Canadian Underwriter

B.C. residents pay most for home insurance in Canada: InsurEye study

March 13, 2012   by Canadian Underwriter

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Canadians pay an average of $840 annually for their home insurance, with prices strongly varying across provinces, according to research by InsurEye Inc.

The highest level of home insurance premiums is in British Columbia at $924 annually, followed by Alberta with $912 annually. Annual home premiums in Ontario go as high as $828, and in Quebec they reach $768 per year.

“A glance at real estate statistics delivers the first answer why British Columbia home insurance prices are so high,” InsurEye says in a press release. “According to MLS statistics, B.C. is clearly leading in the average real estate prices.”

The more valuable the home, the more it costs to insure.

MLS stats cited by InsurEye show the average real estate prices for Vancouver and Victoria reach $750,000 and $450,000, respectively.

Toronto homes average $463,000, while average real estate prices in Ottawa are $350,000.

Calgary’s real estate average is $380,000, Montreal’s is at $311,000 and Quebec City real estate averages out $250,000.

Earthquake coverage also helps to explain why home insurance is so expensive in B.C., according to B.C.-based insurance provider Square One, as cited by InsurEye.

“Due to the high earthquake risk, 40% to 60% of B.C. residents buy earthquake coverage, significantly more than the rest of Canada (only 5% to 10% of Quebec residents purchase this coverage even though it, too, is in an earthquake zone),” InsurEye says. “And, the cost of earthquake coverage in B.C. can account for as much as one-third of a policy’s premium.”

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