Unlike auto insurance, home insurance is not required in Welland or other parts of Ontario. However, it may still be a good idea to get a policy, especially if you want to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios. Floods, fires, earthquakes, and even robberies can damage your home unexpectedly, leaving you with a very expensive repair bill that you may not be able to afford.
This is where home insurance comes in. Learn how Welland home insurance works, what it covers, and which factors may affect the cost of your policy.
Why Do I Need Home Insurance in Welland?
Although you’re not required to get a home insurance policy in Welland and the rest of Ontario, there are many reasons you may need one. The payout can be especially useful if:
- You need to rebuild or repair your home after a storm, fire, or robbery.
- You need to replace lost or damaged items.
- Your home is uninhabitable due to natural or man-made disasters.
- Someone is injured on your property.
- You need to take a mortgage out and the lender requires insurance.
- You want peace of mind.
How Does Home Insurance in Welland Work?
As with other insurance products like tenant insurance or condo insurance, Welland 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 Welland. 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 Welland 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 Welland?
There are different ways that you can get a home insurance quote in Welland. 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 Welland. 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 Welland Usually Cost?
While different insurers will provide you with different quotes, home insurance in Welland typically costs $1,123/year. This is cheaper than many other Ontario cities and the provincial average of $1,368/year.
Keep in mind that this is just an average, and your insurance quote may vary based on your assumed risk – that is, how likely you are to file a claim and how much the insurer would have to pay out. Things your provider will take into consideration are the safety of your neighbourhood, age and value of your home, and even whether smokers or pets live in the house.
If you want to get a better idea of how much your Welland home insurance will cost, request a quote from different providers.
Why Are Welland Home Insurance Rates so Expensive?
There are three factors that may be driving up Welland home insurance rates. Here’s a quick explanation of why these things make premiums higher in Welland:
- Greater number of older properties: Most homes in Welland 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: Welland 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 Welland?
The cost of home insurance in Welland 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 Welland:
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 Welland 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 Welland 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. Welland 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 Welland?
Welland homeowners are vulnerable to several location-specific risks, such as:
Spring melt, excessive rainfall, and frozen pipes are huge contributors to overland flooding. Not to mention the fact that Welland is located near Niagara Falls and in between two major lakes. Flood damage isn’t a standard home insurance inclusion, but you can ask your provider to add it to your policy.
While the Niagara region generally doesn’t experience big earthquakes, it does see frequent, small bursts of seismic activity. If you live in an older or less-maintained home in Welland, it may be vulnerable to earthquake damage. Earthquake coverage is available as an add-on to the standard policy.
Tornadoes can rip through towns and damage homes severely. Homeowners need to look out for flying debris, felled trees, and water damage entering through openings caused by strong winds. A typical policy can reimburse any additional living expenses you incur if your home is uninhabitable after a tornado, but you’ll need to get comprehensive coverage if you want protection from wind, water, or vehicle damage to your property.
There is a moderately high risk of property crime in Welland, at an estimated rate of 2,788 incidents per 100,000 people – higher than the Ontario average of 2,294 incidents per 100,000 population. Theft of household property also comprised 12% of all reports in 2021. Keep in mind that this number doesn’t include other property crimes such as vandalism.
Does Where You Live in Welland Affect Your Home Insurance?
Where you live in Welland can affect your home insurance. Many factors are input into your rate calculation and risk assessment, including:
Proximity to hydrants, etc.
One factor that rural Welland homeowners in particular need to keep an eye out for is the distance from your house to fire hydrants, hospitals, fire stations, and other emergency services. The further the distance, the longer it’ll take for first responders to arrive – and the more damage your house will likely incur. Thus, insurance is often more affordable for those who live closer to essential infrastructure.
Disaster incidence and severity
The more likely your home is to be hit by a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or earthquake, the higher your quotes will be. Homeowners in neighbourhoods near bodies of water such as Niagara Falls, the Welland Canal, and River Welland may want to consider getting a flood coverage add-on.
Census Data: Housing Data in Welland
Learn more about the average dwelling and homeowner in Welland, based on the 2021 Census of Population:
Type of Occupied Dwelling
In Welland, 64.5% of occupied homes are single-detached, while apartment buildings (both below and above five storeys in height) comprise 18.8%. Other types of dwellings in Welland, although less common, include semi-detached houses (7.1%), row houses (4.5%), and apartments or flats in a duplex (4.6%).
Owner vs Renter Stats/Condo vs Non-Condo Owners
69% of occupied homes in Welland are owned by their occupants while 31% are rented. Majority live in non-condominiums (96%).
Private Dwellings by Period of Construction: New or Older Homes?
Homes in Welland skew on the older side, with 84.5% built before 2000. 4.7% of homes were newly constructed from 2016 to 2021.
Major Repairs or Just Maintenance Needed?
Of all the homes in Welland, 93.7% are in good condition, needing only minor repairs/maintenance. Meanwhile, 6.3% of dwellings need major repairs.
How You Can Get Cheap Home Insurance in Welland
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 Welland 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 Welland
Can you cancel home insurance in Welland?
Yes, you can cancel your home insurance in Welland. 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 Welland home insurance fees tax deductible?
Generally, Welland 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 Welland real estate prices affect the cost of home insurance?
Yes, Welland 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 Welland home is within the $650,000 to $700,000 range, making it much cheaper than the Ontario average of $950,000 to $1 million.
Prices across the Niagara region generally dropped in 2022, and as one of the most affordable cities in the area, Welland is no exception. However, due to favourable tax rates, lower home prices, and more new and active listings, there is now more demand and the Welland housing market remains competitive. Prices have since risen and are expected to continue increasing late into the year.
Do I need home insurance in Welland for Airbnbs?
Yes, you need a specific type of home insurance in Welland 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 Welland home insurance rates?
Factors that insurance providers don’t consider when calculating Welland home insurance rates include the following:
Sexual orientation and gender
How expensive is insurance for a home in Welland compared to the rest of Ontario?
Insurance for a home in Welland is about $200 cheaper 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 Welland, the cost of living is about 15% cheaper than the provincial average. That said, Welland is also prone to flooding, especially when there’s heavy rainfall. In 2021, many residents reported that their basements flooded after a day of rain.
Consult your preferred home insurer to find out what other factors may cause your Welland policy quotes from them to be higher than the provincial average.