Kevin Froese said insurance costs have skyrocketed at his condo building in Langley’s Willoughby neighbourhood, even though it is only three years old and has never had a claim. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Insurance shock for Langley condo owners

New building with no claims sees costs triple

It’s a three-year-old condo that hasn’t had any insurance claims filed since it opened.

Smoking is not allowed, propane tanks are banned and no B and B rentals are permitted.

And despite that, insurance costs have skyrocketed at the Willoughby condo complex where Kevin Froese and Jacklyn Loewy live.

“If someone said my insurance would have gone up 300 per cent, I would have laughed at them, and yet, we’re the worst-case scenario,” Froese told the Langley Advance Times.

In December, residents of the 181-unit strata, one of several in the Yorkson Creek Complex in Langley near 208th Street and 80th Avenue, learned their insurance deductible would climb from $5,000 to $250,000 for water damage and sewer backup losses.

At the same time, they were told the strata’s insurance premium was going to rise from $97,000 to $371,000.

“We found out the day the policy renewed,” Loewy recalled.

“We were left scrambling.”

Froese and Loewy, and their fellow condo owners, had to find another insurer that would cover the difference in the deductible.

They did, but it will mean extra expense,including a $400 special assessment, plus another $135 to $140 a month in higher strata fees, Froese said.

Because they budget for unexpected costs, Froese and Loewy said they will get by, but they are concerned that some of their neighbours, who are retired people on fixed incomes, may not be able to afford the hikes.

And they are worried about what will happen if, as seems likely, there is another jump in insurance costs down the road.

“We’ve been told it could go up again. If it goes up again next year, who knows? ” Froese said.

While they have yet to get a clear explanation for their sudden hike, they know many insurance companies are getting out of the condo market, and those remaining are out to reduce their exposure to risk by raising premiums and hiking deductibles.

Froese predicted their condo won’t be the last to get hit.

“It has huge, far-reaching implications,” Froese commented.

“It’s going to be ugly.”

On Tuesday, residents of an even bigger condo project in Abbotsford revealed their insurance costs have also soared.

At Abbotsford’s tallest building, the brand-new 26-storey Mahogany Tower, the insurer has just raised premiums by 780 per cent.

Mike Pauls, the president of the building’s strata council, said the strata was shocked when they saw their insurer, BFL, had raised their rates from $66,000 to $588,000.

Pauls said covering the hike will require a one-time levy of $3,000 per unit, as well as doubling the monthly strata free to $600.

READ MORE: Insurance skyrockets 780% for Abbotsford condo owners

Rob de Pruis, director of consumer and industry relations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said assessments for insurance are based on individual buildings, and increases are determined from the potential for floods or earthquakes, but other factors, like vacancy rates, could also come into play.

De Pruis also noted that Canada’s insurance industry is facing financial challenges from increasingly frequent and severe disaster claims. He said insurers used to pay $500 million annually for climate-related claims, but the payouts have doubled in the past few years.

A spokesperson for the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said insurance costs for stratas are increasing across country and the province is working with the private industry to make ensure affordable coverage is available in the face of the climate challenge.

READ ALSO: ‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

– with files from Black Press Media



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Conservationists in race against time to rehabilitate grizzly cubs transferred to Aldergrove zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read