British Columbia entered 2020 with nearly 5.1 million residents and a population growth trend continuing to climb.
If you’re considering moving to BC and are analyzing overall costs between cities, home insurance (or condo insurance) fees may have been included as part of your budget. BC is known to have some of the most expensive home insurance prices in Canada, so knowing which cities are most costly can maybe help you budget and plan.
As much as insurance prices can vary from city to city, home insurance premium costs mainly depend on the home the policy insures and the property’s value. Because of this, the list of most expensive BC cities for home insurance often correlates with the list of most expensive BC cities for real estate prices. Since the cost of house insurance directly correlates to real estate prices, we’ve cobbled together the most expensive places to own and insure a home in BC. BC also has added risk with the ever-present threat of earthquakes which crowns it as the most expensive province to insure a home in Canada.
BC’s Most Expensive Cities for Real Estate and Home Insurance
Vancouver naturally attracts many visitors with a diverse mixture of spectacular nature, modern buildings, old history, booming business, incredible culture, people, food, and more. However, Vancouver is also known to be the 2nd most expensive city in Canada (only behind Toronto), and a big reason behind this is that real estate prices (and rent) are so high. The more demand there is for housing in a region, the higher prices go if supply cannot keep up. Some studies have found that Vancouver homes cost 9x what the average BC median income is, and this has an effect on home insurance prices too. Some of the most costly home insurance premiums are needed to cover the many expensive properties in Vancouver. The Vancouver region also includes downtown Vancouver West and East Vancouver. This is not to be confused with West Van, which is across the Burrard Inlet and West of North Van. Simple right?
North Vancouver is just a bridge away from Vancouver proper, and the housing prices show it. The average real estate listing for a home in 2018 was $1,126,000, which sticks to this area just behind downtown Vancouver and the neighborhoods of Kitsilano, Shaughnessy, and the West End. North Van properties are highly coveted based on their proximity to the sea to sky highway and the North Shore mountains. They’re just a short distance from the ski hills and outdoor meccas of Squamish and Whistler. House insurance in North Vancouver will be pretty dear indeed.
Richmond is a suburb of Vancouver to the south that also benefits from the views of the Northshore mountains and the relatively mild climate of the west coast. The “lower mainland” area is also surrounded by ocean and mountains, so the number of people moving into the room and requiring housing continues to increase. In 2018, Richmond boasted an average home price of over $1,000,000; that’s nuts!
Burnaby is also located in the lower mainland and only just falls behind Richmond in the real estate rankings. Burnaby also has an average house cost of a hair over $1,000,000, albeit slightly less than Richmond. Given these prices, it’s logical that insuring these properties will also fall in line behind Richmond and Vancouver. Burnaby is the first central region to the East of Vancouver, but not quite as far as the Fraser River. Burnaby also boasts significant green spaces, such as the Burnaby Lake area, Deer Lake Park, and the whole of Burnaby Mountain, which also hosts Simon Fraser University.
To round out our shortlist of the most expensive regions to insure a home, we call on Coquitlam, which is the last region to the East before crossing the mighty Fraser River. Coquitlam also boasts expansive greenspace and butts right up to spectacular mountains and outdoor playgrounds to the north. Coquitlam is relatively sprawling and packs a lot of people into suburban neighborhoods. With its proximity to both dreamland outdoor areas and the metropolis of Vancouver, this area has quickly seen property prices climb out of reach of most of the population. With that, the insurance rates also rise and add to the overall costs of owning property here.
While the average cost to own a home is down the list, how could we not mention Victoria, with its views of the Olympic Mountains and its isolation on Vancouver Island? Victoria is a highly sought-after place to live with soaring property costs. Also, given its proximity to the ocean, the threat of tsunami-related damage following an earthquake is profound, and this inflates house insurance costs well above average. However, this doesn’t stop a flood of people from snapping up any moderately affordable piece of land or home in the area. With these high per-capita costs, we felt that Victoria deserved mention.
How are things where you are?
How about your situation? Do you rent or own in these areas? If you own, are you seeing ever-increasing insurance costs? How about renters? Do you insure, and what are your experiences with rental insurance? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
If you live in Alberta or British Columbia and are looking for Home Insurance, we are here to answer any questions you may have about our range of home insurance products and services. Contact us at 1.844.544.4663 and see for yourself what makes us Harbord – The Home Insurance People™!