Canadian Underwriter

B.C. proposes ‘first step’ amendments to laws governing condo insurance

June 23, 2020   by THE CANADIAN PRESS

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VICTORIA – The B.C. government says proposed legislation it has introduced takes first steps to address concerns about sky-high costs and availability of insurance for condominiums and other shared properties.

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the legislation proposes to amend the Strata Property Act and the Financial Institutions Act.

Robinson says the changes will seek to address high insurance premiums and triple-digit increases in deductibles, while bringing more transparency to the insurance industry.

A report released last week by the B.C. Financial Services Authority said the insurance market isn’t healthy for about 1.5 million people living in condos, townhouses and other tenant-in-common properties in B.C.

The report says premiums are rising 40 per cent annually across the province and those costs are up 50 per cent in Metro Vancouver.

Chuck Byrne, executive director of the Insurance Brokers of B.C., said the report’s findings detail what he called a crisis in the province’s strata insurance market.

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3 Comments » for B.C. proposes ‘first step’ amendments to laws governing condo insurance
  1. karen says:

    yeah and the first step is trying to blame insurance brokers for taking 20%

  2. TBA says:

    The bottom line, is the insurers, brokers and adjusters DON’T comprehend the act.
    The Act is actually very simple and very clear to understand, as long as you take all portion into consideration. Meaning, the Definitions, Regulations and the Act Insurance sections.
    Responsibility lies with the unit owner and is very clear in the act, and with the appellate courts. HOWEVER, the insurance industry not only forces the Corporation to pay the claim, they also have the unit owner pay up to the deductible of the Strata Corporations policy which never should be part of the claim unless the actual Structure of the Building Damage (Structure), hence where our problem lies.
    The Strata Lot is NOT part of Common Property and to maintain it is the full, 100% responsibility of the person owning it. BUT, when a claim happens, it is not the unit owners condo package that pays, it is the Condo Corps that pays even when there is NO Damage to the common property. THAT IS THE ISSUE.
    Key words, are COMMON PROPERTY and RESPONSIBILITY, which no one understands.
    THE OTHER FINAL ISSUE is the LEGAL COMMUNITY, of course they have a vested interest in no one understanding such a simple act, because if the unit owner is responsible 99.9% of the time, they have no work.
    Remember, Strata Corps policies are only to cover COMMON PROPERTY and nothing more. The unit owner that causes the damage is to pay for the damage, and NOT up to the deductible of the Corporations Policy, because it is not affecting common property.
    The only responsibility the Corporation has if damage is caused to common property and the definition of the Building is STRUCTURE. Carpeting is NOT STRUCTURE, DRYWALL IS NOT STRUCTURE, FLOORING IS NOT STRUCTURE.
    When you are sick of your original carpeting, do you call your council and say you want Hardwood flooring and the Strata has to pay for what the original carpeting would cost, and you pay the difference for the hard wood floor? THEY WOULD LAUGH YOU RIGHT OFF THE PHONE. SO, WHY, when a claim occurs, and the carpet has to be replaced, is the Corporations policy called in to pay for the cost of the original carpet??????? When it ISN’T COMMON PROPERTY and NOT COMMON PROPERTY?
    This question will throw the entire theory out the window for Insurers and the legal community.
    SO why if you have 2 same exact building, exact units, exact everything and the only difference is the Strata A and Strata B (2 totally separate strata #’s and 2 separate addresses). Now 2 units ( 1 from each separate building) have water damage claims from an overflowing bathtub. Cause the exact same damage, causes the exact same dollar amount of loss, the exact same time, day, year, etc. However, 1 unit from Strata A, only has to pay $1000 of the claim because the Strata had a $1000 Deductible on Water Damage Losses, HOWEVER, the other Unit Owner from Strata B, their condo policy had to pay for the entire damage because Strata B was smart enough to have a $100,000 Deductible on Water Damage. Well because it is the wrong way the Strata Act has been interpreted since January 2000, by Insurers, Brokers, Adjusters, AND of course the legal community doesn’t want you to know this. The Insurers, Adjusters, Brokers and Lawyers have made it very complicated, when it is so simple.


    • TBA says:

      Further to my long response, the other item I forgot to mention. If the claims were handled properly, we would not be in the current State with Strata Corp Policies. The only people that are affected would be the only individual causing the loss. As if that individual had a single family dwelling and responsible for the damage they cause.


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