A new report from Ratesdotca says that Ontarians residing in suburban neighbourhoods, such as Lasalle in Windsor, are paying more than double the home insurance premium in comparison to affluent Greater Toronto Area neighbourhoods such as Woodbridge. Most of the top 10 least expensive places in Ontario for home insurance are well-to-do Toronto suburbs, says the report.
Northern Ontario cities such as Timmins, Thunder Bay and Elliot Lake account for half of the top-10 list of most expensive cities for home insurance premiums.
“Many different factors influence the cost of insurance premiums. Unlike auto insurance, the home insurance market is unregulated. Things like credit scores and unemployment rates could be used to determine the cost of insuring a homeowner, which impacts rates,” says John Shmuel, managing editor at Ratesdotca. “Other factors include crime rates and the number of claims in a particular area.”
Only cities with a minimum population of 10,000 were included in the report.
The top 10 most expensive cities and their closest urban areas:
- Lasalle (Windsor)
- Kingsville (Windsor)
- Amherstburg (Windsor)
- Thunder Bay
- Lively (Walden), (Sudbury)
- Essex (Windsor)
- Garson (Sudbury)
- Elliot Lake (Sudbury)
Ratesdotca says the provincial average cost for home insurance premiums is $1,342 per year.
Across the province, there is an approximately $1,145 difference in home insurance between the most expensive, Lasalle at $2,098 a year, and the least expensive city, Woodbridge, at $953 a year.
From the top 10 least expensive list, GTA suburbs Woodbridge ($953) and Richmond Hill ($982) topped the list with the cheapest insurance premiums, with Ajax ($1,027) and Kleinburg ($1,031) taking the 9th and 10th spots.
The top 10 least expensive cities:
- Richmond Hill
- Holland Landing
The estimated home insurance premiums are based on a 45-year-old homeowner, who has been insured for at least 10 years and lives in a 2,500-sq.-ft. house with brick veneer, wood frame construction, natural gas heat and a roof that is 10 to 15-years-old.
The estimated condo insurance rates are based on a one bedroom plus den, 800 to 1,000-sq.-ft. condo in a high-rise, fire resistance-type building constructed after 2007, with $40,000 worth of contents.
The estimated tenant insurance premiums were based on a two-bedroom, one-bath, 1,000-sq.-ft. apartment with $35,000 worth of contents and $1-million liability.
Shmuel offers the following tips for homeowners to lower insurance costs:
- Be selective on what you claim. Avoid making claims for small things as that would impact your claims history, which affects rates.
- Bundle with your auto insurance policy. Insurance providers offer bundle discounts of up to 15 per cent if home and auto policies are purchased together.
- Maintain a good credit score or find a home insurance provider who does not use credit score to determine premiums.
- Install home monitoring systems. Decrease the risk of damage to your home and theft and avoid making unnecessary claims.
- Compare home insurance rates. Find the policy and rate that best suit your situation.