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

Air Canada extends suspension of flights in and out of West Kootenay Regional Airport until April 30

It’s still unknown if flights will resume at Castlegar’s airport on May 1

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

COVID-19 adds worry and unexpected costs to Castlegar woman’s cancer fight

Community fundraiser raises $9,000 for Jennifer Rodrigues’ family

Ivy at Nelson Courthouse to be removed

The ivy is causing structural damage to the building

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

ANKORS East Kootenay details concerns surrounding harm reduction amid COVID-19

Harm reduction providers are having to keep up with rapidly changing situation

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Most Read