MLA Todd Stone introduces bill to help address the strata crisis

VICTORIA (February 25, 2020) – Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson and Opposition Critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing introduced a bill in the legislature today to address the growing strata insurance crisis.

“Over the past few months an increasing number of strata corporations in British Columbia — particularly those in Metro Vancouver — have seen their insurance costs go through the roof, with sky-rocketing increases to premiums, deductibles and monthly fees,” said Stone. “These costs are then downloaded onto residents, many of whom are now paying thousands of dollars more a year in fees. With over 30,000 strata corporations in B.C. — and nearly half of all residents in Metro Vancouver living in a strata unit — it is imperative that we take action to best mitigate the impacts of this growing crisis before it gets any worse.”

The Strata Property Amendment Act, 2020 provides for the following sensible, achievable legislative changes:
Adds a new defined term “standard unit” to better ensure correct insurance-product pricing and greater clarity in the claims process;
Requires a strata corporation to provide a copy of proof of insurance;
Requires that strata corporations be provided insurance renewal terms at least 30 days in advance; and,
Requires an owner of a strata lot to obtain and maintain liability insurance.

In addition, Stone is calling on the government to implement a water damage prevention program to provide financial incentives for preventative maintenance in strata buildings.

Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC, supports the proposed amendments. “While a private member’s bill is often met with a number of barriers, Todd Stone bringing the proposed changes to the Legislature for consideration will help raise the profile on the seriousness of this issue. This isn’t just about large corporate interests and risks, the individual homeowners are feeling the effects deep in their pocketbooks and increased exposure to high rates and deductibles.”

“We have repeatedly stressed the urgency of this issue to the government, yet the NDP has only said that it will ‘monitor’ the situation,” concluded Stone. “In a full-fledged crisis, that simply isn’t good enough — it is time for action. The bill that I have introduced today provides a series of initial actions to address this problem that risks affecting hundreds of thousands of British Columbians. The government needs to act quickly to prevent further escalation of this crisis.”

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