December 1, 2015
Fire Insurance Information
As of July 11, 240 active fires have been burning throughout BC with evacuation orders and alerts impacting hundreds of properties. From a real estate practice perspective, it’s important for REALTORS® to share what their clients should expect on the insurance front.
First of all, existing insurance policies and renewals aren’t affected.
Second, while insurance underwriters follow their own guidelines, it’s fair to expect that where evacuation orders or alerts exist, new insurance policies are unlikely to be approved until the threat eases. Some underwriters may also restrict new policies based on proximity to fires, even when no evacuation orders or alerts are declared. Changes to existing insurance policies, such as requested increases to coverage limits, may also be declined.
Third, insurance for properties in unprotected fire districts is more expensive than in protected fire districts. An unprotected fire district is an area without fire hydrants and a fire department.
• Buyers who have trouble obtaining insurance should be encouraged to contact several insurance providers, because they have different approaches and criteria.
• Where buyers aren’t able to obtain insurance, they should seek legal advice.