One of the best ways to protect your home in Oshawa is by getting an insurance policy. Home insurance can foot the bill to cover repair bills, legal costs, and more expenses caused by unforeseen events. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to shell out for large unexpected expenses if these events happen.
Picking the right home insurance policy in Oshawa can be challenging due to the number of coverage types and insurance companies to choose from. Learn more about home insurance in Oshawa, from what risks homeowners in the city should watch out for to top tips for lowering your insurance rates.
Why Do I Need Home Insurance in Oshawa?
Home insurance isn’t required by law in Oshawa, so you don’t technically “need” it. However, getting home insurance is still a good idea because it protects you from various dangers and accidents that may damage your home and belongings. Insurance also helps you save money because you don’t have to spend as much to fix damages to your home. Here are three great reasons to get home insurance in Oshawa:
Accidents can happen anytime, so you must be prepared. Various unforeseen events can damage your home and sometimes injure people. Home insurance has your back when these events happen. It provides financial compensation to cover these accidents’ legal fees, medical expenses, and other costs.
Home and belongings protection
One of the most common reasons people buy home insurance is to protect their home and belongings. Home insurance covers repair and replacement costs if your home is damaged by a peril listed on your policy.
Mortgage lenders often require homebuyers to get a home insurance policy. When you buy a home with a mortgage loan, you don’t fully own it yet. Because the lender still has a stake in your home, they usually want to protect their investments with home insurance.
How Does Home Insurance in Oshawa Work?
As with other insurance products like tenant insurance or condo insurance, Oshawa 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 Oshawa. Here’s a basic overview of each type:
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.
The typical Oshawa 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.
Who Provides Home Insurance Quotes in Oshawa?
There are different ways that you can get a home insurance quote in Oshawa. 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.
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 Oshawa. 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 Oshawa Usually Cost?
Home insurance in Oshawa costs around $1,115 annually. Various factors impact your home insurance rates, ranging from your home’s proximity to fire hydrants, its conditions, and more.
This means you can expect home insurance premiums to vary depending on where you live in Oshawa. Some areas can go as low as $750/year, but there are also areas where premiums are $1,336/year. Homes in riskier or more expensive neighborhoods usually have higher insurance rates.
Why Are Oshawa Home Insurance Rates so Expensive?
There are three factors that may be driving up Oshawa home insurance rates. Here’s a quick explanation of why these things make premiums higher in Oshawa:
- Greater number of older properties: Most homes in Oshawa are quite old, so it’s more likely that they have older systems for heating, plumbing, and electricity. This increases your likelihood of filing a claim for a fire or flood.
- Higher real estate values: Real estate prices indirectly affect home insurance premiums. As home values go up, so do the cost of rebuilding and the amount of coverage you’ll need from a policy.
- Housing density: Oshawa is densely populated, and most of its homes are connected houses or apartments with very little space between units. This increases the risk of spreading fires between homes.
What Determines the Cost of Home Insurance in Oshawa?
The cost of home insurance in Oshawa 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 Oshawa:
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 Oshawa 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 Oshawa 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. Oshawa 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.
What Risks Affect Homeowners in Oshawa?
Depending on where you live in Canada, you need to prepare for different perils that may damage your home. Here are some common risks often faced by Oshawa homeowners:
Oshawa has somewhat of a reputation for crime. According to the 2021 Canada Crime Index, Oshawa had a 4% increase in crime from the previous year. While it’s not a big increase, the prevalence of crime means your home and belongings are more likely to be damaged or stolen.
he older parts of Oshawa are more prone to flooding due to the lack of proper drainage. Unfortunately, flood coverage usually isn’t part of your insurance policy, meaning you need to buy a protection add-on.
Fire is a common hazard in many homes due to the many ways it can happen. Faulty electrical installations, cooking accidents, and even a stray cigarette can cause fires that could severely damage or destroy your home. Fortunately, most insurance policies come with fire protection.
Ontario averages around 12 tornadoes per year, which means homes in Oshawa are vulnerable to severe tornado damage. The last time a tornado touched down in Oshawa was in 2016, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the risk. Home insurance policies often have wind and tornado coverage as part of their protection.
Does Where You Live in Oshawa Affect Your Home Insurance?
Where you live in Oshawa affects your home insurance. Home insurance companies determine your rates by examining multiple factors, including your home’s location. Here are three ways your location influences your insurance premiums:
House fires can easily devastate homes and leave you with a giant repair bill. To make things worse, so many things can cause fires. If your neighbourhood is prone to fire, your insurer may charge you higher rates. Two common risk factors for fires are your neighbourhood’s age and home proximity because fires are more likely to happen and spread in closely-grouped older houses.
Many claims coming from one neighbourhood generally signifies that area is high-risk. Insurers check how many claims were filed in your neighbourhood in recent years, and they may raise your rates if they see lots of people claiming insurance there.
Proximity to fire hydrants and other infrastructure
Living close to fire hydrants, fire stations, hospitals, and other infrastructure means easier access to emergency services. Insurers generally give lower rates to homes near emergency services because first responders are more likely to get there on time.
Census Data: Housing Data in Oshawa
Are you curious about the housing landscape in Oshawa? Here’s a look at housing data in the city from the 2021 Census of Population:
Type of Occupied Dwelling
Slightly over half (55.5%) of homes in Oshawa are single-detached houses. Apartments and row houses are also relatively popular, with apartments in buildings over five storeys taking an 11.4% share of total homes, followed by apartments in buildings under five storeys and row houses taking a 9.7% share each.
Owner vs Renter Stats/Condo vs Non-Condo Owners
Out of the 25% sample data taken in the census, 64.2% of Oshawa residents own their homes, while the remaining 35.8% rent. Non-condos make up a majority of the city’s dwellings at 92.8%, leaving a 7.2% share for condos.
Private Dwellings by Period of Construction: New or Older Homes?
From the 25% of dwellings surveyed, most homes in Oshawa are older buildings. 58.6% of them were built before 1980, with just 16.7% of them built after 2001.
Major Repairs or Just Maintenance Needed?
The 25% census data shows that 93.7% of homes in Oshawa only needed minor repairs and maintenance, while the remaining 6.3% needed major repairs.
How You Can Get Cheap Home Insurance in Oshawa
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 Oshawa 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.
FAQs About Home Insurance in Oshawa
Can you cancel home insurance in Oshawa?
Yes, you can cancel your home insurance in Oshawa. 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 Oshawa home insurance fees tax deductible?
Generally, Oshawa 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 Oshawa real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance?
Yes, Oshawa 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 an Oshawa home is approximately $803,974, around $60,000 lower than the Ontario average.
Home prices in Oshawa saw some fluctuation in recent months. The average price dropped from $782,914 in January to $761,348 in February. Then, the average price rose to $790,013 in March, dipped around $6,000 in April, and spiked up again to $803,974 in May.
Do I need home insurance in Oshawa for Airbnbs?
Yes, you need a specific type of home insurance in Oshawa 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 Oshawa home insurance rates?
Factors that insurance providers don’t consider when calculating Oshawa home insurance rates include the following:
– Sexual orientation and gender
– Marital status
– Political affiliation
How expensive is insurance for a home in Oshawa compared to the rest of Ontario?
Insurance for a home in Oshawa is about $200 cheaper than the provincial average, depending on the type of coverage you get. 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 Oshawa, the cost of living is about 21% lower than the provincial average. Oshawa is also known for its crime rate and flooding, which might impact your rates. Consult your preferred home insurer to find out what other factors may cause your Oshawa policy quotes from them to be higher than the provincial average.