Home Insurance BC: Intro
Welcome to your Home Insurance Guide for British Columbia. This page will give you an idea of Home Insurance Premiums, will inform about savings opportunities and also provide number of other useful tips for choosing Home Insurance protection in British Columbia.
What Are Typical Home Insurance Premiums In British Columbia?
The chart above illustrates the average Renters and Homeowners Insurance premiums in British Columbia and other provinces. Renters insurance rates are typically lower than home owners premiums due to the nature of insurance: Renters insurance typically covers only the content of your rented property and sometimes liability. It does not cover the building itself since it is covered under the insurance property of the homeowner.
Overall consumers spend more on Home Insurance in British Columbia because of the several reasons:
Earthquake protection: Seismic activity of the region often results in additional coverage (insurance riders) against earthquakes that customers prefer to purchase to have a peace of mind. It is especially important along the coast.
High rebuilding costs: High share of more expensive real estate indirectly impacts home insurance premiums. Though home insurance is driven by rebuilding costs as opposed to market value of a property, British Columbia has a high share of premium, more expensive properties that are more expensive to rebuild. In addition to that construction of the buildings is sometimes more complicated than in other provinces since these should be build considering seismic hazards (e.g. special structure, lateral bracing requirements, etc)
How Can You Save on Home Insurance in British Columbia?
- Change your content coverage: Do you rent an apartment or condo? You can often lower your content coverage. No need to insure your belongings to up to $250,000 if you only have a laptop and some IKEA furniture.
- Renovations: Renovating your house can result in lower home insurance premiums, as home insurance premiums for older, poorly maintained homes are usually higher. Also, updating only parts of your house, such as the basement or kitchen, may lead to savings on your insurance.
- Wiring: Not all wiring is created equal. Make sure you have approved wiring and be sure to avoid aluminum wiring, which can be very expensive to insure. Not all insurers will cover houses with aluminum wiring, and those that do usually require a full electrical inspection of the house.
- Neighbourhood: For your personal safety and possible lower premiums, live in a low-crime, safe neighbourhood.
- Claims-free discount: You can get rewarded for being claim free. Terms and conditions vary and not all insurers offer this discount, so ask around if you have been claim free for a long time.
- Bundle: Most companies offer a discount if you bundle polices, such as home and auto.
- Mortgage insurance: Do you have life insurance? If so, you may have enough coverage to forgo mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is another name for a life/critical illness and disability insurance that pays off your outstanding debt on your home in case of a tragic event. For example, a term life policy large enough to pay off your home is usually cheaper.
- Stability of residence: Lived in the same residence for years? You may be eligible for a stability discount. A few insurers offers one.
- Interested in more saving tips for Home Insurance in BC? Get an insurance quote below and connect with an experienced insurance professional to get more tips
Several British Columbia-Specific Home Insurance Tips
- Earthquakes: Overall British Columbia is well known for its seismic activities. You might want consider taking earthquake protection though it might cost a little bit extra. Furthermore make sure that your house was built or upgraded according to the most recent standards for buildings in earthquake endangered areas.
- Flooding: British Columbia does not have an extensive history of flooding, unlike Alberta or Canada. Nevertheless it is importnat to know that overland flooding is typically not covered in Canada under home insurance policies. We suggest investigate carefully a history of flooding in the neighbourhood where you are planning to buy a house (e.g. historical floodings due to heavy rainfalls or melted snow).
- Sewage backup: That option is often not covered in many policies but rather offered as an optional coverage (also called insurance rider). Consider adding it to your policy to stay insured against any plumbing-related accidents
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