Insurance Bureau of Canada creates task force to deal with sky-high strata insurance

Some B.C. condo owners are struggling to understand why their premiums and deductibles are skyrocketing. Global News

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says it is working to find a solution to astronomically high strata insurance rates.

Rob de Pruis, IBC director of consumer and industry relations for Western Canada, says a task force has been created to engage with stakeholders and local governments across Western Canada.

“To get information from them to work towards solutions and recommendations to increase affordability and availability in commercial insurance, which strata corporations fall under.”

He says they already met in Edmonton on Wednesday.

READ MORE: B.C. condo owners brace for sticker shock as insurance rates surge by up to 300%

Owners in a three-year-old Langley building told Global News last month that they were facing a premium hike from $97,000 to $371,000, and a deductible hike from $5,000 to $250,000.

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That means if a problem arises in their unit, they will have to pay out of pocket up to their sky-high deductible.

De Pruis says expensive materials making up the building and extreme weather events are some of the many reasons for the spike in rates.

“The repair and maintenance schedule, the limits of coverage, the type of coverage and deductibles,” he said. “These are all factors that come into play that are unique to each property.”

READ MORE: BC. insurance brokers call for legislative reforms to tackle skyrocketing strata rates

His advice for stratas working towards reducing insurance risk is to strengthen building code requirements.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James said in a statement that the provincial government is trying to help out.

“We have asked the British Columbia Financial Service Authority (BCFSA) to monitor the situation carefully and ensure we are doing everything we can to financially protect British Columbians.”

James is encouraging stratas that are having difficulty getting insurance to reach out to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The task force will meet in Vancouver on March 17.

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