Fire and theft: Top concerns of B.C. tenants and homeowners surveyed

Only 10 percent of respondents are worried about earthquakes

VANCOUVER, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - According to a new poll from Vancouver-based Canadian Direct Insurance, B.C. tenants and homeowners surveyed are most concerned about fire (30 per cent) and theft (19 per cent). Concern about earthquakes trails at just 10 per cent.

When asked about potential damage to personal property in their home, respondents listed the following threats as top concerns:


  1. Fire: 30%
  2. Theft: 19%
  3. Water: 17%
  4. Earthquake: 10%

Other concerns given by respondents include falling trees, rock slides, wind and pests.

Despite being concerned about their personal property, fewer than half the tenants surveyed in British Columbia (43 per cent) have tenant insurance.

While the majority of tenants who participated in the poll correctly realize they're not covered by their landlord's insurance (69 per cent), a quarter of renters surveyed (25 per cent) don't know.

"There's a general misconception that renters don't need insurance, and some believe they're covered under their landlord's policy," says Karen Hopkins-Lee, Chief Underwriter at Canadian Direct. "Uninsured tenants also lack liability coverage, which protects them from being sued if they accidentally damage someone's property, or injure another person. For instance, tenants may be held responsible for damaging their landlord's building if they start a kitchen fire."

The poll also revealed more than a third of B.C. tenants (38 per cent) and one-third of B.C. homeowners (33 per cent) who participated in the survey have not calculated the approximate value of personal property in their home - an important step in safeguarding possessions.

"In addition to valuables like electronics and jewelry, include basics like kitchen items and linens," says Hopkins-Lee. "If you had to go purchase all those items new, what would it cost?"


  1. Take photos - Keep them offsite in case of fire.
  2. Shoot video - Even a low-quality, mobile phone video can help trigger your memory.
  3. Do a complete inventory - In additional to valuables, don't forget the basics.
  4. Reassess after making a large purchase

About the survey

From October 3, 2013 to October 4, 2013, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 505 British Columbians who are either homeowners or renters and who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The results have been statistically weighted according to age and gender. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For more information

SOURCE: Canadian Direct Insurance

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Leo Newman

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