Condominium building in Vancouver is covered to protect it during building envelope repairs, 2014. (Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. Liberals call for assistance on soaring strata insurance rates

NDP’s Carole James says problem is across the country

The B.C. NDP government is hearing stories of huge jumps in strata condominium insurance costs, and calls from the opposition B.C. Liberals to provide assistance.

B.C. Liberal housing critic Todd Stone called on the province Tuesday to deal with “massive spikes in strata insurance premiums, deductibles and fees.” He proposed legislation that would require more disclosure from strata councils on their insurance and notice of when insurance is coming up for renewal.

He noted that there are 30,000 strata corporations in B.C. and nearly half of Metro Vancouver residents live in strata housing.

“One strata has informed me that their premium has gone up by 335 per cent year over year,” Stone told the B.C. legislature. “Their deductible for water damage has gone up from $5,000 to $250,000. What this means for he folks who live in this strata building is that there is going to be a one-time assessment of $1,000 per strata unit owner, and their monthly strata fees are going to go up $100 per month.”

Finance Minister Carole James said strata corporations across the country are affected, and the province is working with strata associations and the insurance industry. Part of it is the soaring values of urban properties, and part of it is the effects of climate change, she said.

RELATED: NDP says condo rental bans can remain until 2022

RELATED: 2019 B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C., gave a statement supporting Stone’s proposed legislation.

“This isnt’ just about large corporate interests and risks,” Gioventu said. “The individual homeowners are feeling the effects deep in their pocketbooks and increased exposure to high rates and deductibles.”

Stone also urged the government to create an assistance program for water protection projects.

“This would be a program that would provide incentives for retrofits that would help mitigate the risk of extensive and costly water damage,” Stone said. “This would help to prevent the water damage from happening in the first place, but it would also have the effect of being taken into account by the insurance underwriters in bringing insurance costs down.”

The so-called “leaky condo crisis” that swept through coastal B.C. from buildings constructed from 1980s to the early 2000s was related to the design and construction of building envelopes. In B.C. it caused an estimated $4 billion in repair costs and a public inquiry headed by former premier Dave Barrett.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire ban implimented in Sooke, throughout province in response to COVID-19

More regulations can be expected as governments aim to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

Greater Victoria survey shows third of respondents did not pay, or partially paid rent for April

Survey of 70 respondents says 40 per cent expect they will not be able to pay May rent

Vikes Maffia, Mollenhauer among annual athletic award winners

UVic Vikes release annual athletic awards

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read