Welcome back everyone! today we are looking at the importance of getting your insurance, namely fire insurance in place when you are purchasing a home. The Real Estate Council of British Columbia recommends including a clause in the Contract of Purchase and Sale when offering on a property – please see below:
Fire/Property Insurance Clause
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.
In some real estate transactions, the issue of fire/property insurance is not addressed until after the conditions are removed closer to the completion date. If you, the buyer, are unsuccessful in obtaining fire/property insurance, your mortgage company is not protected and most likely, will not provide mortgage funds. The end result may be a collapsed transaction, your deposit may be at risk, and the seller may also suffer losses as a result of the transaction not proceeding. To adequately protect yourself, the issue should be discussed with your realtor, including the potential problems that might arise if you, the buyer, were unsuccessful in obtaining insurance.
Now comes the issue of getting that fire insurance especially in our current situation of the many wildfires burning across BC. The Government of British Columbia only yesterday has announced a state of emergency for the entire province – read more here BC Announces State of Emergency
New Fire Insurance
If you are seeking new Fire Insurance on any of your property, or are looking to add other property, or increase limits of your insurance, the ability to be able to place that coverage will primarily depend on if your property is facing immediate or potential threat from an advancing fire. Most insurance companies have their own defined restrictions about whether they can arrange insurance in certain zones, but generally if your property is in imminent threat, you will likely be prevented from arranging any NEW coverage. This is standard in the insurance industry and helps to protect insurance companies from having to cover losses that are unreasonably foreseeable and surely to occur. This is terrible news we know, especially when you are trying to purchase a new home! There are some insurance companies that are placing new insurance policies in BC under these circumstances, BCAA may be one company to talk to. Which ever company you choose, be sure to have the discussion about fire coverage for new property owners. BCAA Home Insurance Information
What to do If You Can’t Get Fire Insurance Right Now?
- Talk to your neighbors: If you live in a high-risk area, your neighbors are likely in a similar situation. Contact their insurance companies for rates and/or information.
- Ask your realtor: ask your realtor to ask the selling agent who the previous insurer was.
- Shop around: There are insurance companies that may offer plans for high-risk individuals.
- Contact your local member or provincial department: It can act as a resource for information about local insurance companies and the current fire situation.
If you have any questions, don’t ever hesitate to give us a call, we are never too busy to assist with real estate information or helpful information for our Okanagan area.
Check back to our blog page for more helpful information or just updates on what is happening in and around Kelowna.
Thanks for reading! : )
Tamara & Shannon