Home insurance in BC
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How can you lower your home insurance costs?
Some tips to saving on your biggest investment.
Here are a few things you can do to bring down the price of your home insurance rates and put some money back into your pocket:
Costs to reconstruct
Consider the age of the home you’re thinking of buying. That older house in Victoria may be beautiful, but it might also require a higher rebuild cost to reconstruct it in the event of a loss.
Increasing your deductible
Increasing your deductible will reduce the cost of your monthly premium, saving you money in the long run if you rarely file a claim.
Install an alarm system
You’ll earn a discount from your insurance company for having an alarm system installed in your home. BC has one of the highest unsolved crime rates in Canada and your insurance company sees an alarm as a method of preventing theft and damage.
Consider bundling your insurance
Try bundling your home and auto insurance. BC has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country. Bundling them will allow you to keep more money in your pocket by saving on both.
5 things you need to know about home insurance in British Columbia
1 - Is home insurance mandatory in British Columbia?
British Columbia, much like the rest of Canada, does not legally require a person to purchase home insurance. The catch is most banks and lenders require you to obtain a basic policy in order to approve you for a mortgage. So unless you plan on paying for your home all at once, there’s no getting out of it.
Even if you could pay for your home without a loan, home insurance is a smart investment because your home is an investment. A big one at that. If ever something were to happen such as a fire or a natural disaster, it could set you back years and potentially ruin you financially. What if an accident occurs on your property? You could be held liable as the homeowner.
Why take the risk? At belairdirect, we’ll help you find the coverage options that will protect both you and your home at the lowest rate possible.
2 - What does home insurance cover and NOT cover in BC?
3 major facets are protected within a home insurance policy.
The first is the house’s structure. When insuring your home, remember that what you paid for your house may not be the value required to rebuild it in the event of a loss. An older home in Nanaimo may require newer materials to rebuild it from scratch, which can cost you much more. This is the value you should consider insuring the building for.
The second facet is covered in a home insurance policy are the contents of the home. Your possessions such as your furniture, your collection of Lululemon tights, your yoga mats and the rest of the items within your home. Your policy will cover you in the event that your items are damaged, stolen or lost due do a covered incident.
Note that high-value items may not be covered under all circumstances. Priceless art, jewelry and other items of value may require a separate policy. Your one-of-a-kind piece of Kaska Dena art may be covered in a fire, but it might not if it gets lost while moving.
The final facet is your personal liability. When an accident occurs on your property, you can be held responsible as the homeowner. Home insurance can cover any costs related to the accident so that your guests remain covered without bankrupting you
3 - Why should I get earthquake insurance & tsunami Insurance?
It seems the biggest worry on the West Coast is the “big one” and when it will hit. Jokes aside, British Columbia does sit within the large earthquake zone that covers the western coast of the continent. Although the “big one” may not occur within our lifetimes, smaller earthquakes can still cause damage to your home and leave you with thousands of dollars of repairs and ruined property. Only about 50% of BC residents have some form of earthquake insurance included in their policy. Some insurance companies have even begun including earthquakes as a mandatory risk because of their prevalence.
As for damages caused by a tsunami, there currently is no specific coverage to protect your home and possessions. Earthquake insurance does not cover water damage. Therefore, it is recommended you include flood insurance if you live near the coast. Talk to your insurance broker for advice and to see what coverage options are best for your specific situation.
4 - What is Mobile Home and RV Insurance?
With pristine landscapes, rocky coastlines and acres of forest to discover, many are tempted to explore BC’s natural beauty with an RV or mobile home. When travelling and living in mobile home for longer periods of time, there are several things to consider when insuring it.
An RV is a vehicle, so naturally it will require the minimum coverage needed for any vehicle such as third-party liability coverage, accident benefits and hit-and-run coverage. However, because you use the vehicle as a home and store various valuable possessions in it, you’ll need extra protection in the event your property gets damaged or stolen.
Furthermore, what happens if someone injures themselves inside your RV while you’re parked somewhere in Kootenay National Park? Are you still covered if you leave BC to visit Banff for a few days? Talk with you insurance agent to see what your best coverage options are based on how you plan to use your RV while you travel.
5 - What is Wildfire Coverage?
With memories of the damage caused by rampant wildfires fresh in everyone’s mind, many BC residents are anxious to know if they need specific coverage to insure their houses from such a natural disaster. The good news is that fire is a covered damage in most home insurance policies (although you should always check, just in case).
The bad news is that if your property is located within a known wildfire zone, you may be subject to higher premiums or even denied coverage in some extreme cases. Talk to your insurer or broker before purchasing a property you believe to be at risk and see what they can offer you in terms of protection.