B.C. Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson takes questions on changes to strata insurance rules, B.C. legislature, June 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. changing rules as strata property insurance costs rise

Law to end referral fees, limit what needs to be insured

The B.C. government is making changes to strata property and financial rules to deal with the soaring cost of insurance for multi-family buildings.

Amendments introduced in the B.C. legislature June 23 would require strata corporations to inform owners about insurance coverage, including increased deductibles, and allow strata councils to use their contingency funds to pay for unexpected insurance increases.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson proposed the changes after its new regulator reviewed the insurance situation. The B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) reported June 16 that strata insurance costs in B.C. have increased an average of 40 per cent, and some deductibles have more than doubled in the past year.

Robinson and Finance Minister Carole James said the changes will end the practice of referral fees paid by insurers or brokers to property managers, and set clear guidelines for what strata corporations are required to insure.

Robinson said the changes will close “loopholes” in the regulations that have allowed strata depreciation reports to be avoided, and change the minimum required contributions from strata unit owners and developers to a strata corporation contingency fund.

RELATED: Poor construction, maintenance driving up rates

RELATED: Strata councils allowed to go online for meetings

The BCFSA found that minor claims, many from water damage in new construction or due to a lack of maintenance, have made strata insurance unprofitable for insurance companies. Earthquake risk in B.C. has also prompted insurers to reduce the amount of coverage they provide.

James and Robinson emphasized that the changes are a first step in dealing with a situation seen internationally.

“People realize there isn’t a quick fix,” James said.


@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

Summer wilderness photo contest opens

Mosaic Forest Management launched its annual photo contest on July 1.

Drivesmart column: What does a traffic cop do?

I think most people see a traffic cop as someone who writes speeding tickets

Lake Flashback: Logging history, leaks, the EN and more

Do you remember these stories from back in the day?

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

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

Most Read