them to be higher than the provincial average.

Sources

1. Statistics Canada, 2021, Census of Population, Ontario, Belleville, Housing Statistics. Data Published March 29, 2023.

2. Mychoice.ca Internal Data, Home Insurance Quotes Collected, 2023.

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