Own a Condo or Townhouse? What You NEED to Know About Strata Deductibles in BC

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The City of Vancouver website warns residents that some of the world’s largest earthquakes have occurred, right here, in British Columbia.  Research also shows that we have a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing another major earthquake within the next 50 years.  As a result, many strata corporations prudently purchase earthquake insurance.  You have likely seen it listed on the Strata Master Insurance policy that is provided at your annual AGM.  However, have you ever noticed the earthquake deductible?  It is often applied as a percentage of the insured property value, typically 10% to 15%.  What does this mean?

If a building is insured for $40 million and the earthquake deducible is 15%, then the strata earthquake deductible would be $6 million.  In the event of an earthquake, this amount could be shared by all owners based on unit entitlement.  If there were 150 units in the building, that would average out to $40,000 per unit.  This potential scenario is not unusual.  In fact, many condo and townhouse owners may find that their portion of a strata earthquake deductible is even much higher!

Are you and your neighbours prepared to pay that type of deductible in the event of a claim?

What All Condo and Townhouse Owners Should Know About Strata Earthquake Deductibles in British Columbia

New Coverage is Available!

Insurance is a dynamic product that adapts to the changing needs of consumers.  As more and more individuals find themselves owning strata properties in earthquake prone areas such as British Columbia, some insurance companies are now offering insurance coverage to unit owners to protect them in the event of an earthquake claim.  You may be able to secure as much as $100,000 in coverage.  But, you need to determine your specific risk and personally ensure that you have this new coverage.

What Should You Do Next?

  • First and foremost, ensure that you and your family are prepared for an emergency.
  • Next, review your Condo/Strata Master policy annually. (This should be provided at your strata corporation’s AGM. If you do not have a copy, contact your property manager.) Identify the earthquake (and water damage) deductibles.
  • Contact the qualified insurance brokers at Park Insurance to ensure that you have adequate coverage.
  • Finally, don’t keep this information to yourself. If a large number of owners are not able to pay their portion of the deductible, this could essentially bankrupt the Strata and delay or even prevent reconstruction!  So, talk with your property manager and strata council and encourage them to educate unit owners about Strata Earthquake deductibles.

Taking these proactive steps now could make all the difference in the event of a disaster. Contact the qualified insurance brokers at Park Insurance to learn more. We’re here to help!

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