IBC and BC REALTORS® Remind Homeowners of the Importance of Insurance When Buying or Selling a Home

May 7, 2019 (VANCOUVER) Ahead of this year’s wildfire season, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) remind British Columbians about the important role that home insurance plays in protecting homeowners. It’s particularly important for those purchasing a home to obtain home insurance early in the sales process if their closing date is during the wildfire season.

Wildfires have had a devastating impact on communities across British Columbia in recent years. With wildfire season starting earlier every year, British Columbians need to consider their insurance needs both now and year-round. Individuals living in fire-prone communities should seek insurance protection before a wildfire threatens their home, including when they are buying or selling a home.

“Home insurance is for unforeseen risks, and it may be more difficult to obtain when a wildfire is threatening your residence or community,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President Pacific, IBC. “That’s why we are reminding British Columbians to ensure they are protected year-round and not simply when their home is threatened.”

IBC and BCREA recommend that British Columbians buying a home include an insurance clause in their offers of purchase and seek out insurance before a sale is complete. Further, individuals selling their home should not cancel their homeowner’s insurance until after the closing.

“When a community is threatened by an active wildfire, it may be more difficult to secure home insurance, which can greatly hinder the sales process,” said Darlene Hyde, BCREA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Adding a clause making an offer subject to insurability is another way your REALTOR® can help make buying a home go as smooth as possible.”

Home insurance is readily available across British Columbia. However, when an active wildfire threatens a home or community, it may be more difficult to obtain this coverage until the wildfire is contained or the threat passes. Homeowners at risk of wildfire are encouraged to purchase insurance before their home is threatened. Insurers will renew home insurance policies when a wildfire is threatening a home or community. This ensures that existing customers have coverage despite the increased risk to their properties.

To learn more about wildfires and wildfire safety, visit IBC’s website.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.