Continuing Strata Insurance Issues
Widespread, significant increases in the cost of insurance have plagued many BC strata corporations for more than a year. BCREA and other stakeholders have raised concerns and offered potential solutions to this complex problem.
During the provincial election campaign, we educated candidates about strata insurance. These high costs are ultimately paid for by strata unit owners, which makes these homes less affordable.
While we wait for the final report from the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) and for the BC Government to consult on and implement the measures passed in the summer legislative session, BCREA recommends that the government:
- Encourage the BCFSA to foster a robust, economically viable market that attracts and retains insurance providers.
BCREA understands more insurance providers are already offering coverage in BC now compared to a year ago, which is a positive step because competition is extremely important. We trust that the BCFSA, in its role as the provincial insurance regulator, is examining the elements of a sustainably attractive market for insurance providers.
- Develop mandatory education for strata council members.
Council members are volunteers, but the role requires financial acumen, experience and skill. Without equipping strata council members with these skills, it’s going to be hard to ensure that buildings are better managed in the future. We envision a streamlined process with education available online, to establish a baseline knowledge level.
- Create a mechanism to enforce the Strata Property Act, including providing mandatory training and creating best practices for strata councils.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal handles disputes related to the Act, but there’s no dedicated oversight body within BC to monitor strata practices and ensure buildings are being run well. BC should look at the Condominium Authority of Ontario, which offers training, dispute resolution and other services to help improve strata living.
BCREA looks forward to working with the new government and other organizations to further explore these ideas and others. Stratas are an extremely important element of BC’s housing mix and we need to work together to make insurance affordable now and in the future.
See our full list of election recommendations here.
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