How we find you the best home insurance in Vancouver
You can’t drive a car in Vancouver — or anywhere in Canada — without auto insurance, but there’s no law that requires you to get home insurance to live in your home. Just because it isn’t mandatory doesn’t mean that home insurance isn’t important. A good policy will protect you against financial losses if your property or belongings are damaged or stolen.
Home insurance isn’t just for people who live in houses, either. The term also refers to condo insurance.
In addition to the type of home you live in, your location (and the types of risks associated with it) is also something you need to take into consideration when you’re choosing a policy. That’s why we created this page: to walk you through the process of securing the right policy for your needs. Vancouver is a city with many unique benefits, but it also poses unique challenges. Below, we’ll list the factors you’ll need to consider when shopping for a home insurance policy in Canada’s largest West Coast city.
How much does home insurance cost in Vancouver?
The amount you’ll pay for home insurance in Vancouver can differ by insurer. A more efficient way to get a ballpark figure is to fill out a form on a comparison site like LowestRates.ca and see what companies are willing to quote you. Our site will show you 10+ quotes from Vancouver’s top insurers.
What risks are specific to Vancouver?
- Earthquakes. In Vancouver, earthquakes are probably the biggest concern as far as natural disasters go. The city is typically pretty temperate weather-wise, but for decades experts have been warning that an earthquake could hit the West Coast — one that could reach a staggering magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale.
- Tsunamis. While a major earthquake is guaranteed to cause major damage on its own, it is also likely to trigger another kind of natural disaster given Vancouver’s proximity to the ocean: tsunamis. In Japan, which is also bound by the Pacific Ocean, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 created tsunami waves that were 40 metres high. These waves helped trigger the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
What risks does home insurance cover in Vancouver?
Most home insurance policies offer coverage for the following things:
- The building itself
- Your belongings
- Any upgrades you make to your home
- Your personal liability (i.e., damages incurred should someone injure themselves on your property)
- Living expenses if you are forced to leave your home due to damage caused by certain perils, like wildfires
Depending on your circumstances, this may be enough home insurance for you to feel protected. But in the case it’s not enough, insurers typically offer endorsements, add-ons or extra coverage, so you can tailor your policy to fit your needs.
Of course, exactly which risks your insurer is willing to cover also depends on which home insurance company you ultimately decide to go with.
What risks won’t home insurance cover in Vancouver?
As mentioned before, earthquakes are a significant risk in Vancouver. And with earthquakes come a host of other concerns, including tsunamis.
Despite tsunami risk, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a home insurance policy in Vancouver — and all of B.C. in fact — that will cover damage from saltwater flooding. It’s much easier, on the other hand, to find coverage for freshwater damage.
What kind of home insurance do you need in Vancouver?
There are four different types of home insurance available to Vancouver homeowners:
Comprehensive - This type of home insurance policy offers the most coverage of all the options. It covers damage to your property and belongings against all standard perils except the ones that are only covered by additional endorsements (like earthquakes), or ones that are specifically excluded from most policies (events that can be attributed to the homeowner’s lack of due diligence).
Basic or Named Perils - The name says it all. This type of home insurance policy is basic. It offers coverage common perils, which include fire, lightning, theft, explosions, falling objects — but only if they’re named in the policy.
Broad - Put simply, this type of policy falls somewhere between comprehensive and basic home insurance. It offers comprehensive coverage in the event the structure of your home is damaged, but will only offer basic coverage for the contents of your home.
No frills - This type of insurance is the most bare-bones type of coverage you can get. These policies typically only cover your home in the case of fire and a handful of other perils. People typically get no frills insurance when their homes have structural issues that make them ineligible for a basic policy. No frills insurance can protect what you have while you are making repairs; you can switch over to another type of policy once your home is up to your insurer’s standards.
Again, the type of home insurance you’ll want depends on your specific needs and your risk tolerance.
In Vancouver, getting an add-on for earthquake damage is recommended. But add-ons for flood damage, replacement cost coverage (i.e., coverage to help you rebuild your home after a total loss), or coverage for other structures on your property might also be good to consider. Ask your insurance agent or broker what they offer.
What can you do to save on home insurance in Vancouver?
The cost of living in Vancouver is among the highest in Canada. Every dollar counts, especially when it comes to a large annual expense like home insurance. There are several ways to save on home insurance:
- Bundle your home and auto policies with the same insurer
- Raise your credit score
- Avoid making small claims
- Don’t smoke
- Purchase a ‘claims protector,’ an optional product that will stop your premium from going up if you make a claim
- Install a home sprinkler system
- Install a home alarm system
And of course, we’re advocates for always shopping around and comparing quotes — never settle for the first quote you get.
What are the best home insurance companies in Vancouver?
What qualifies as the ‘best’ home insurance for will differ for everyone: Vancouverites have different needs, risk profiles, and budgets. Always look for a plan that gives you the coverage you want at the lowest price.
That being said, there are some insurance companies that are popular and operate within Vancouver. It definitely wouldn’t hurt to take a look at what they offer. These include:
- Square One
- Canadian Direct
- Intact Insurance