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Northern Ontario cities make up half of Top 20 most expensive places in province for home insurance

Sault Ste. Marie comes in as the 15th most expensive to buy insurance, says RATESDOTCA
20160503 Sault Ste Marie Waterfront KA
Sault Ste. Marie is one of the Top 20 most expensive cities to buy home insurance in Ontario, says rate comparing web site RATESDOTCA. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

A recent report by a company which compares insurance rates from different providers says Sault Ste. Marie is one of the Top 20 most expensive cities in Ontario when it comes to buying coverage.

Northern Ontario cities make up about half of the Top 20 that have the most expensive home insurance costs according to a RATESDOTCA report released last week.

Sault Ste. Marie lands at Number 15 on the list of most expensive cities for home insurance, with an estimated cost of $1,617 per year. That is almost $300 higher than the provincial average of $1,342.

While location is one of the key factors that home insurance carriers consider when determining a premium, a high crime rate and increasing incidents of severe weather also account for why home insurance is more expensive in smaller cities throughout the province, said John Shmuel, managing editor of RATESDOTCA.

“Unfortunately, crime rates in Ontario are higher in smaller cities and rural regions, while also facing higher risks from climate change, such as forest fires, flooding and tornadoes,” said Shmuel. “Insurance carriers try to gauge what sort of a risk a home and its owner represent. Regardless of location, a home in a neighbourhood with a higher crime rate or one that has often been affected by severe weather represent a higher risk and the premiums will reflect it.”

Residents in 156 cities across Ontario pay premiums between $950 and $1,500 per year, with those in living in 50 cities paying between $1,500 and $2,000 in premiums.

Thunder Bay and Timmins are ranked fifth and sixth on the list, respectively, while Lively, Garson (both in the Greater Sudbury region) and Elliot Lake are other Northern Ontario locations in the Top 10.

 The report shows many of the cities on the list with the least expensive home insurance costs are in, or close to, the Greater Toronto Area. Woodbridge takes the top spot for least expensive rates at an estimated $953.

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