British Columbia entered 2020 with nearly 5.1 million residents, and with a population growth trend continuing to climb. If you’re thinking about moving to BC and are analyzing overall costs between cities, home insurance (or condo insurance) costs 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 expensive can maybe help you budget and plan.
As much as insurance prices can vary from city to city, home insurance premium costs are mainly dependent on the home that the policy insures and the value of the property. 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 has a direct correlation 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 a lot of visitors with a diverse mixture of spectacular nature, modern buildings, old history, booming business, cool 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 the fact that real estate prices (and rent) are so expensive. 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. In order to cover the many expensive properties found in Vancouver, some of the most costly home insurance premiums are needed. 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 this area just behind downtown Vancouver and the neighbourhoods 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 NorthShore 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 quite 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 area 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 major region to the East of Vancouver, but not quite as far as the Fraser River. Burnaby also boasts some 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 some expansive greenspace and butts right up to some spectacular mountains and outdoor playgrounds to the north. Coquitlam is relatively sprawling and packs a lot of people into suburban neighbourhoods. 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 climb and add to the overall costs of owning property here.
While the average costs 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 normal. 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 a 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 your experiences.