What's the price of home insurance in Victoria?
According to the research conducted by J.D. Power, the average cost of homeowners insurance in British Columbia is $1,250, which is just over a hundred dollars a month. This is slightly higher than the national average of $1,200.
Homeowners insurance costs differ from province to province and city to city for a number of reasons. If the province has a lot of major cities and more densely populated areas, it’s more likely to have a higher average premium, as home values are generally higher. Cities with a higher incidence of natural disasters also generally have higher premiums than cities that don’t.
Victoria is a highly sought-after city to live in and has experienced soaring property costs over the past couple of decades. Home to the University of Victoria, the city brings in a mix of young students, established families and a high number of retired couples.
While downtown Victoria, and a number of surrounding areas, has seen an influx of new hi-rises, areas like Gordonhead, Oak Bay, the Uplands and even Cordova Bay continue to display some beautiful (heritage) homes, often in the millions of dollars.
Victoria has traditionally seen lower insurance premiums than the cities across the Straight of Georgia but in recent years, with soaring property prices, that gap has started to close. Add to the mix the additional cost of Earthquake Insurance (particularly on Vancouver island) and the potential tsunami-related threats, and insurance rates in Victoria are not that different from rates in Vancouver.
How to lower your homeowners insurance premium
Finding insurance for your most important asset is not easy. And when you finally find a reputable and knowledgeable broker to help you, you may be surprised at the cost associated with your insurance policy.
There are many different factors that go into calculating your homeowners insurance premium. Insurance companies have become data-driven institutions that know exactly what loss history is associated with each individual postal code within BC. As a result of all the data they collect, these insurers have gotten even more accurate in calculating the odds of further losses in the same areas, and therefore, attaching the applicable premium to it.
There are a number of other factors that determine your homeowners insurance premium and some are actually within your control and will affect the rate you pay each year. Let’s have a closer look at factors that could help you lower your annual homeowners insurance premium:
Many insurance companies offer a ‘mature aged discount’ as part of their insurance application. Depending on the company, this could provide savings of 10% to those who are 65 years of age, or older.
The overall policy deductible you select has an inverse relationship with your premium. If you select a higher than average deductible (ie. $5,000), you will notice a lower annual premium but do keep in mind that should you experience a claim, you will be responsible for the higher deductible amount.
In recent years, almost all insurance companies have started using Credit Score as an additional factor to help calculate premiums. There appears to be a strong correlation between one’s credit score and the likelihood of filing a claim. Depending on the insurer, those individuals who are willing to consent to a soft credit check may save up to 15% on their annual premium, should they have a solid credit score. Not to worry, however, insurance companies will never surcharge your premium if you have a lower credit score.
Every insurance company likes to have clients who do not file claims, and in order to increase the number of these clients, they will often offer a “Claims-Free Discount” to attract them to buy their policy. If you happen to be someone who has had property insurance for years and years, without ever filing a claim, nearly every insurance company will be offering you a discount (5-15%) to reflect that, and attract you to be their customer.
Most people who own property in BC carry a mortgage. But, for those who are fortunate enough to be mortgage-free, many insurance companies will offer a mortgage-free discount in the range of 10% off the base premium. For decades, insurers have determined that individuals without a mortgage have a greater likelihood to be financially responsible, which they believe translates into more responsible homeownership.
Age of the House
If you have just purchased a brand new home or renovated an existing one entirely, you may qualify for a ‘new home discount’ of up to 10% off base premium from a number of insurers. Newer homes tend to experience far fewer claims than older homes, so insurance companies will offer incentives to clients with newly built or renovated homes.
Alarms, Detectors & Security Systems
A secure home is an attractive home for insurance companies. If your residence features (active) smoke detectors, a fire alarm and/or even a monitored security system, make sure you let us know as many insurance companies will offer a 5-10% discount off your base premium as a result.
Location, Location, Location
Yes, the location of your home will affect the premium the insurance company charges. With the increased focus on the use of data, insurers know exactly which postal codes are prone to burglaries (or other crimes), which postal codes are subject to increased odds of flooding or even earthquake damage. Before you put an offer on your next home, you may want to reach out to us to see if your property is insurable and how insurance companies rate your likely new home.
Another way to lower the annual premium of your homeowners policy is to remove coverage options that you don’t believe you need. For example, if you live in a part of BC that is far removed from an Earthquake faultline, you can select to remove Earthquake coverage from your policy. A similar decision can be made for overland water coverage if people feel that their home is really not at risk to be affected by this peril. Before removing any coverages from your policy to save yourself a few bucks, make sure you talk to one of our insurance advisors to make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk.