Four common summer home insurance claims — and how to avoid making them
Floods, fires, theft. How to avoid making these and other home insurance claims this summer.
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Your home is the centre of your life. You’ll want to make sure that something this important is adequately protected if an event damages or destroys it. That’s where home insurance comes in. While having home insurance isn’t mandatory in Canada, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lender who will give you a mortgage without it.
Since home insurance isn’t regulated provincially the same way as car insurance, your coverage won’t change significantly from one province to the next. However, it’s still important to understand what kind of perils your home is most at-risk for.
You’ve probably come to this page looking for a home insurance calculator for B.C., Canada. However, home insurance is a custom product, which makes it difficult for a calculator to accurately estimate your home insurance costs in B.C.
Don’t worry. We’re not about to leave you hanging. The best way to get a sense of what you might pay in home insurance is to quotes from several insurance companies. To accurately calculate your premiums, we recommend applying for quotes on LowestRates.ca. By using our B.C. home insurance calculator, your annual insurance bill could be reduced by hundreds of dollars because you’ll know which insurance company is offering the lowest rate for the coverage you need.
All you have to do is input a bit of information about you and your home. A broker or agent will be in touch with you to help you set up your policy. Some providers may even allow you to set up a policy entirely online.
Keep reading to learn what home insurance does and does not cover, as well as how your premiums are calculated.
A home insurance calculator won’t give you an accurate estimate of your premiums but our quoting tool will. There is a wide range of factors that go into calculating the price of a home insurance policy. Furthermore, many risks specific to B.C. may require you to purchase endorsements to enhance your policy. Our home insurance quoter will take into account the many factors involved in calculating your premiums, such as the value of your home and its contents, in addition to the endorsements specific to the region you live in.
While a calculator may work as a rough estimator of your home insurance costs in B.C., it likely won’t be an accurate depiction of what you’ll pay. Plus, it definitely won’t give you the option to secure the rate you receive with a real broker or agent.
To get started, fill out the form above. Once you’ve entered a bit of information about you and your home, you’ll be taken to a window where you’ll be able to select your preferred rate from 15+ brokers and agents serving B.C. It only takes a few minutes to save hundreds on home insurance.
Finding an accurate homeowners insurance calculator for B.C. online can be a challenge because there are so many variables to consider. How much insurance you purchase will play a major role in determining your monthly payments. Your monthly payments, together, will make up the total cost of your policy which consists of your premiums and any additional fees you’ll have to pay.
The cost of rebuilding your home: One of the main reasons homeowners purchase insurance is to repair or replace your home in the event of an accident or weather-related event. This is why the cost of replacing your home will factor in the cost of your home insurance policy. However, with home values going up across Canada (particularly in B.C.), many homeowners choose to add a guaranteed replacement cost endorsement to their policy, which may bump up their insurance premiums. However, having this kind of coverage could pay off if you’ve used expensive materials or have high-end fixtures or appliances.
How much home insurance you purchase: This is the primary factor that will go into determining your home insurance payments. There are a number of different policies to choose from. Which one you go with a bare-bones policy vs. a more comprehensive policy — as well as whether you decide to purchase any additional coverages, will also determine how much you’ll pay.
This will be the main factor in determining your home insurance payments. How much coverage you purchase will depend on whether you want a bare-bones or more comprehensive policy or whether you require any additional coverage for high-value items, extreme weather events, etc.
How much your valuables are worth: Home insurance policies can also cover the contents of the home in case of accidental damage. How much your possessions will cost to replace can also play a role in calculating your insurance premiums. It’s important to remember that there are limitations on how much coverage is available for valuables such as jewelry or art. If the limit given by your provider is lower than what your valuables are worth, it might be worth it to purchase additional coverage.
In addition to the factors that go into calculating your home insurance premiums, the items below may also come into play.
Additional fees: If you don’t pay your premiums on time, you may have to pay additional fees. Be sure not to find yourself in a situation where your method of payment expires before you provide your insurance company with a new method. In this case, you’ll be charged a late fee.
Mortgage lender: The rate you’ll pay will also be based on which lender you decide to go with. In addition, some lenders will require you to buy additional coverage, which means that you’ll have to pay higher premiums. These differences are why it’s important to compare the home insurance market before deciding on a policy. One way to do this is to use a price comparison website like LowestRates.ca.
Remember to factor in the monthly interest when estimating your home insurance costs. With our B.C. home insurance premium calculator, you’ll know how much multiple insurance companies will charge you for coverage, down to the exact dollar amount? Once you’re through with our calculator, home insurance premiums in B.C. cost, down to the dollar.
Calculating your home insurance payments can be tricky because of all the different factors your insurance company needs to consider. We’ve listed several of these factors below, but this isn’t an all-inclusive list. The way each insurance company weighs risks is different and the formulas they use are closely-guarded secrets.
Our property insurance calculator for B.C. will evaluate all these factors — and more — to figure out how much money you may be able to save on your home insurance payments. Once you’ve entered all your information, you’ll be shown the most competitive rates from home insurance providers serving your area. Read more about the factors below.
Location: Where you live can also have an impact on your home insurance rates. For instance, if your neighbourhood has a high rate of crime or theft as opposed to a safer neighbourhood, this may impact your rates. In addition, if you live in a neighbourhood with higher home prices, this may impact the replacement cost of your home, which may in turn affect your rate. To help you navigate these discrepancies, our home insurance calculator for B.C. residents will show you rates from lenders serving your area.
Fire hydrant/station proximity: The safety of your home is a primary concern of your insurance company when considering your rate. Just the same way installing a fire alarm and sprinklers might lower your rate, so will living in close proximity to a fire station or hydrant.
The age and condition of your home: How old and well-maintained your home is will also factor into your rates, as older homes are more susceptible to damage. For instance, older pipes can leak or an older roof can deteriorate. It’s important for homeowners to remember that maintaining their home is a condition of their coverage. If the damage is found to have been caused by neglect the repair costs won’t be covered by your policy.
Whether you work from home or rent out your home: If you use your home for something other than your primary residence, this may also have some bearing on your home insurance rates. Some examples of this include if you work from home, operate a home business or rent out your home. There may be additional items related to your work or business that need to be insured that won’t be covered under your home insurance policy.
How many claims you’ve made in the past: It’s important to be smart about making home insurance claims. Making frivolous claims can increase your premiums, which is why you should ensure that your rates won’t go up by more than you’ll receive if you do make a home insurance claim.
Your age: As you get older, it may become more difficult to maintain your home. If this results in accidents inside or on the property, your home insurance premiums may increase.
Your home’s heating system: Generally, a home with an oil heating system has a higher risk profile than those with a gas furnace or electric heating system. This is due to the change of a leaky oil tank with the former. Furthermore, other elements such as a wood stove could increase the risk of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. As a result, if your home has either of these, you may need to pay higher premiums.
Other things that can influence your home insurance rates might include:
Home insurance coverage in B.C. won’t be significantly different from home insurance coverage in Alberta or Ontario. While car insurance is regulated provincially, which means that coverage requirements may differ from one province to the next, home insurance is not regulated provincially. This means that any major differences in your coverage will come from endorsements or “add-ons” to the policy that protects you from specific risks. One thing to be mindful of is the price of endorsements for earthquake coverage, which are more expensive in provinces with a higher risk of earthquakes, like Quebec and B.C.
In addition, areas with higher home values may also be susceptible to higher home insurance premiums because of the factors we described above, even though home insurance is based on the amount it would cost to rebuild your home and not its market value. Residents of pricier B.C. districts like the Greater Vancouver Area may want to keep this in mind.
The type of policy you choose will factor greatly into the cost of your homeowners' insurance in B.C. Our calculator lets you select what type of policy you want when entering your information into the form. This way, we can give you a more accurate estimate for your B.C. homeowners insurance premiums. There are typically four different kinds of home insurance policies:
A comprehensive policy will give you the most coverage. If your broker or agent mentions a “special” or “all-perils” policy, this is the type of plan they’re referring to. A comprehensive policy is exactly what it sounds like. This type of plan covers all perils except those that have been specifically excluded by the policy-holder. Excluded risks can vary depending on which insurance company you go with. Choosing this type of policy may mean higher monthly home insurance costs in B.C.. Our calculator will show you exactly what it costs?
Basic coverage/named perils
This type of policy is the opposite of a comprehensive policy, which is also referred to as a “standard” policy. A basic policy will offer less coverage than a comprehensive policy, in that it will only cover perils that are specifically included by the policyholder. Nothing else.
A broad policy is halfway between a basic and a comprehensive policy. Like a basic policy, this type will cover the contents of the home for perils that are named in the policy. However, like a comprehensive policy, broad coverage includes all perils except those that are specifically excluded for the home itself.
No frills coverage
This type of policy is typically reserved for homes that don’t meet the insurance company’s standards. This may include homes that have structural damage or other issues that make them too big of a risk to insure with a typical policy.
Homeowners have a number of options when purchasing insurance in B.C. These mainly include an insurance broker or an insurance company or by going online. One option is to compare homeowners insurance rates in B.C. with the calculator provided by LowestRates.ca. This tool is also referred to as a “quoter.” By spending a little bit of time inputting information into LowestRates.ca’s quoter, you’ll be shown the most competitive rates from the top home insurance providers in the area. If you select one, a broker or agent will be in touch to secure this rate for you. In some cases, you may actually be able to secure your rate online without ever getting on the phone.
One of the primary things you can do to save money on your home insurance premiums is to reduce the risk of damage to your home. Here are some options for doing that:
Install security and safety measures to prevent fire damage and theft: Having a security or fire alarm system can reduce your risk of theft and of fire, which can in turn reduce your premiums.
Install preventative measures against water damage: Having a backflow valve, or a sump pump installed in your home can reduce your premiums.
Use weather-resistant materials to build your roof: Upgrading your roof is another way to prevent weather-related damage and reduce your home insurance premiums. Be sure to use class four asphalt shingles or slate tiles to help your roof withstand intense Canadian weather.
Bundle your home and auto insurance policies: One of the most common ways to get a discount on your home insurance premiums is to bundle your home and auto insurance policies. We also inform car insurance shoppers of this loophole and encourage them to contact their insurance providers to find out how much they can save.
Increase your deductible: A higher deductible means you will have to pay more when you make a claim and the insurance company won’t have to pay as much. However, your premiums will be lower.
Don’t switch insurance companies before the end of your term: While this won’t increase your insurance premiums, you may be forced to pay fees for breaking your policy.
Ask about discounts: This is another great way to save money on your home insurance premiums. There may be discounts specific to your insurance provider that you might not know about. Be sure to ask your broker or agent if there are any additional discounts you might qualify for.
Don’t become a high-risk customer: Having multiple claims, not paying your premiums on time, or owning a vacant property are just some of the reasons why an insurer may consider you to be a high-risk customer.
You’re in luck! LowestRates.ca offers policies to renters and condo owners. If you’re on the market for either of these policies, you can actually fill out the property insurance form above and select the Condo Insurance or Renters Insurance option on the first page. Our quoting tool will take into account whether you’re looking to ensure a house, a condo or a rental property and will calculate your rate accordingly.
An insurance premium, also known as a rate, is the amount you pay for an insurance policy. This can be paid on a monthly or annual basis. When you fill out a form to compare B.C. house insurance rates with our calculator tool, this is what you’ll be shown.
Premium payments can be made on a number of different schedules, depending on your lender. Common payment frequencies can include annually, biweekly or even monthly. Our B.C. home insurance calculator will show you your monthly payments as well as your annual costs. Regardless, a broker or agent will be in touch with you shortly after you complete the form to secure your rate. They’d be happy to answer any questions you have about payment frequency.
An actual cash values policy means the claims payment is based on the current value of the product in a similar condition that needs to be replaced. For instance, if a 10-year-old dryer is damaged, the payment is based on the current value and not the cost of buying a new dryer. Premiums for this type of policy are lower than a replacement cost value policy.
A replacement cost value policy means that the claims payment is based on the value of replacing the product with a brand new one that’s a similar make or model. Premiums for this type of policy are higher than an actual cash values policy.
Endorsements are additional types of coverage (such as sewer backup endorsement) that can be added to your insurance policy.
This is the amount you have to pay towards damages before the insurer will pay. If, for example, there’s $5,000 in damage to your home and you have a $500 deductible, you will pay the first $500 in damage and the insurance company will pay the rest. A higher deductible will lead to lower premiums.
Depreciation is a decline in the value of an item over time.
Perils are unexpected or accidental events.
About the Author
Jessica is the former Associate Editor for LowestRates.ca. Before joining the team, Jessica worked as a National Online Journalist with Globalnews.ca and previously spearheaded the launch of the Business Section at one of Canada's largest technology websites, MobileSyrup.
Floods, fires, theft. How to avoid making these and other home insurance claims this summer.
Home insurance rates fluctuate annually. Don’t leave money or coverage on the table by not comparing rates.