As a homeowner in New Brunswick, navigating the home insurance landscape is a challenge. There are so many coverage options, risk factors, and different insurance companies, so it can get overwhelming.
A good grasp on New Brunswick home insurance is essential to make informed decisions about your policy.
Discover what types of home insurance coverage are available for New Brunswick homeowners, what can raise or lower your rates, and how to save money on home insurance in the province.
Why Do I Need Home Insurance in New Brunswick?
You technically don’t need home insurance in New Brunswick, since it’s not legally required. However, getting a policy helps protect your home and its contents. Here are three reasons to get home insurance in New Brunswick:
Loss or damage protection
One of the main purposes of home insurance is to get protection from perils like fire, blizzards, and theft. Home insurance gives you the funds needed to repair the damage from those perils.
Mortgage lenders often require borrowers to take home insurance policies. They do this to ensure they’re protected if something goes wrong with your loan.
Home insurance policies often offer liability coverage, which helps you pay legal fees or settlement costs if somebody gets into an accident on your property.
How Does Home Insurance in New Brunswick Work?
Home insurance in New Brunswick works like home insurance in most of Canada. It provides financial coverage if your home or its contents is damaged due to unforeseen events. If the damage is caused by a peril covered in your policy, you can make an insurance claim to repair or replace the damage. Tenant insurance and condo insurance work on the same principle, only for different types of dwellings.
Here’s a look at three types of home insurance policies available to New Brunswick homeowners:
Basic coverage is also known as named perils insurance and is the cheapest. It’s affordable because it only covers damage caused by specific perils listed on the policy. If an unlisted peril damages your home, you won’t get any coverage.
This mid-price option usually grants near-complete protection for your home’s physical structure. However, it only provides basic coverage for your home’s contents and personal belongings.
As the most expensive home insurance type, comprehensive coverage protects your home and your belongings from all perils, save for the ones that are explicitly excluded from your policy. You may need insurance add-ons to enhance your comprehensive home insurance protection.
Most New Brunswick home insurance policies come with a standard set of coverages. Here’s a look into what kinds of coverage you can get from a common New Brunswick home insurance policy:
- Additional living expenses: This covers living expenses if you need to live away from home in case an insured peril damages your house.
- Detached private structure: This covers damages to any detached structures on your property. Some common examples are tool sheds, pool houses, and standalone garages.
- Dwelling building: This covers damages to your home’s main structure as well as any structures attached to it. This coverage also extends to swimming pools and permanent outdoor installations.
- Personal liability: This covers lawsuits and settlement fees if somebody gets injured on your home’s premises.
- Personal property: This covers damages to your personal belongings and your home’s contents. Specialized items or expensive things like jewellery and artwork may need extra insurance coverage.
- Voluntary medical payments: This covers medical costs for any injuries that happen on your property.
- Voluntary property damage: This covers damages to another person’s property caused by you or a member of your household.
You also have some options for additional home insurance coverage in New Brunswick. Here are some home insurance policy add-ons you can get:
- Credit/debit card forgery and counterfeit: This protects you from financial losses caused by credit card forgery and counterfeiting.
- Earthquake: This provides financial coverage to repair earthquake damage to your property.
- Freezer food: This reimburses you for damage to food caused by freezer failure.
- Identity theft: This reimburses the costs associated with the fallout of identity theft incidents.
- Lock replacement: This helps replace your lock after a theft.
- Mass evacuation: This pays for extra living expenses if you have to evacuate your home.
- Overland water: This pays for damages caused by flooding.
- Sewer backup: This pays for damages caused by sewer water backing up into your property.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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 New Brunswick. Talk to your home insurance provider to see what’s covered by your policy in case of loss or damage.
What Determines the Cost of Home Insurance in New Brunswick?
The cost of home insurance in New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Whether you live in a condo unit or a single-detached home, different types of dwellings will be evaluated differently by an New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick home.
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. New Brunswick 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.
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.
Common Risk Factors for Homeowners in New Brunswick
Different regions in Canada have different risk factors for homeowners. Here are several common risk factors you should prepare for as a homeowner in New Brunswick:
Storm surges and winter thaws may increase the occurrence of overland flooding. A notable example of this is the 2000 major storm surge event in Beaubassin, which resulted in millions of dollars worth of home insurance claims.
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
The coastal parts of New Brunswick may be vulnerable to hurricanes, tropical storms, and other adverse weather effects. The city of Saint John is known to be one of the hurricane-prone cities in the province.
The risk of sewer backup is minor, but the frequency might increase if homeowners in your area are finishing basements to use outside storage purposes.
How You Can Get Cheap Home Insurance in New Brunswick?
If you’re trying to save money on your preferred home insurance coverage, here are some important steps to take:
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 New Brunswick 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.
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.
Does Where You Live in New Brunswick Affect Your Home Insurance?
Where you live in New Brunswick does affect your home insurance. Living in areas with a higher risk of natural disasters or other potentially damaging incidents may raise your insurance rates. For example, a house in hurricane-prone Saint John may land higher insurance quotes than a comparable home in a less hurricane-prone area.
Census Data – Housing Data in New Brunswick
Curious about the housing landscape in New Brunswick? The 2021 Census of Population has all the answers – here’s an overview of housing in New Brunswick:
Type of Occupied Dwelling
Single-detached houses are the most popular type of dwelling in New Brunswick, making up 67.8% of total homes in the province. Apartments in buildings with less than five storeys come in second at 15.4%, far more numerous than apartments with over five storeys that only make up 1.3% of the province’s total homes.
Owner vs Renter Stats/Condo vs Non-Condo Owner
73% of homes in New Brunswick are owned homes, while 26.2% are rented. Non-condos make up the vast majority of homes in the province at 96.1%, with condos making up only 3.9%.
Private Dwellings by Period of Construction: New or Older Homes?
Slightly over half the homes in New Brunswick were built before 1980 (51.8%), signifying that most of the province’s homes are relatively old buildings. Meanwhile, new homes constructed between 2016 and 2021 are rarer at just 4.4% of the province’s total homes.
Major Repairs or Just Maintenance Needed?
Most of New Brunswick’s homes are well-maintained, with 92.2% of them only requiring regular maintenance and minor repairs. However, 26,245 homes need major repairs, making up 7.8% of the province’s total dwellings.
Who Provides Home Insurance Quotes in New Brunswick?
There are different ways that you can get a home insurance quote in New Brunswick. Here are the four providers that you can use or contact for home insurance rates:
Insurance brokers can represent you as a buyer and get quotes from multiple insurance companies, as well as advice on choosing a policy.
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 are independent professionals who can provide quotes and policy information from the companies they work with.
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.
FAQs About Home Insurance in New Brunswick
How much is home insurance in New Brunswick?
The average cost of home insurance in New Brunswick is about $719 annually depending on the type of dwelling, location, and other factors. Home insurance costs differ between home insurance providers. Note that several considerations can increase or decrease the cost of your New Brunswick home insurance, such as your home’s value and the property’s condition.
For a better overview of the cost of home insurance in New Brunswick, talk to an insurance broker or look up quotes on MyChoice.
Is home insurance mandatory in New Brunswick?
No, home insurance isn’t mandatory in New Brunswick. However, if you take out a mortgage on your home, your lender may require you to get coverage as a condition of getting a loan.
It’s also highly recommended that you get home insurance even if it’s not mandatory, so you can protect your house and personal property in case of unforeseen events like fires and hailstorms.
Do I need home construction insurance in New Brunswick for my renovation?
Yes, if you’re planning a major home construction or renovation project in New Brunswick, home construction insurance will protect you and your home during the process.
Also known as builder’s risk insurance, home construction insurance provides coverage in the event of damage or loss to your home and construction materials during the construction process. Some companies that offer this policy type even have liability coverage in case someone gets injured on your property during construction.
What is the home insurance claims process in New Brunswick?
The home insurance claims process in New Brunswick varies between insurers, but it generally consists of the following steps:
– Report the claim: Contact your insurer and inform them about the damage or loss, including relevant details and evidence like videos or photos.
– Claim evaluation: Your insurer will assign an adjuster, who will schedule an assessment of the value of any loss or damage.
– Approval or denial: After the home inspection and evaluating your documentation, your insurer will either deny your claim or approve it, offering a settlement for repairs or replacement of damaged property.
– Claim resolution: If you accept the offer, the payment will be made. If not, you can negotiate with your insurer or file a dispute with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of New Brunswick (FSRA).
Can you cancel home insurance in New Brunswick?
Yes, you can cancel your home insurance policy in New Brunswick. The process may vary depending on your insurer and policy terms.
Generally, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider to let them know. Some insurers may require written notice of cancellation by mail or email.
Keep in mind that if you cancel your policy before its expiry date, you may be subject to penalties or cancellation fees.
Do I need home insurance for Airbnb in New Brunswick?
Yes, you may need home insurance for Airbnb in New Brunswick. While Airbnb has some host protection insurance, its coverage is limited and may not cover all types of liabilities or damages if you’re using your home for short-term rentals. Having a home insurance policy can provide additional protection and peace of mind.
Note that renting out your property as an Airbnb without telling your insurer may void your policy, and not all home insurance policies include coverage for short-term rentals. Check with your home insurance company to see if your policy has this protection or if you need to get additional coverage.
I have a vacation home in another city in New Brunswick. Can I insure that home too even if I don’t always live there?
Yes, you can insure your vacation home in another city in New Brunswick even if you don’t always live there. There are insurance policies specially tailored to cover seasonal or vacation homes to protect your property, belongings, and other liabilities from damage or loss.
Typically, these policies offer coverage for damages due to risks like fire, theft, and water damage. They may also have coverage for additional situations such as temporary living expenses if a covered risk makes your vacation home uninhabitable.
Home insurance companies have different requirements and limitations for vacation home insurance. In some cases, you may be required to take out additional coverage or accept different terms and conditions.
Is fire insurance mandatory in New Brunswick?
No, fire insurance is not mandatory in New Brunswick. However, it’s highly recommended that property owners get it to cover damages or loss to their property caused by fire, smoke, and other related perils.
Note that some New Brunswick mortgage lenders may require borrowers to have fire insurance coverage as a loan condition. This is because the property is collateral for the loan, and the mortgage lender may require coverage to protect the property from loss or damage.
Can I bundle home insurance with auto insurance in New Brunswick?
Yes, you can bundle home insurance with auto insurance in New Brunswick. Insurance companies typically offer bundled packages, and getting one can lead to big cost savings. It can also be more convenient for managing your insurance policies and premium payments, so you should compare bundles between insurers to see what discounts and levels of coverage they offer.
It’s my first time owning a house in New Brunswick. What type of home insurance should I get?
Before choosing a home insurance policy, first-time homeowners should consider the following factors:
– Financial capability
– Risk of exposure to specific risks in their area, such as flooding or earthquakes
– Home value and condition
If you’re on a low budget and live in an area that isn’t prone to natural disasters or crime, a basic policy may be enough for your needs. But if you want to cover all your bases, comprehensive home insurance will help you rest easy.
Talk to your insurance provider to find the best option for your budget and the coverage you need.
Who has the best home insurance rates in New Brunswick?
There’s no definitive company that offers the “best” home insurance rates in New Brunswick. This is because different providers will have their own processes for assessing the cost of providing coverage, so premiums vary from company to company for the same homeowner-applicant.
To find the best New Brunswick home insurance rates, compare offers through MyChoice’s home insurance calculator. We can help you find the most affordable options on the market.
Will I be charged if I switch home insurance providers in New Brunswick?
Yes, you may be charged if you switch home insurance providers in New Brunswick. Depending on the terms of your current policy, your provider may charge a fee for cancelling your policy before its expiration, while others don’t. Review your policy and talk to your provider to prepare for potential penalties.
What companies offer high-risk home insurance in New Brunswick?
Most insurance companies in New Brunswick offer high-risk home insurance. However, the rates that they’ll present will vary depending on their assessed risk of insuring your property in your area, as well as the factors that make you “high-risk”.
High-risk home insurance can be much more expensive than a standard policy, so compare rates through MyChoice to find affordable coverage for your home.
What is a home insurance peril?
A home insurance peril is a risk or event that may cause damage or loss to your home, covered by your home insurance policy. Examples of perils typically covered by standard home insurance policies in New Brunswick are:
– Hail and ice damage
– Fire and smoke
– Damage from lightning strikes
Do I need home insurance before closing in New Brunswick?
You need home insurance before closing in New Brunswick if your mortgage lender requires it. Lenders require you to get home insurance because they have a stake in your property as well.
What factors aren’t used to calculate New Brunswick home insurance rates?
Factors that aren’t used to calculate New Brunswick home insurance rates include:
– Marital status
– Political affiliation
– Sexual orientation and gender
How is home insurance regulated in New Brunswick?
Home insurance in New Brunswick is regulated by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission, licencing insurers and overseeing their operations.