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

Finding freedom in expression through painting

Vanderhoof painter talks about her love for painting and the difficult questions artists are faced with.

District and Airport development society in disagreement over new apron

User group says there are safety hazards, and the district of Vanderhoof says otherwise.

Vanderhoof will have its own cannabis store Tuesday

This is the 18th government-run store to open in the province.

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

District of Vanderhoof upgrading council chambers

No information has been provided about the specifics of the project.

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

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

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.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read