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

Vernon’s pump prices second lowest in B.C.

Gasoline prices range from 102.9-114.9 cents per litre in North Okanagan city

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

Tours connect North Okanagan to history

Museum makes August all about field trips

Community Champion: Jake and Mary Spoor feel blessed to give back to Vernon

As immigrants themselves, Mary and Jake understand how isolating it can feel in a new country

Get Outdoors!: Rattlesnakes Are Fascinating! Part 2

Columnist Roseanne Van Ee provides information about rattlesnakes in the North Okanagan

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire in Shuswap

Cause of blaze on Mara Lake under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Most Read