VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Would you consider getting rid of insurance policies to save money?

A TD Insurance report finds more of us in BC are foregoing home and life insurance because of the uncertain economy.

The annual “State of Insurance” report finds nearly half of British Columbians (44 per cent) are not buying enough insurance or new policies, and 22 per cent have actually cancelled their home or life insurance or forgone it altogether. Those numbers are up from last year.

Vice President Dave Minor says from a provider’s perspective, it’s concerning.

“[It's] somewhat understandable. When you see that debit coming out of your account each month and you look at that and say, ‘Gee, I could be spending that money on something else,’” he explains.

“[That's] short-term thinking,” he argues. “Hopefully, you can get away with it for a while but unfortunately, in some cases, it can come back to haunt you.”

“It’s a little surprising, a little disappointing,” he adds. “But I guess not shocking, considering the economic environment and the financial situation some people find themselves in.”

Minor urges buyers to consult their provider to make sure they have optimal coverage.

Canadians fibbing on applications

The report finds one-fifth of Canadians have not been completely truthful or omitted information when filling out an insurance application, compared with only 13 per cent in 2011.

“Telling a little white lie or failing to disclose important information to your insurance provider can put your insurance coverage at risk, and may even be considered fraud,” Minor points out.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, organized insurance crime, which includes insurance fraud, auto theft and filing fraudulent claims, costs insurers and policyholders about $542 million every year.

Many protecting homes from natural disasters

The report finds the majority of people with home insurance in BC (70 per cent) are taking the risk of natural disasters more seriously and are buying into earthquake coverage.

“Some extreme weather-related damage may not be covered by a basic home insurance, like water damage caused by flooding, damage to antennas and satellite dishes as a result of strong wind, and damage caused by earthquakes,” reminds Minor. “Speak to your insurance provider if you’re unsure about your coverage.”

Statistics from the report:

– 62% ensure they have an adequate number of working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
– 46% check their properties for blockages that prevent water draining away from their home
– 36% remove weak branches and trees on their properties that could fall on their homes or on power lines
– 24% keep a detailed inventory of their valuables in a safe place
– 20% choose landscaping that helps resist soil erosion