We are seeing renewal premium increases from between 50% and 400% and deductible increases from $25,000 per claim to $250,000, $500,000 for water-related losses in British Columbia. Stratas are required to have insurance for full replacement cost, and some are struggling to find full coverage. These dramatic changes are leaving strata corporations and unit owners in vulnerable positions as they scramble to find adequate coverage.
“Now is the time to act to help stabilize the market,” says Chuck Byrne, IBABC executive director. “We all have the consumer’s best interest in mind, and by acting together we can help them through this difficult situation and add long-term clarity and stability to the market."
Many factors impact the price of strata insurance. Some of these include:
- Buildings size and construction materials used. For example, wood frame buildings are more susceptible to ‑re and water damage, and will be priced dierently.
- Claims history. A strata with a history of claims will likely see an increase in their insurance premiums.
- Where a building is located. For example, buildings in ood plains will see an increase in the cost of ood insurance. Similarly, buildings in high-risk earthquake zones will see a higher price for earthquake insurance.
- The number of unoccupied units, or tenants. Stratas with many unoccupied units may not be maintained or repaired as quickly as eectively as those fully occupied by unit owners.
- The value of real estate. Building values and construction costs have risen greatly in recent years. As these have increased, so too has the cost of replacement and repairs.
- Lack of regular maintenance. Insurers have seen an increase in strata insurance claims in lieu of regular maintenance.
What you can do now.
1. Shop around for the most aordable coverage.
2. Reduce your risk: Maintain your buildings and work with owners to manage risks and reduce potential for claims.
For a live podcast posted by Shaheed Devji and Shawn Fehr, Chair of the Board of the Insurance Brokers Association of BC, clink link below:
The Changing Landscape of Strata Insurance in BC
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