List of Canadian Home Insurance Companies & FAQs

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Home Insurance Companies In Canada

In certain parts of Canada, the severe weather conditions and calamities have wreaked havoc for homeowners and insurers. For those left without any insurance coverage the damages have been devastating and hence the importance of getting insurance is paramount. There is a huge thriving property and casualty industry in Canada. Over hundreds of private insurance providers compete with each other in most provinces. These insurance companies are regulated by provincial and federal governments. Consumer reports, customer satisfaction surveys, market share strength etc. may be used to gauge an insurance company. When you insure your home you may look for a reliable and trustworthy insurer who supports you in your worst times.

Canadian Home Insurance CompanyTotal: 2015 DIRECT WRITTEN PROPERTY
Intact Financial Corporation$2,867,152,000
Aviva Canada Inc$1,511,331,000
Desjardins General Insurance Group$1,381,522,000
RSA Canada Group$1,181,207,000
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance$1,094,802,000
Co'operators General Insurance Co$1,012,968,000
Lloyd's Underwriters$1,008,939,000
TD Insurance, General Insurance$990,388,000
Economical Insurance$711,345,000
AIG Insurance Co Of Canada$524,219,000
Travelers Canada$509,446,000
Northbridge Financial Corporation$489,704,000
Zurich Insurance Company Ltd$381,552,000
Ontario Mutual Insurance$369,975,000
La Capitale Assurances Gen Inc$369,861,000
SGI Canada Group$332,936,000
Allstate Insurance Co of Canada$331,672,000
Chubb Insurance Co of Canada$316,648,000
Factory Mutual Insurance Company$197,364,000
RBC General Insurance$185,427,000
Allianz Global Risks US$179,387,000
Gore Mutual Insurance Company$165,879,000
Peace Hills General Insurance$154,648,000
Guarantee Company Of North America$119,832,000
Portage La Prairie Mutual$115,408,000
Optimum General Inc$106,508,000
Industrielle Alliance Compagnie$101,496,000
ACE INA Insurance$100,365,000
L'Unique Assurances Generales$95,455,000
Affiliated FM Insurance$93,985,000
SSQ, Societe D'Assurances Gen$92,191,000
Red River Mutual$85,823,000
CNA Canada$84,706,000
Alberta Motor Association$82,682,000
Cumis General Insurance$74,922,000
Mutual Fire Insurance Co of BC$74,845,000
Wynward Insurance Group$72,519,000
Heartland Farm Mutual.$54,089,000
Pembridge Insurance Company.$53,711,000
Liberty Mutual Insurance$51,521,000
Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance$49,837,000
CAA Insurance$46,577,000
Le Groupe Estrie'Richelieu$41,221,000
Omega General Insurance$41,094,000
XL Specialty Insurance.$37,384,000
Arch Insurance (Canada)$34,003,000
Unica Insurance.$29,027,000
Echelon Insurance$28,163,000
Everest Insurance Co of Canada$22,415,000
Great American Insurance.$20,827,000
PEI Mutual Insurance Company.$17,966,000
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire$17,595,000
Ontario School Board's Insurance$16,443,000
Mennonite Mutual Fire Ins Company of SK$15,940,000
Hartford Fire Insurance$11,724,000
RBC Insurance Company Of Canada$10,354,000
Triton Insurance$9,442,000
Old Republic Insurance Company$9,159,000
Kings Mutual Insurance Company$7,654,000
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance$6,664,000
Antigonish Farmersu2019 Mutual$5,065,000
Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company$5,043,000
The Mearie Group$3,591,000
Fundy Mutual Insurance$3,394,000
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa$3,220,000
Berkley Insurance Company$3,018,000
Clare Mutual Insurance Company$2,664,000
Trisura Guarantee Insurance$731,000
Federal Insurance Company$450,000

Which Home Insurance Companies Are The Best

J.D. Power has been a trusted advisory expert for many industries since 1968 and this includes the insurance sector too. Their verdict is regarded as the ultimatum in rating a company based on various parameters to monitor performance standards.

As per their ratings for the home insurance sector in 2016, Belairdirect ranked highest in the Atlantic region (score of 799). The next best performer was the Co-operators (score 796) in the same region followed by Intact Insurance (score 791). In Western Canada, the BCAA ranked highest and had a score of 792. The Alberta Motor Association was ranked 2nd with a score of 774 and the Co-operators held the 3rd rank with a score of 773. Belairdirect ranked highest (score of 814) in Quebec followed by Promutuel (score of 809). The 3rd position was a tie between Desjardins General Insurance, La Capitale and Intact Insurance, each with a score of 806. These ratings and scores were based on 7438 homeowner insurance customer responses.

How Are Home Insurance Companies Rated

J.D. Power conducts an annual survey of homeowner insurance customers and asks them to rate insurers on certain criteria. They examine 5 main factors for rating an insurance company. These include non-claim interaction, price, policy offerings, billing & payment, and claims. There are 3 sub-factors for non-claim interaction such as local broker or agent, website and call center service representative. The survey calculates satisfaction level on a scale of 1000 points.

FAQs About Home Insurance Companies

 

There are many questions that come to our mind when we look at the bigger picture of the home insurance industry, its rules and regulations etc.

Who Regulates Home Insurance Companies

The home insurance industry is regulated and monitored closely by both provincial and federal governments. They ensure that the insurers and intermediaries fulfill financial obligations to consumers. The provincial government also has regulatory power over rate setting, market conduct, consumer issues, sales practices and broker conduct.

  • (IBC) Insurance Bureau of Canada: This is the national association representing private auto, home, and business insurance providers. They also lobby the provincial and federal governments to promote public policy changes for the benefit of customers and insurers. The IBC also fosters public awareness about the functions of home, car and business insurance.
  • CGI Group Inc: This is a technology-based firm that provides customers their home insurance claims records. Insurance companies also request information about their clients from CGI.

List Of Home Insurance Regulators In Various Provinces

ProvincesInsurance Regulatory Body
AlbertaAlberta Insurance Council
British ColumbiaInsurance Council of British Columbia
ManitobaInsurance Council of Manitoba
OntarioThe Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario
NewbrunswickFinancial and Consumer Services Commission
NewfoundlandCanadian Council of Insurance Regulators
Nova ScotiaOffice of the Superintendent of Insurance
Prince Edward IslandCanadian Council of Insurance Regulators
QuebecChambre De L'Assurance De Dommages
SaskatchewanInsurance Councils of Saskatchewan

Do Home Insurance Companies Share Information

In certain provinces, the insurance companies are restricted to obtain credit information about their clients for insurance ratings and underwriting. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has designed a code of conduct to protect consumer interests since 2010. About 85% of the insurers adopted this code of conduct even though it was voluntary. In 2015, the Bill S-4 known as the Digital Privacy Law was passed and is law. This bill has outlined provisions that affect the data and information shared between insurance companies. Some points in the bill do give insurance companies the permission to share personal client information without consent. But in most cases, it is vital to obtain a client’s consent before accessing their credit and personal information on file by another insurer.

Can Home Insurance Companies Deny Coverage

It is possible for insurance companies to deny coverage based on various grounds. Most common reasons for insurance companies to deny coverage are as follows:

  • Poor claims history
  • Payment defaults
  • Insurance gaps
  • High-risk zone location (flood prone or earthquake prone)
  • Change in circumstances that affect the insurability of the home
  • Condition of the home and construction materials used (asbestos)
  • Bad credit history
  • Dangerous breed of pet

Can Home Insurance Companies Drop You

Yes, home insurance companies may stop insuring you for a valid reason. If there had been high claims costs in a city then the insurer may stop underwriting policies for that city. Or, if your home is too expensive to repair in case of damage then they may cancel your policy. Too many claims in a short period of time may set the alarms off for the insurer to consider you a high risk. Typically home insurance providers do not expect you to file more than 2 claims in a decade. Frequent claims or too many claims in a short period would put you in a high-risk category. For any reason, if the insurance company decides to cancel your policy then they have to give you notice in writing with a valid explanation.

Can Home Insurance Companies Check Previous Claims

Most insurance companies are able to check previous claims by accessing HITS (Habitational Insurance Tracking System). They may access about 98% available claims data in Canada and about 55% claims data in Quebec. Home insurance companies check claims history to know the pattern, frequency, and nature of claims to assess the risk. When you request a quote, you are asked about any previous claims too.

Can Home Insurance Companies Charge Cancellation Fees

You may decide to cancel your home insurance due to various types of reasons. Whether it is due to a cheaper quote or when you are selling your home, you may cancel insurance any time. Yes, home insurance companies may charge cancellation fees when you decide to cancel your policy mid-term. Most insurers calculate the cancellation charges based on short rate method. This charge is deducted as administrative costs for handling your policy.

Can I Switch Or Change Home Insurance Companies Anytime

Yes, you may change or switch home insurance providers anytime due to any reason. If you feel that it is worth switching your insurer for any reason then you may do so. When you decide to change insurer during mid-term then you may pay some penalty charges. If the penalty charge is more than the amount you may save by switching then you may wait till renewal as per your situation.

How To Change Home Insurance Companies

Homeowners may change their insurers due to many reasons. These may include cheaper quotes, selling their home, moving abroad, change of auto insurer etc. You may follow some steps when planning to change your home insurance.

  1. Shop around for a new home insurance provider: You may compare multiple quotes from different providers to get the best value for your money. Since your home could be your most important asset you may not want to compromise on coverage and protection.
  2. Choose the new insurance provider: Once you have looked at various quotes and compared features and benefits, you may choose a new provider. The new insurance provider may ask you several questions about your home, past claims, special risks etc. When you choose your new policy you may look for adequate coverage with deductibles that you can afford and understand your policy conditions.
  3. Cancel and Switch insurance providers: You may not want to have a gap in your home insurance while switching as it may affect your record. So, you may plan your switch in such a manner that the new policy takes effect when the old policy cancels. It is best to write a cancellation request with all details to your existing insurer so that there is no ambiguity.  You may include your name, policy details, home address, cancellation date and contact information in your cancellation request. Check for cancellation terms and chances of a refund or a penalty.
  4. Keep your mortgage company in the loop: Inform your mortgage company if you do not own your home. Quite often your mortgage and home insurance may be through the same bank or lender. Your mortgage provider may not want you to be without home insurance hence you may provide them with the new insurer details.

How To Compare Homeowners Insurance Companies

When it comes to shopping for a home insurance provider you may want to do your bit of research and make use of resources to get a fair deal. You may compare home insurance quotes by entering your postal code in the online tool. Fill out the form with information about your property and other details about your requirements. This tool allows you to compare home insurance quotes from more than 20 companies in a few minutes.  Quite often the cheapest quote may not be the best option and you may follow some simple tips to make a sound decision.

  • Check customer reviews for the home insurance companies that you shortlisted.
  • J.D. Power ratings say a lot about an insurer’s customer satisfaction score and claims experience. You may check out their score while you compare along with their financial performance.
  • Evaluate the home insurance policies as per premiums, deductibles, coverage limits, exclusions, claims process, discounts etc. Check out any additional coverage or endorsements that they offer for your unique situation.
  • Compare your level of deductible and premiums as higher deductibles could save you money. Also if you choose a higher deductible that you cannot afford when you claim then it might not favor you.

What Homeowners Insurance Companies Cover Pit bulls

Dog bite claims are a concern for the insurance companies to be wary about offering coverage if you own certain breeds of dogs. If you own a pit bull then it may affect your insurability due to increased risk factor. Most insurance companies have a list of dogs considered dangerous and owning one may cause them to deny you coverage. Rottweilers are also a dog breed that is on the high-risk list by most insurance companies. As per the Insurance Bureau of Canada, certain insurers may offer coverage and exclude any losses or liability claims for the dog. Again, they may offer coverage based on a case by case basis and you may be asked several questions about your dog. These may include the dog’s history (any past claims for dog bites and liability) whether you have a fence and how do you shelter the dog etc.

What Questions Do Home Insurance Companies Ask

When you apply for a home insurance quote then the broker or insurance agent may ask you several questions. These questions may be very important to assess your risk level and insurability. It is very vital that you answer all questions truthfully so that you do not commit a crime and be part of insurance fraud. Any dishonest answer may backfire in the long run and you may be denied coverage or claim later. Then it may be difficult to get coverage or you may pay exorbitant premiums.

Some common questions for a home insurance quote

  • Have you had over 2 property losses in the last 5 years and include those that you did not claim too.
  • Were you refused insurance or had your coverage canceled in the past 5 years including auto insurance.
  • Home address and number of floors
  • Building information (type of building, primary exterior building and roof material, age, roof replacement, square footage, basement, garage, heating & ventilation etc.)
  • Distance from emergency service stations (fire hydrants and fire station)
    Whether you have a wood stove or sump pump (age of sump pump)
  • Replacement value of your home and construction type (frame, brick or mixed)
  • If you have installed any smoke alarms, burglar alarms, sprinklers, carbon monoxide detectors etc.
  • Are you the owner of a dangerous breed of dog

The above list may vary with each insurance company and the requirements would differ as per province too.


Resources:

http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CU-DE-20160730-Statistical-Issue.pdf

http://canada.jdpower.com/press-releases/2016-canadian-home-insurance-study

http://www.ibc.ca/on/resources/consumer-resources/credit-information


 

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