Condo insurance premiums continue to climb, says report

According to a new report released by LowestRates.ca, its Home Insurance Price Index Report for Q1-2021, revealed that home insurance premiums down on an annual basis by 12 percent in British Columbia, 6 percent in Alberta, and 1 percent in Ontario.

On the flip side, condo insurance increased 9 percent in Ontario, 16 percent in Alberta and 27 percent in British Columbia

“It’s a growing issue in condo-centric Toronto and a longtime issue in B.C., where around one-third to half of the province’s population lives in strata housing. B.C. is the only province to use the term ‘strata,’ which refers to a building or property that contains both individually owned units and shared common areas, such as condos, townhomes, duplexes or a strata subdivision with detached homes. Just like condo corporations, strata corporations are responsible for ‘managing and maintaining the common property and assets of the strata development for the benefit of all of its owners,'” said the report.

The reason for the shift was due to the COVID-19 pandemic as more people were working from home. “A lot of losses happen when people aren’t home,” says Justin Thouin, co-founder of LowestRates.ca. “Fire or water damage happens when people aren’t home, or the damage is more extensive when they aren’t there. There’s fewer of those losses.”

Looking into the future, the report indicated that the continual increase of material costs for lumber, labour shortages, and the demand for renovations might drive rates higher.

“This is a pivotal moment in time for the insurance industry. We’re seeing insurance rates skyrocket nearly 30% year-over-year for some condo owners, but drop double-digits for homeowners like we’re seeing in British Columbia,” said Thouin. “There are competing conditions at-play — regulatory changes and competition are improving, but environmental impact is a real threat to rate premiums.”

“Our recommendation to Canadians is always to ensure you know what you’re insured for, and shop around to compare rates to save money where and when you can,” added Thouin.

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