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Home Insurance - What all Buyers and Home Owners should consider

Blog by Morgan DuVernet & Kelsie Struch | November 22nd, 2010

Every Monday morning the Century 21 In Town team gets together at the Sands Best Western Hotel in the Westend to have our weekly staff meeting. This meting usually consists of the same 15-20 Realtors looking for a positive way to start our week.

We talk about market conditions, what has sold and what has been listed over the last week,  mortgage news and updates are provided from Centum Pacific Mortgages, and we discuss anything else important that is going on within our communities.

On mornings like last week we also invite other professional trades in to give us insight on everything from home staging, legal updates, accounting practices, and insurance.

Last Monday we had the privilege of hearing from Grace Catao, from Habitat Insurance LTD. Home insurance is always considered in all of our contracts as Realtors as a standard subject clause without much thought unless you are purchasing a very old home or there are obvious red flags.

Grace brought up some very good points when it comes to looking at the importance of home insurance.

Please see a blog Grace wrote after our meeting touching on some very interesting and pertinent facts about home insurance that all buyers should know before they remove subjects, and home owners should consider when reviewing their current home insurance policy. 


Thank you Grace for your time, you defiantly cleared some grey area when it comes to home insurance.


Posted on September 24, 2010 by Grace

House insurance is often one of the last things that buyers consider
when they are caught up in the process of finalizing the purchase of a
home. And yet, failing to meet insurance requirements is one of the most
common ways to delay or fail to close a deal. Buyers of detached homes
in particular need to provide detailed information about the property
they are purchasing. Save yourself time and frustration by making sure
that you have key information ready when speaking to your insurance

Information can be divided into 2 categories: about the building and
about you.

About the building

The MLS listing: this provides a wealth of information that will help
your insurance broker calculate the replacement cost of the building,
which will then play the major factor in determining your insurance
premium. Give this to your broker and you will speed the insurance
process substantially.

A professional appraisal or inspection report - great! If you've had one
done, provide it to your insurance broker.

Electricals: houses should have copper wiring, circuit breakers, and minimum 100 amps. You'll need to confirm the type of electrical wiring
in the house.

Plumbing: pipes should be copper. If not, advise your insurance broker.

Heating and roof: what type are they?

Does the house have a fire or burglar alarm? Is it monitored?

Is the house sprinklered?

How old is the building? If it's over 25 years old, you will need to
provide the year in which updates/replacements (if any) were done to the
electrical, plumbing, heating, and roof.

Has any past illegal drug production occurred in the house? If yes,
advise your insurance broker.

Is there a pre-1970 underground oil tank on the property? If yes, the
oil tank will have to be removed before insurance can be provided. Speak
to your insurance broker about this.

Important: If you don't know some of the information about the building…
ask your realtor - they should be able to get the answers for you.

About you

Have you had any claims or losses in the past 3 years? If yes, you'll
need to provide details about when it happened, description of loss, $$
amount of loss. If you've made a claim on an insurance policy, be
prepared to provide the name of the insurance company, policy number,
and amount paid out. (Keep in mind that all losses should be declared,
whether or not insured.) insurance provides coverage for personal property, but there are policy
sub-limits for certain classes of items. Discuss this with your broker.]

Buyers of condos and townhouses

Building information requirements are less onerous, but you should know
about the type of heating, plumbing, roof and electrical, along with
updates to the building if older than 25 years old.

Important: if you are buying a condo, find out what the strata insurance
deductibles are from your realtor or the property manager. There is a
recent trend of soaring strata deductibles (as much as $100,000); if
that is the case in the building in which you are buying a condo, you
will need an insurance policy that will protect you adequately to the
highest strata deductible - excluding earthquake.

Do you have any insurance questions?

Contact Grace Catao  at Habitat
Insurance at 604-438-5241 or grace@habitatinsurance.com
Copyright © Habitat Insurance Agencies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This article is designed to provide information for personal
use only. Please consult your professional insurance broker for further
information. Habitat Insurance Agencies Ltd is not responsible for any
legal disputes of this matter.

Kind regards,


Grace Catao
Habitat Insurance Agencies Ltd.
2152 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2T5
Tel. 604-438-5241
Fax 604-438-5243
Cell 778-997-2583
Email: grace@habitatinsurance.com
Website: www.habitatinsurance.com


 For all your Vancouver Real Estate needs contact Morgan DuVernet at Century 21 In Town Today!