No one likes to pay more money. Here’s what you need to know about the strata insurance increase in BC.
As Metro Vancouver continues to densify, most first-time homebuyers are moving into condominiums and apartment towers. We’ve always been ones to help our buyers get their hands on some real estate in one of British Columbia’s 30,000 strata complexes. Although property management companies take care of the smaller day-to-day tasks for owners, there are many buildings now that are being hit hard with a massive strata insurance increase.
Many owners in strata properties across the province are staring down a strata insurance increase of anywhere between 50 to 300 percent. This extreme rise in cost is making it very difficult for owners to find an insurance company that will offer full coverage. The Condominium Home Owners Association of BC is claiming that close to 300 properties are currently facing these large rate hikes. The large raise in these insurance premiums are likely going to affect homeowners’ insurance rates and monthly strata fees. As more insurance policies come up for renewal we will likely see that number rise dramatically.
What to do if you are affected
If you are affected by a large strata insurance increase, there are a few options that you are able to take. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has launched a commercial task force with a focus on a condominium action plan. Here are some highlights from their action plan:
- Engaging a risk manager to assist condominium corporations to find reasonable insurance
- Providing education and information on insurance and the importance of of risk management and loss prevention for condominiums
- Provide the government with best practices used in other jurisdictions
- Engaging insurers, stakeholders, and government to directly assist condominium corporations facing issues in the marketplace
This is clearly an issue that has the potential to affect thousands of homeowners, but it’s not all bad news. If you are faced with a strata insurance increase, it’s good to know that The Insurance Brokers Association of BC is on your side. The association has called for legislative reform to push the government to step in.
The legislation might take a while to come through. There are a couple of things that you can contact your property manager and suggest that could potentially lower the strata insurance increase:
- Implement risk-prevention rules (no smoking, no barbecuing on balconies, and ensure fire sprinklers have protective cages)
- Keeping maintenance up to date on the roof
- Maintaining the drainage system
For more action you should contact your MLA and encourage the government to take action. Additionally, you can sign the petition directed at Premier John Horgan that has been started by a New Westminster resident.
If you have been affected by this issue, ensure to contact us for any of your real estate needs.