Sonnet Insurance has British Columbia homeowners covered
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Own a home in B.C.? Make sure you’re covered
Whether it’s your first property in Vancouver, a place to settle with your family in Surrey, or your vacation getaway on Vancouver Island, you need property insurance to protect your home sweet home. Home insurance doesn’t just cover your house – it also covers your belongings, and so much more. Get customized coverage, in language you can understand, at a competitive price – plus, you can quote and purchase your house insurance policy online in just a few minutes. We’ve changed home insurance for the better, so you can worry less and live more.
Why do I need home insurance in B.C.?
Your house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make. The cost of buying a property is going up in B.C. – and with that, the cost to repair or rebuild if something happens. For example, in B.C. the average cost of a flooding claim is $22,599. Home insurance will be there to protect your investment from damage from earthquakes, fire, theft, and more so you can get back to making memories in the place you love.
What does home insurance cover?
Here are some of the main coverages you can find under a standard B.C. home insurance policy. Don’t forget, property policies can differ between insurance companies in B.C. When you’re getting your online quote, always review your coverages to make sure you have the best home insurance for your needs – and to understand what might be excluded.
Standard home insurance coverages
Protect yourself and the people in your home in case you’re sued. You’re covered if someone gets hurt while visiting or for damage you may unintentionally cause, whether the damage happens in B.C. or elsewhere.
If something happens to your home, we’ll pay to repair or rebuild it. Also, because your home isn’t just four walls, we also cover things like your detached garage and shed.
Often called contents insurance, this protects anything you own that you could pack in a bag or put in a moving truck. Contents insurance in B.C. covers things like your clothing, jewellery, electronics, furniture, etc. These are covered while they’re on your property or temporarily removed (like when you’re travelling to work – or out of the country).
In case something happens and you can’t live in your home – you’re covered while your house is being repaired. Choose to stay in a hotel or with friends and family, we’ll provide you with the cash for living expenses either way. Renting out part of your home at the time of loss? You’ll also be covered for your net rental income until your tenants can move back in.
This covers you and anyone else on your policy in case your identity is stolen. We’ll reimburse you for legal fees as well as certain other costs that could happen, up to a limit. These could include lost wages if you have to take time off work to sort it out, and payment for services that help you get back to where you need to be.
Additional home insurance coverages
This coverage can help in some smelly situations. If water backs up or escapes into your home through a sewer, sump, septic tank, or flood drain, this will cover you for the damage caused. Coverage offered depends on eligibility (typically based on where your home is located in B.C.).
You’re covered for damage to your home cause by fresh water, such as excessive rain, spring run-off and melting snow, coming in a ground level through windows and doors. Coverage offered depends on eligibility (typically based on where your home is located in B.C.).
In Canada, British Columbia is most at risk of experiencing an earthquake. This protection covers you for loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from an earthquake. You’re also covered if the earthquake shock results in snowslide, landslide, or other earth movements that cause damage to your property. (Keep in mind, deductibles work differently for earthquake events. Be sure to understand how they are applied.)
How much does home insurance cost in British Columbia?
In B.C., insurance companies consider many different factors to determine your home insurance rate. These include things like how much coverage you need, the building type and location of your home and your claims history. Here are some examples of the average price of home insurance with Sonnet in British Columbia:
You can get home insurance for less than what most Vancouverites spend in a month shopping online.
The price of a nice dinner and wine for two can cover the cost of home insurance in Surrey.
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If you have a homeowner’s policy with Sonnet, you’re allowed to rent a portion of your home to a maximum of two people or a separate unit in your home to a family as long as you’re living there at the time.
If you’re not living there during the time it’s rented, or this isn’t your primary residence, then it’s not covered under your homeowner’s policy and you’ll need a landlord policy.
If you have a condo owner’s policy with Sonnet, you’re allowed to rent out your entire condo regardless of whether you’re living there or not. However, your coverage for burglary or theft is limited.
Heads up! If you have a long-term rental unit in your home and also rent out a portion on a short-term rental network, this could exceed the limitations of your policy. Please contact us if this applies to you and we’ll make sure you’ve got the right coverage.
For more information on insurance and short-term renting, check out our blog on short-term rental insurance 101.
Whether it’s a house or a condo, buying a new property is a big investment. But, it’s more than a piece of property, it’s your home. That’s why it’s important for every home and condo owner to buy property insurance in Canada. Without property insurance, you’d be responsible for covering the cost if something were to happen to your home or your stuff, you’d have to pay out of pocket for covering the cost.
Plus, if you have a mortgage on your house or condo, your lender will also likely require you to have home insurance coverage.
If you upgrade your Custom Limits for your special belongings, you’ll receive our Above and Beyond home coverage, which adds three extra perks to your policy:
First Claim Forgiveness. This means your rate won’t increase after your first claim. We’ll pretend it didn’t even happen.
Replacement Cost Guarantee. You’ll have the flexibility to settle claims at replacement cost, even if you decide not to repair or replace the damaged items.
Enhanced Deductible Waiver. We’ll waive your deductible for claims of $10,000 or more. Sorry, this doesn’t include claims caused by earthquakes.
Heads up! These perks cannot be added to a tenant or landlord policy.
During home insurance calculation, insurance companies look at a complex set of factors. These will determine the likelihood of you making a claim – and how much a claim could cost. The higher the likelihood is, the higher your premium will be.
Factors that can affect your home insurance premium include:
- Where your home is located
Based on your postal code, an insurer can find out how many claims are made in that area – and why they happen. For example, if your area has frequent windstorms, there could be more frequent claims for damage. This could cause your home premium to be higher than that of a house in an area that doesn’t have windstorms very often.
- Home age and condition
The older the building, the higher the likelihood of a claim. That’s because things like old wiring (fuses, for example) are a bigger risk for fire. And, old plumbing increases your risk of claims due to sudden leaks or burst pipes.
- Heating equipment
If your home is heated with oil (like it is in many rural areas), your premium could be higher. Oil tank leaks increase risk of damage and environmental hazards. Wood stoves are also a common source of house fires, so they could raise your payments, too.
- Proximity to fire support
If your home is close to a fire station and fire hydrants – like in an urban area – your premium could be lower than a home in a rural location, where travel distance is longer.
- Number of past claims
The longer you’ve been claims free, the lower your premium will be. If you’ve had a claim in the last year, you can expect your premium to go up at renewal.
- Your age and other information about you
As you get older, your premium will tend to decrease. The fact is, many insurance providers consider homeowners with more experience as less risky to insure. Some insurers could also look at your credit score.
- How you use your home
Do you rent out rooms or a basement unit in your house? Factors like this may also impact your premium since they can increase damage and liability risks.
Yes, you can cover your vacation property with a separate
If you’re not at your second home during the winter, there are a few things you’ll need to do to protect your home. Drain the plumbing system and close the water inlet to keep the pipes from freezing and bursting. If your vacation home has central heating, set the thermostat low enough to conserve energy but high enough to keep pipes from bursting. Burst pipes due to freezing isn’t covered under your vacation home coverage if you’ve been away from the property for more than 14 days and haven’t had anyone checking on it.
Depending on where you live, additional coverages are available to add on for certain events that aren’t covered by a standard home policy. These coverages are hail, sewer back up, overland water and earthquake. All of these coverages can be added when making your quote.
Already purchased? You can add on these coverages at any time through your account.
Well, it depends. If there are no more than two renters, you’re allowed to rent part of your house out under your Homeowners Policy. You’re also covered if you have one additional unit within your home that’s rented to one family only.
If you’re renting out a property separate from your home our Landlord Policy will make sure you’re covered if there’s any damage to items that belong to you and the property. Things like major appliances, fixtures or tools (a lawn mower or snow shovel are a couple of examples). If you live in your home, but you have more tenants than our Homeowners Policy allows for, you can purchase our Landlord Policy in addition, to cover you and your home adequately.
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Average monthly premiums for home insurance in British Columbia are based on current Sonnet policies as of February 2021, with assumptions made to determine demographic groups.
The average cost of a flooding claim in British Columbia is based on 2019 claims data from Sonnet and Economical Insurance.