How Homeowner Perceptions and Realities Have Changed

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How Homeowners Risk Has Changed BC

This week the Government of Canada announced an end to all COVID-19 border and travel measures, effective October 1/2022. This is the final signal that the country is moving on from two of the most trying years in recorded history. Is it a return to normal? Not quite. For example, there has been a fundamental shift in the workforce, with greater flexibility in scheduling buffered by the proliferation of remote working opportunities. The office environment may never revert to pre-2020 status. There are also less tangible (but no less important) changes, namely to perceptions we have about the places we live. Our homes have become everything – a place of refuge, where we entertain, where we work, where we create, and where we may draw future income from. All of this has an impact on insurance and liability. Below is a breakdown of how homeowners will need to update their insurance accordingly.

How Perceptions About Our Homes Have Changed and How Homeowners Insurance Must be Updated to Account for Realities in 2023 and Beyond

It’s Where We Find Refuge

For months BC homeowners essentially hunkered down in their homes. After awhile, many realized that additions and upgrades needed to be made to make the interior and exterior more accommodating, and prepared for anything. Whether you’ve renovated to add a hot tub or finished an entire basement you may need to update your homeowners insurance. Read the following to find out if you’re covered for recent upgrades to your home.

It’s Where We Entertain

We’ve become accustomed to drinking, dining, film screening, and all-around entertaining at home. As the months passed and BC restrictions eased our groups grew from household occupants to small familial circles through to larger social gatherings. As a result, many have embraced their homes as a place to keep entertaining. This too requires a review of your homeowners insurance and how social host liability comes into play. Please reference this guide to find out if your adequately covered to play host as we move into the holiday season and beyond.

It’s Where We Work

As alluded to in the introduction, one of the biggest changes to society has been with respect to the workforce. While things are essentially back to normal, a significant percentage of BC residents are allowed to keep working from home, even if for part of the work week. Further, a good number of BC residents left their prior jobs to become self-employed contractors and/or small business owners. They too use their home as a place of work. While this creates freedom and flexibility, it also comes with inflated insurance risk that your current homeowners policy does not cover. Please read Insurance Risks That Increase When Working from Home (and what you can do about them).

It’s Where We Create

People took on a lot of new activities and hobbies over their increased time at home and made adjustments to their spaces to make space for it all. Some set up fitness facilities in spare rooms, art studios in solariums, photographer dark rooms in basements, and converted attics to add collections of whatever floats their boat. Alterations to the home along with the introduction of expensive equipment, materials, collectibles, and other valuables need to be reviewed by an insurance broker. This is important not only to ensure adequate coverage for new assets and supplies, but to verify whether or not new liabilities have been created because of them.

It’s Where We Earn Income

We’re not referencing at-home income-earning from work or new hobbies (addressed above). Instead we’re referencing the fact that homeowners are now reimagining their homes as places to draw income from on the rental market.

For one, you may have decided to place your home on a short-term rental platform such as Airbnb and VRBO. If so, view these 3 steps to protecting your home when taking advantage of homestay services. Alternatively you may have converted a basement suite (etc) to accommodate a long term renter. Does your insurance provider know you’ve taken on a tenant? If you’re unsure, follow these tips.

Whether one of the above, or all of the above, apply to the way you now look at your home, it’s time to secure more comprehensive homeowners insurance. Contact Park Insurance today to speak with an independent broker about your goals and needs.


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