The Importance of obtaining a quote for Fire Insurance coverage in BC during Fire Season

Published 17 July 15 08:31 AM

Hi All,

The BC Real Estate Association and Kootenay Real Estate Board have provides us with a timely reminder.

At the present time we have a significant number of active fires burning throughout British Columbia with evacuation orders and alerts impacting hundreds of properties.


If you are in the middle of a Real Estate transaction or are thinking about purchasing Real Estate in BC right now, it is important for Buyers to know what to expect on the insurance front.


1.     - Existing insurance policies and renewals are not  affected.


2.   -   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.


3.    -  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.



What can Buyers do?

• Buyers who have trouble obtaining insurance should contact several insurance providers, because they have different approaches and criteria.


• Where buyers aren’t able to obtain insurance, they should seek legal advice.


• When completing a Contract of Purchase and Sale to purchase a property you should have a subject clause - “Subject to Fire/Property Insurance” clause developed by the Real Estate Council of BC:


"This offer is subject to the Buyer obtaining approval for fire/property insurance, on terms and at rates, satisfactory to the Buyer, on or before (date). This condition is for the sole benefit of the Buyer.”


Kind Regards

Trish and Tanis

Tel 250 868 2488 

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About Trish Cenci

Tanis Read has been helping Buyers and Sellers achieve all of their real estate needs throughout the Okanagan Valley for 10 years. Also active in organized real estate, serving as the President of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board for the 2017/2018 term.