Strata Insurance Crisis

Part 2 of a 2-Part SeriesMissed Part 1?

One slip and fall claim on your strata property this winter and your strata insurance premiums may skyrocket.

In Part 1 of this series, we got you up to date on the dire situation that strata buildings in Metro Vancouver are facing regarding significant insurance premium increases. The current market we live in and the increase in natural catastrophic events are just some factors that are causing these increases; unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about these factors that are beyond our control. 

However, there are some things that can be done to mitigate the risk of your strata building being hit with unreasonably large insurance premiums and deductibles or, worse, not being able to obtain insurance at all. In fact, 100 BC condo buildings contacted the Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C. in the month of January of 2020 regarding massive insurance increases or the inability to obtain insurance.  

 

Mitigating Risks to Help Maintain Lower Strata Insurance Premiums

It is being said that all strata buildings should expect a spike in their insurance premium. However, how large that spike is can be lessened if proactive steps are taken. The Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. (IBABC) created a list of things that Strata Councils in British Columbia should do that will help them avoid astronomical increases that have been seen in the Lower Mainland recently. However, they failed to specifically mention another high-risk industry that is feeling the hit of insurance rate hikes that could directly put strata buildings at even further risk: the snow and ice removal industry.

 

Snow Removal: A High-Risk Industry That Can Affect Strata Buildings and Their Insurance

Not all snow removal companies are created equal. Just as strata properties have been deemed a high-risk industry to insure, unfortunately, so has the snow removal business. Many snow removal companies are being hit with high insurance premiums and deductibles, so high in fact that some are closing shop while others choose not to be insured at all.

Strata Building + Slip and Fall Lawsuit = Higher Insurance Premium

Snow Queen has been in the snow removal business in Metro Vancouver since 2007; we see the risks the industry brings. We want to bring awareness of how strata buildings can mitigate their risk of slip and fall claims and avoid becoming a victim to not only a lawsuit but a large insurance premium increase. 

Snow Queen’s Industry Forward Actions = Confidence and Risk Mitigation

When searching for a snow removal contractor, you need to ask the potential contractor the following questions:

  • Are you fully insured?
  • How do you know when our property is at risk for freezing rain?
  • In the event of a slip and fall lawsuit, what evidence can you provide to show there was no negligence on the part of the strata building?

What are the answers that you should look for? Snow Queen can shed some light on this to help you better navigate the task of finding a reputable snow and ice removal company. Having a reliable company in your corner will help you mitigate risks that come with snow and ice removal; this is one important component in your strategic plan to avoid an increase in your strata insurance premium.

Snow Queen is fully insured. With snow removal deemed a high-risk industry, many snow removal companies are unable to obtain insurance. For example, many companies in the landscape industry who do snow removal in the winter are not informing their insurance providers that they provide winter services. Assuming that their general liability insurance for their landscape business will cover this additional service. Unfortunately, that type of insurance will not cover slip and fall incidents. If your snow removal company is not insured and there is a slip and fall claim, liability would then fall to the strata building; a triggered claim on the strata’s insurance will increase the risk of being faced with a hefty insurance premium increase. Therefore, it is extremely important for your snow removal contractor to be properly insured.

Forecast: Decrease in Supply of Snow Removal Companies While Demand Increases

With snow removal companies being threatened to close shop due to their inability to obtain affordable insurance, supply of reputable snow removal companies is expected to decrease. With approximately 2.7 million residents in Metro Vancouver and about half living in strata-titled properties, the demand to align with a reputable snow removal company will increase as awareness of how making bad snow removal decisions could significantly impact strata insurance premiums.

Contact us to discuss why Snow Queen is the correct choice for your properties’ winter services.

Credit: Tamara Elias – www.sidekickdc.com