Business insurance: FAQ from business owners in Vancouver & BC

Business insurance is one of the key types of policies offered by Habitat Insurance Agencies.  We receive calls on a daily basis from established business owners and people who are just starting new businesses requesting quotes and information about business insurance coverage.  Below are some of the most frequently asked questions (along with our answers) […]

Short-term rentals and home insurance: the potential pitfalls

With the advent of websites such as Airbnb and VRBO for short-term rentals, many property owners are taking the opportunity to generate extra income by renting out their homes to visitors. Sounds like a great idea. Unless you are like the unfortunate Calgary couple whose home suffered approximately $150,000 damage last week during a “drug-fueled […]

Strata insurance in BC: rising rates and what you can do

Significant increases to insurance rates have been a common scenario that many strata councils and apartment building owners in British Columbia have had to contend with since 2012.  There are two primary reasons for the substantial upswing in insurance rates:  Rising claim costs:  insurance rates for stratas are not keeping up with rising claim costs, […]

Automobile theft in Canada: how you can help prevent it

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, automobile theft costs Canadians every year close to $1-billion, including $542-million for insurers to fix or replace stolen cars, $250 million-in police, health-care and court-system costs and millions more for correctional services. Tips to help stop car theft: Always roll up your car windows, lock the doors and […]

Just because the numbers say you can, doesn’t mean you can afford it!

With interest rates continuing to hold steady at record lows in Canada, many prospective buyers remain confident in purchasing homes and condos.  Today’s guest blogger, mortgage broker Marci Deane, provides some insight into determing the mortgage you can best afford. While most of us have a basic knowledge of our monthly expenditures, others need to explore […]

Rising premiums? Factors that influence insurance rates

Explaining increases in insurance rates and premiums is one of the most common requests from clients to insurance brokers.  There are various factors that influence insurance rates and premiums, some of which can be controlled by the insured person or business, and others that are determined by external factors. Factors that may be controlled by […]

Electrical fires in older homes: taking preventative steps to minimize risk

About 200 electrical fires occur per year in buildings in BC, often causing devastating or total losses for owners and tenants.  These losses typically result in higher home insurance premiums for these individual owners and also indirectly impact insurance rates for all property owners. As buildings age, the risk of fire increases, with a disproportionate […]

Preparing for disaster: earthquake insurance for your home or business

The images of devastating earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan in 2011 have shocked people worldwide.  Closer to home, many British Columbians have paused to consider the potential damage an earthquake could cause in the region.  And with good reason. According to the Geological Survey of Canada, there is approximately a 10% chance that a […]

Tips on preventing water damage to your home

With the onset of winter weather in British Columbia, a spike in water damage and sewer back up insurance claims is invariably expected. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, “Damage from water damage and sewer back-ups is costly for homeowners, municipalities and insurance companies. In an average year, the Canadian insurance industry pays $1.32 […]

Business insurance 101: The basics for business owners

Determining what types of business insurance you need can be confusing for even the most experienced business owner.  A good way to start is to understand the fundamental basics of what is covered by business insurance:  property, liability, income, and people. 1.    Property: As a business owner, you need to insure the business property that […]