Changes to the insurance system in British Columbia over the past five years have resulted in many rural properties being classified under a lower level of fire protection as compared to previous years. The result has been a considerable increase in insurance premiums for these properties. A potential response to this challenge involves development of a regionally-based home insurance provider to better meet the specific needs of Columbia Basin homeowners and increase competition in the insurance industry, with the overall objective of reducing insurance premiums for homeowners. The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) requested research services from the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) to help with an initial assessment of the feasibility of establishing such an insurance provider. The objectives of this research were to:
- describe the insurance system in rural BC with a focus on fire,
- evaluate trends in fire risk and insurance costs, and
- identify and describe examples of existing small-scale or regionally-based home insurance providers.
Information in this report includes a review of available literature and statistics, as well as conversations with key sources involved in regional fire protection services and the Canadian insurance industry.