This post will review how you can implement some relatively easy tips to save money on home insurance in B.C. and in Vancouver. A friend recently asked me who we use for home insurance in Vancouver, and she wondered how to save money on her home insurance since hers was up for renewal. I told her we use Square One but that she should check to see what coverage she would need since Square One is more of a ‘pay for what you need’ type of home insurance.
Then I got curious, wondering how much other home insurance companies cost in Vancouver. This post will go over how much home insurance costs in British Columbia for house and home insurance, and what some of the home insurance providers are in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.
How Much is Home Insurance in B.C.?
Well first of all, home insurance isn’t mandatory in BC. However, it would be a very very good idea to get home insurance, unless you’re made out of millions and rebuilding a new home from catastrophic damage would mean nothing to you.
There are a few types of insurance in BC. One is homeowner’s insurance, another is condo insurance, and finally there’s tenant or renter’s insurance.
What’s the average home insurance cost in 2020 in BC? This is in reference to homeowner’s insurance.
Well according to Business Chief, BC has one of the highest home insurance premiums in Canada. Next is line is Alberta.
The annual average cost for home insurance premiums are listed below.
Interestingly, 40-60% of people who buy home insurance in BC also purchase earthquake protection, which can cost up to 30% of the insurance premiums.
InsureEye has a chart showing the average home insurance monthly premiums in Canada. Homeowners pay more than renters since renters insurance is mainly just contents insurance. Homeowner insurance in BC is on average $85/month cost for 2020.
The average annual home insurance premium is $1020 to $1100’s in 2020.
Home Insurance Providers in BC
Here are some of the home insurance providers available in Canada and roughly what the quote was when I submitted an online query using the same parameters for our home.
I did this work so you don’t have to, or at least you can get a better idea of rough costs and price differences between some of the home insurance providers in BC. Although I am warning you it may not be an apples to apples comparison.
When you obtain a quote from home insurance providers, a soft credit check is done but it does not affect your credit score. I check my credit score periodically with Borrowell, it’s free.
Related: Borrowell Review: Free Credit Score in Canada
BCAA Home Insurance
Yes this is the same BCAA that has roadside assistance in Canada if you have a CAA membership.
BCAA home insurance has some incentives to stick with them. You can bundle your optional car insurance and save $40, and if you’re a BCAA member you can also save 10% on your home insurance. They also provide a loyalty discount of 1% per year up to 10% off for every year you have had a home insurance policy with BCAA.
BCAA also has a new Short Term Rental Coverage especially helpful for those that rent out their space on sites like AirBnB or VRBO. Most home insurance policies do not cover damage to your personal property for short term rentals.
TD Home Insurance
TD home insurance also has a home sharing additional coverage (short term rental) if you rent out your home. They also offer something unique called the Million Dollar Solution, where you get the amount of coverage that won’t be limited by predetermined amounts for your building, home contents, and additional living expenses.
You can save 5% off your TD home insurance if you complete the quote online, you can also save money if you don’t have a mortgage or a HELOC. If you have a portion of your home that your rent out, say a laneway house or a basement suite you will not be able to cmplete your quote online and would need to call TD.
The quote that I completed was around $250 a month for insurance.
RBC Home Insurance
RBC Homeowners Insurance allows you to complete a quote online, some of the questions were quite detailed and you would really need to know the structure of your building.
You can get discounts for things like being claims free for over 6 years and for having no HELOC or mortgage. You can also get a discount for having a monitored alarm system.
The quote that I completed was around $123 a month for insurance though I’m not sure I answered all the questions correctly, they were pretty specific and I chose the best answer to my knowledge.
Square One Insurance Services
Square One was founded in Vancouver, BC and is known as one of the more economical options with the best price for home insurance in Vancouver. This is mainly because it is operated online and through the phone, there are no insurance brokers. If you want to discuss your policy you can book a 30 minute window to talk to an agent.
Here’s a detailed review of Square One if you’re interested, including a comparison quote between CNS Home Insurance and Square One Insurance Services.
Currently, with Square One we pay around $100 a month and this included earthquake protection.
Insurance companies through your insurance broker
The conventional way is to use an Insurance Broker.
This is what I did for condo insurance before we had Square One.
Some insurance companies that are offered through brokers in British Columbia are:
- Intact Home Insurance
- CNS Home Insurance.
Insurance companies through a website broker
Finally, you can also look for insurance comapnies and check quote online through an online website that aggregates insurance companies for you. This way you can get a few quotes at a time. Some websites that offer this in Canada are Ratehub and Lowest Rates.
Some of these companies are the same as the one you would use through an insurance broker, like CNS Home Insurance, Wawanesa, Intact Insurance, Economical Mutual.
When I ran quote to see what some of the prices were, the range was $110 per month (Square One offered through Lowest Rates) to $279 offered through Intact Insurance. Most of the other quotes were in the $200s-$300s/month.
Sonnet home Insurance
Sonnet has been around since 2016. They seem quite popular in the Canadian personal finance blogger realm. They are online and you can get home insurance within 5 minutes.
Ways that you can save on your home insurance if you choose Sonnet is if you have had no claims for the past five years, if you bundle your home and auto insurance policies (you can save up to 20% off), and if you insure multiple locations (for those real estate overlords out there I suppose).
One unique thing about Sonnet is you can get PET insurance too! It is provided by Petline insurance.
They give a discount if you went to a Canadian University and were an engineering or accounting graduate.
The quote that I got was $146/month. This does not include earthquake insurance, if I included earthquake insurance with the highest deductible it would be $196/month.
These are just some of the insurance companies available in BC, and it is not an exhaustive list.
How to Save Money on HOme Insurance
According to Vancouver Sun, here are some ways to save money on home insurance:
Think about getting renter’s insurance before you own a home, because it will show the insurance company that you will have a good track record (e.g. not making claims).
In addition, a home inspection is useful prior to submitting a home insurance application because you will then be more aware of things like how your home is wired, what kind of plumbing is in the house, what type of hot water tank and furnace you have, and what type of roof you have.
Finally, taking pictures of every room in your house on a regular basis (I am guilty of not doing this) so you know what type of possessions you have in the event you have to make a claim.
Other ways to save money on home insurance include actionable items like:
- Increasing your deductible
- Certain renovations can reduce your home insurance cost
- Get and compare home insurance quotes (that being said, some are more difficult to compare because some companies have home insurance that is more comprehensive, so it may not be an ‘apples to apples’ comparison though it is still a start)
- Some insurers monitor your credit score, so right before you renew your home insurance or if you’re just applying, don’t be applying for so many credit cards for travel hacking so much that your credit score suffers.
- This is unconventional, but you could use a 10% cash back credit card right before you pay for your annual premium (if it’s annual) to save money.
Here are some other ways to save money on home related expenses:
- Save on Water: 7 Tips to Reduce your Water Bill
- Get this Credit Card for Cash back on your Property Taxes
- 6 Single Female Home Buyer Tips For Your First Condo
- PC Optimum Points: How to Optimize Your Points
- Step by Step Guide on How to Negotiate your Internet Bill
- One Percent Realty Review: Save Money on Commissions
How do you save money on home insurance?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.