Hurricane Sandy might flood the outdoors, but what happens when the indoors flood?

October 31, 2012 | By

In recent news, I was alarmed to hear how strata corporations are “secretly” offloading the expense of huge building insurance deductibles (such as flooding), onto individual suite owners in the event of a big claim.
Water damage is the number one reason strata owners make an insurance claim, so some strata corporations are now lowering their insurance costs by increasing their deductibles and forcing individual condo owners to pick up the cost.

In certain condos, especially if they have had a history with flooding and water damage, the deductible can be $100,000 or more. Ouch!

This report went on to say that – one Vancouver condo building, rumoured to be in Coal Harbour, has a insurance deductible for flooding as high as $250,000.  Let me do the math for you …that’s a quarter million dollars!

In the past, the deductable has been in the $10,000 range, but in the past few years the dollar amount has been increasing so much so, that people are at risks for losing their homes if this was to occur.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada wants the province to change the rules to prevent strata’s from passing along insurance costs onto individual condo owners.  But you should know that, insurance deductibles are not regulated by the Strata Property Act in BC, and the province has no plans to change that.

Potential condo buyers should insist on seeing a copy of the strata’s insurance policy before making a deal, and be diligent on knowing whether the strata has changed the rules. The deductible can change annually.  Keep in mind that condo owners can purchase extra insurance to protect themselves, depending on the size of your building’s deductible.

Investors should also choose their tenants very carefully, because the owner is responsible in the event of a claim – not the tenant.

Being an educated buyer will help keep these concerns at bay. But be sure to ask your real estate agent if they’re aware of any history of flooding in any particular condo’s you may be looking at. Knowledge could be your very powerful tool in a crisis such as this!



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About the Author (Author Profile)

Andrew is a West Coast enthusiast through and through. He is a native of the area that you will often find adventuring on one of the many sea to sky activities that abound in the Fraser Valley. Along with being in love with the place he calls home, Andrew is a well known and respected Realtor focusing on helping others to find their own perfect home in Langley, Surrey, White Rock and beyond! Visit to find your perfect home.

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