Thousands of homes were damaged when the Bow and Elbow rivers flooded in Alberta this summer. Provincial government estimates show well over $5 billion will be needed to rebuild infrastructure.
Bad weather and catastrophic events have been the norm in recent years, and now it’s starting to show up in our home insurance bills. Insurance payouts caused by weather-related events have nearly tripled since 2008.
A string of hail storms hit Lethbridge this summer and caused a lot of damage to houses and vehicles. We had $7,200 worth of hail damage to our vehicle and another $15,000 in damage to the roof and siding on our home.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when – about a month later – I received the following letter from our insurance broker:
As you are aware over the past few years there have been more frequent hail and wind storms in our area. Last year, Wawanesa paid out $183 million in wind and hail claims alone; this accounted for 91 percent of all the claims paid out.
To keep the cost of insurance competitive, Wawanesa has made major changes to its policies in regards to wind and hail coverage. In the next week you will be receiving your home insurance renewal from Wawanesa. They have now implemented a separate deductible for wind and hail claims, and they have shown the cost associated with this mandatory coverage.
Your deductible for wind and hail coverage will now be $1,500 (your deductible for all other claims remains the same).
We are continuing to work and make sure that Wawanesa meets your property insurance needs and have reviewed your policy and believe this is still the best option for you today.
Home Insurance Bill Goes Through The Roof
Sure enough, I received the renewal letter and noticed the insurance premium for property coverage was $750, plus an additional $448 premium for hail and windstorm coverage, and another $85 premium for sewer back-up and water damage coverage.
That’s a 30 percent increase from last year’s home insurance bill! The first thing I did was double-check that this was still a competitive rate by comparing quotes online at Kanetix.ca.
The best quote online was from RBC Insurance and it was for $1,287 per year – slightly more than the quote I received to renew with Wawanesa.
In a recent column, Rob Carrick ranted about the home insurance industry and called for plainer language when it comes to highlighting cheaper coverage options for home owners. He said, “Stop acting like raising prices is the only possible answer to your business challenges.”
Our broker suggested we could look at adjusting the house value or the amount of overall insurance coverage to help lower the premiums.
In the end I decided to renew the policy as is and start budgeting more for house insurance premiums (and the deductible for possible claims) now and in the future.
Have you renewed your home insurance policy recently? How much more did you have to pay?