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

North Island College brings marine training to Port Alberni

Marine Training instructor Captain Harry Johnston joins NIC team

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

Tofino and Ucluelet distilleries step up with hand sanitizer

Mass supply delivered to emergency operation centres in Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Alberni.

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Donors in Port Alberni called on to give blood

Donation event scheduled for April 7 to 9 at Italian Hall Events Centre

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Most Read