What Homebuyers Should Know About BC Wildfires
As wildfires continue to burn across BC, thousands of British Columbians on evacuation alert, with firefighters working to protect communities, homes and businesses.
For those with pending real estate transactions in fire-affected areas, the situation is even more uncertain: you likely have questions about how the fires will affect your home insurance and your ability to close on the transaction.
What To Do If A Property Is No Longer (or may no longer be) Insurable
In some cases, buyers with accepted offers who have removed financing subjects have found that insurance companies have withdrawn their approval to insure the property, due to the risk of damage from the fires. When this happens, the lenders may also withdraw their approval for funding of the mortgage.
If you are in this situation, you are best advised to:
- Contact your insurance company and lender to determine any steps required for the home to be insured again,
- Consider contacting your insurance broker if the initial insurer refuses coverage, or if there are issues with coverage, to discuss your options,
- Consider requesting an extension on the completion of the sale,
- Seek independent legal advice, especially if you want to re-open the contract.
If you are worried about losing insurance approval, you can:
- Check with your insurance provider to confirm whether the transaction will be jeopardized by an encroaching wildfire,
- Consider contacting your insurance broker to discuss your options if the initial insurer refuses coverage, or there are issues with coverage.
If you are facing insurance policy renewal in a potential wildfire zone, you should:
- Contact your insurance broker to discuss your options, and
- Consider shopping around and comparing policies from a variety of insurance providers.
Put A Priority On Communication
As people begin to return to evacuated areas, it's best to reach out to your agent to discuss your situation. Maintaining communications is the best chance of resolving any issues.