Strata insurance in BC: rising rates and what you can do
Significant increases in insurance rates have been a common scenario that many strata councils and apartment building owners in British Columbia have had to contend with since 2012. There are two primary reasons for the substantial upswing in insurance rates:
- Rising claim costs: insurance rates for strata are not keeping up with rising claim costs, particularly with regard to the higher frequency and severity of sewer back up and water damage claims. Water damage has now surpassed fire as the leading cause of insurance claims in Canada.
- Reduced number of insurers: Fewer insurance companies are willing to offer coverage for strata properties, and yet the demand for insurance coverage continues to grow with the increased demand for strata building construction, particularly in the greater Vancouver area. This demand puts increased pressure on the few insurers who are willing to stay in the market, with reinsurers (insurance companies for the insurers) demanding higher rates. These increases are then passed on to strata and building owners in the form of higher insurance premiums.
What you can do to lower your strata insurance premium
- Negotiating the insurance renewal premium may be possible, particularly if the strata is a longstanding client with a good claims history and/or it is a high-value strata e.g. a building valued over $10-million replacement cost. Your insurance broker will advise you if any discount is possible on the premium.
- Shopping around is another option for strata owners seeking more competitive rates. This is particularly relevant for strata with a building replacement cost of $7-million or less, which more insurers are willing to underwrite as new risks. Higher value strata may also find more competitive rates with other insurers, but the pool of potential insurers will be more limited.
How to get a comparison quote for your strata or apartment building
The process of getting a strata insurance quote is straightforward. You will be requested to provide information about the building and its claims history. This information is reviewed by the insurance broker, who will then make a submission to the relevant insurance company underwriters for quoting.
Requesting a quote from Habitat Insurance
Should you wish to request a complimentary quote from Habitat Insurance for your strata or apartment building, please complete our short questionnaire, and email back to us. We will respond to you on the same or next business day. We will also be happy to answer any questions that you have about strata or apartment building insurance.
We’re confident that you’ll be satisfied with our competitive premiums and insurance programs specifically tailored for stratas and apartment blocks.
Grace Catao – Managing Partner
Copyright 2014 © Habitat Insurance Agencies Ltd. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: This article is designed to provide information for personal use only. Please consult your professional insurance broker for further professional advice. Habitat Insurance Agencies Ltd is not responsible for any legal disputes of this matter.