Canadian Underwriter

Average Canadian property reconstruction cost increase over 2015 calendar year was 1.46%: Opta Information Intelligence

February 11, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Opta Information Intelligence, a provider of property intelligence and technology solutions based in Markham, Ont., reported on Wednesday that the average Canadian reconstruction cost increase over the 2015 calendar year was 1.46%.

Among the provinces, British Columbia had the highest increase at 2.07% over the year, Opta said in a press release. “Further analysis shows that B.C. experienced high increases across all housing sizes, but especially in smaller homes,” the company said. “This was not the case in other provinces.” [click image below to enlarge]

B.C. had the highest property reconstruction cost increase over the 2015 calendar year at 2.07%

In particular, Opta found CPI (consumer price index) increases to be lowest in Québec, with an average increase of 0.97%. This low increase was due primarily to the effect of very low increases in the Montréal area, measured at only 0.37%. Prince Edward Island experienced higher increases than its Atlantic neighbours due to higher costs associated with island access, combined with the comparatively lower population base, Opta reported. This effect held true in other smaller Canadian remote centres but in those cases, larger centres reduced that effect on the provincial average.

Overall, Canada’s 2015 reconstruction CPI as a whole was just under 1.5%.

Through the use of iClarify, Opta’s proprietary insurance valuation and validation tool, Opta analyzes residential reconstruction cost changes across Canada multiple times every year using contractor reconstruction estimates. These estimates are validated against actual total losses across Canada to ensure ongoing accuracy of these measurements across all major Canadian centres and housing sizes. Opta uses 86 cities across Canada that have been identified as “centres of influence” based on multiple factors, including location, population and general conditions. Data is compiled from more than 300 licensed contractors, generating over 7,750 data points annually.

Opta also conducts several other studies throughout the year by leveraging information from sister companies, ClaimsPro and SCM Risk Management Services.