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. 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

BC SPCA member seen in an undated photo. (BC SPCA photo)
Cat found dead along Hwy 33, BC SPCA seeking information

The domestic short-haired cat was found at a truck break-stop along Highway 33

#MaskUpChallenge.(Contributed)
Kelowna Community Helpers launch #MaskUpChallenge

The challenge was created to encourage the wearing of masks amid new B.C. restrictions

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Confirmed case of COVID-19 at Okanagan Mission Secondary

The infected individual is self-isolating at home

Jason Townsend, wearing his Kelowna prospect patches. (Jason Townsend Facebook photo)
Trial dates set for two alleged Kelowna Hells Angels associates

Jason Townsend and Colin Michael Bayley will each stand trial on separate matters in May 2021

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

(The Canadian Press)
‘Electric blue’ fentanyl sparks drug alert in Vernon

Interior Health issues alert based on testing; no reports of overdoses linked to specific substance at this time

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Two fibreglass bees were stolen from Vernon’s Planet Bee Honey Farm Nov. 22, 2020. (Facebook)
Thief buzzes off with bee sculptures from Vernon honey farm

Planet Bee lost two bee sculptures Sunday night

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read