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Home Insurance - Why Insure to Value in BC

Insurance to Value (ITV) highlights underinsured people

When you purchased replacement cost insurance for your home you assumed that, if you ever wound up facing a large insured loss, you wouldn’t be out of pocket. Sadly, many people in the Lower Mainland are finding out this just isn’t true. And they’re finding out the hard way, when they have to come up with thousands of dollars to replace their damaged home.

Underinsured homes an epidemic

As the costs of construction in the Lower Mainland have risen over the past decade, many insurers haven’t done their customers any favours by not updating replacement values. Why? In some cases they use home evaluation calculators that are out of date or designed for other parts of North America. In other cases, an insurer may not want to risk losing a bargain-focused customer who might only be looking at the premium costs as their ultimate decision-maker.

Kelowna fires clear evidence of underinsurance

You only need to look at the experience of the hundreds of homeowners who lost their homes in the Kelowna forest fires in 2003 for evidence of this problem. Of the 240 homes that were destroyed, 100% of them were underinsured! Insurance companies involved reported the average home was underinsured by as much as 29% (which adds up to almost $90,000 on a $300,000 home).

High Value homes at higher risk

Calculating the replacement cost for a non-average house – any house with a value of more than $650,000 – can be even more complicated. With the many high-quality finishes and renovations that are done by homeowners it is important that values for higher-end homes are calculated accurately.

Westland Insurance Group a leader in insuring homes to value

At Westland Insurance Group, we believe good customer service is educating our policyholders about the importance of adequate levels of insurance. We stand behind our tag line which states, "your best coverage is our only policy". Our goal at Westland is to manually review each policy with our clients to ensure no one is left underinsured.

Want to know more about how we calculate replacement costs for our Home Insurance policies? Contact one of our Home Insurance experts at or call our Telecentre at (604) 543-7788 or toll free at 1-800-899-3093.