Firefighters from Port Alberni, Beaver Creek and Cherry Creek battle an intense fire at a residence in the 3500-block of 10th Avenue early on New Year’s Day, 2023. (JERRY FEVENS/ Special to the AV News)

Firefighters from Port Alberni, Beaver Creek and Cherry Creek battle an intense fire at a residence in the 3500-block of 10th Avenue early on New Year’s Day, 2023. (JERRY FEVENS/ Special to the AV News)

EDITORIAL: Insurance a necessary expense for homeowners and renters alike

If a fire destroys your living quarters, will you be able to recover?

The recent holiday season offered no reason to celebrate for two Port Alberni homeowners and a small number of tenants, whose homes were destroyed by fire.

No one was injured, thankfully, but the fires happened in the middle of the night and were so intense residents barely escaped with the clothing on their backs. Everyone is now faced with the shock and aftermath of starting over.

Some relatives have posted fundraising opportunities for tenants; posts which are becoming more common following personal disasters.

Insurance company SquareOne conducted a survey in late 2022 and discovered 60 percent of people who rent a home in B.C. do not have any sort of insurance.

Renters in B.C. are not required by law to have tenants’ or contents insurance; however, a growing number of landlords are requiring it as a condition in a lease agreement.

Homeowners, and owners of rental apartments or condos are required to have insurance for their buildings; one cannot get a mortgage in B.C. without paying for insurance. However, that only covers their costs—tenants are responsible for their own.

Renters may make the excuse that insurance costs too much when rents are so high. Contents insurance costs an average of $23 per month in Canada, while British Columbians pay a little higher: $26 per month on average.

While some think it difficult to justify adding another $25 or so to your monthly expenses (roughly $300 per year), it’s time to start thinking of insurance as another expected cost, much as one looks at having to pay for utilities.

Think of it this way: if you lost everything in a fire, which would cost you more? Insurance, or having to replace everything you owned?

— Alberni Valley News

fireHouse fireinsurancePort Alberni

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