In 1970, an average home in Vancouver cost just under $30,000 according to Royal LePage. In 2010, the average home price in the city was $676,600. In 1977, a person could buy an Apple II home computer for US $1298 (for 4kB of RAM) or $2638 (with a maximum of 48 kB of RAM.) Today, for less than $1,000 you can buy an Apple MacBook laptop with 2 GB of RAM – nearly two million times more RAM than its early predecessor.
Times change but Vancouver-based Square One Insurance says that homeowners’ insurance policies haven’t kept up.
“Most home insurance policies were designed in the 1970s, meaning they provide too much coverage for fine china, silverware and furs, but not enough for computers, cameras and cell phones,” says Daniel Mirkovic, President & CEO, Square One Insurance. “What this means is that if there was a loss, many policyholders wouldn’t be adequately covered for some of their most prized possessions.”
New data from Square One found that as many as 87 percent of BC home insurance policyholders are paying for irrelevant protection with traditional home insurance policies.
As an example, Square One found 67 percent of policyholders are paying for detached garages that they don’t have. Only about 13 percent of policyholders needed or wanted protection for china, silverware or furs and only 14 percent needed or wanted coverage for fine arts. Just 8 percent needed or wanted coverage for collectibles.
“Traditional home insurance providers don’t take into account the unique needs of policyholders living in metropolitan cities,” adds Mirkovic. “With real estate prices as high as they are, many of us are ‘house poor’ and simply don’t need all the coverage for personal property automatically included in traditional home insurance policies.”
Square One advises BC residents to consult their insurance advisor to ensure they’re paying for only the coverage they need and that they’re adequately covered in the event of a loss.