October 7, 2022

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Condo Smarts: Always request a copy of the strata insurance summary

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Is there a simple mechanism for buyers and owners to access insurance documents or at least be aware of the current state of renewals and costs? It also occurred to me that if I caused a claim in the building, I could be on the hook for a $100,000 deductible. I managed to obtain homeowner insurance to cover that amount, but it was also a significant additional cost.

— Jenny M.

Dear Jenny:

In the summer sitting of the legislature, Bill 14 included several new obligations for strata corporations under the Strata Property Act, with two amendments that specifically apply to insurance disclosure and notice.

The first is with respect to owners and tenants. “A strata corporation must inform owners and tenants as soon as feasible of any material change in the strata corporation’s insurance coverage, including any increase in an insurance deductible.”

Prior to this amendment, strata corporations had an obligation to only provide a report on insurance as part of the Annual General Meeting. While the report on insurance remains an obligation, the strata cannot wait until the next AGM. The best practice is to issue a copy of the insurance renewal summary that shows the deductibles, increases and any exemptions or exclusions immediately on receipt. Owners may still be insuring their risks on their homeowner policy based on the $25,000 deductible, and yet the increase to $100,000 as part of the new policy is a liability that could occur at any time for any owner.