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

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read