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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

13 minute read

Article Contents

By taking out a home insurance policy in Burlington, you can protect your home from unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters, theft, and liability from accidents.

While it’s not a requirement for owning a house, many mortgage companies require you to have an active home insurance policy before you’re eligible for a mortgage. If you’re planning on buying a house in Burlington, consider the benefits that home insurance can provide you.

Here, learn about the different types of home insurance in Burlington and how to get the best insurance premiums.

What Risks Affect Homeowners in Burlington?

According to the Burlington government’s hazards and risk assessment, there are some natural and technological risks to owning a home in Burlington, Ontario: 

Flooding

In 2014, a sudden and intense downpour flooded the streets of Burlington and affected more than 3,000 homes. This freak storm caused massive property loss, irreparably damaged homes, and displaced thousands of families. Covering your bases with home insurance can keep you protected in case of massive flooding in the Burlington area.

Theft and vandalism

 In an urban area like Burlington, your home may be at significant risk of property crimes such as break-ins, burglary, or vandalism. If your home doesn’t have good security systems, home insurance can help you recoup losses and repair damage wrought by malicious criminals. 

Fire

Burlington homeowners must always be ready to face the possibility of a fire starting in their homes. Devastating house fires can start from small electrical malfunctions, faulty wiring, old heating systems, and even cooking accidents. If a house fire does begin, having adequate fire insurance coverage can mitigate the long-term consequences of a fiery incident.

How Does Home Insurance in Burlington Work? 

As with other insurance products like tenant insurance or condo insurance, Burlington 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 Burlington. Here’s a basic overview of each type:

The typical Burlington 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:

  • 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.
  • Detached private structure: This covers damages to private, detached structures on your property, such as a detached garage or tool shed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Personal liability coverage: This covers settlements and legal expenses in case someone is accidentally injured on your property.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

Apart from the standard coverage offered by Ontario 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 Burlington

Below is a look at housing data in Burlington according to the 2021 Census of Population.

Type of Occupied Dwelling

In Burlington, about 50.3% of homes are single-detached houses, with apartment buildings making up another 26.6%. Around 18.8% of all dwellings are row houses, while semi-detached houses make up around 4.2%. 

Owner vs Renter Stats/Condo vs Non-Condo Owners

As of 2021, most Burlington residents owned their homes rather than rented them. Homeowners make up 75.1% of Burlington, while renters were the other 24.9%.

Private Dwellings by Period of Construction

Burlington has a fair number of old homes, with 14% of dwellings being built before the year 1960. Homes built in the period between 1961 and 1980 make up the majority of total homes at 33.5%, and homes built between 1981 and 1990 are another 13.7%. Only 3.9% of Burlington homes were built between 2016 and 2021, and 4.7% of homes were built between 2011 and 2015.

Major Repairs Or Minor Repairs Needed

Homes in Burlington are generally in good condition, with a large majority of houses (95.9%) only requiring regular maintenance or minor repairs. The other 4.1% of Burlington homes do need major repairs to be done.

Who Provides Home Insurance Quotes in Burlington?

There are different ways that you can get a home insurance quote in Burlington. 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 Burlington. 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 Burlington Usually Cost?

Home insurance in Burlington usually costs around $681 to $1,417 per year on average. This rate is very slightly lower than the average for the province of Ontario. However, depending on some factors related to your home, you may expect to pay lower or higher than the average rate for the city of Burlington.

One of the most significant factors for determining your yearly home insurance premium is the location of your home. If you live in certain parts of Burlington, such as Appleby, Brant Hills, and Elizabeth Gardens, you can expect to get lower insurance premium rates. However, if you live in more expensive neighborhoods, such as Aldershot or Kilbride, you will most likely be paying higher insurance rates.

Why Do I Need Home Insurance in Burlington?

You need home insurance in Burlington if you want to keep your home and property protected from a myriad of unfortunate circumstances. Purchasing a home insurance policy can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Protects you against damage from natural disasters such as floods, hail, earthquakes, fires, and other environmental forces
  • Insures your home and personal belongings in  case of theft, vandalism, or other malicious acts done to your property
  • Protects you from having to pay when you’re liable for an accident or unfortunate event that happens on your property
  • Provides you with living expenses in the event that your house is uninhabitable due to damage or ongoing repairs
  • Allows you to meet mortgage companies’ requirements for home insurance before you can apply for a mortgage

What Determines the Cost of Home Insurance in Burlington?

The cost of home insurance in Burlington 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 Burlington:

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 Burlington 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 Burlington 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. Burlington 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 Burlington Affect Your Home Insurance?

Where you live in Burlington can affect your home insurance significantly. The Burlington neighborhood where you decide to live will be heavily considered by insurance companies when they calculate your insurance premiums. Here are some ways in which your home’s neighborhood can affect your insurance rates:

History of insurance claims

Your neighborhood’s history of insurance claims can be a huge factor in the calculation of your insurance premiums. If there is a history of frequent home insurance claims in your neighborhood, insurance companies may consider that area high-risk, thereby increasing your annual insurance costs.

Proximity to emergency services and infrastructure

 If your residence is in close proximity to emergency services such as fire stations, police stations, and fire hydrants, you may enjoy lower insurance premiums. In the event of an emergency, the quicker the possible response, the less damage your home and property might suffer. This makes insurance companies consider homes that are near these services as lower-risk properties.

Property value

One of the biggest factors that insurance companies consider when calculating your premiums is the value of your property. In some Burlington neighborhoods, houses and properties can have higher values on average, which pumps up the insurance rate on these homes. If you live in more exclusive areas such as Aldershot and Kilbride, your home may be valued much higher than average, and result in an equally high insurance premium.

How You Can Get Cheap Home Insurance in Burlington

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 Burlington 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 Burlington

Can you cancel home insurance in Burlington?

Yes, you can cancel your home insurance in Burlington. 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 Burlington home insurance fees tax deductible?

Generally, Burlington 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 Burlington real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance?

Yes, Burlington 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 Burlington home is within the $610,000 to $849,900 range, making it slightly higher than the Ontario average.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association and the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton and Burlington, the median sale price for a single detached home in Burlington actually fell 23.8% from 2022 to 2023. The median sale price also fell for townhouses and row houses by 20.9% and apartment units by 18.9%.

Do I need home insurance in Burlington for Airbnbs?

Yes, you need a specific type of home insurance in (Location) 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 Burlington home insurance rates?

Factors that insurance providers don’t consider when calculating Burlington 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 Burlington compared to the rest of Ontario?

Insurance for a home in Burlington is about $260 higher 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 Burlington, the cost of living is about 3.72% higher than the provincial average. Burlington also experienced a massive flood in 2016 that caused massive infrastructural damage and damaged more than 3,000 homes, causing $90 million in damages. While a disaster that big hasn’t happened in recent years, Burlington is still considered a flood-prone zone. Consult your preferred home insurer to find out what other factors may cause your Burlington policy quotes from them to be higher than the provincial average.

Sources

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

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

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