MemberDecember 17, 2022 at 5:00 pm
I’m so sorry for your frustration on this! Insurance is usually one of the top three costs for townhouse condo corporations. It definitely can be a frustrating bill to pay.
Hopefully the below information helps a little!
Insurance in Alberta will cover the condo corporation for the rebuild cost – not the market value. It is pretty common for the rebuild value to be higher than the market value. The amount of insurance you are purchasing is generally based on the insurance appraisal.
In general, we are seeing the insurance rates for condo corporations go DOWN, while the rebuild cost goes UP resulting in the insurance premium renewing at approximately the same price as last year. Townhouses aren’t seeing as much of a rate decrease as apartment-style and high-rise properties, so that makes sense that you are seeing an increase from last year.
One reason that we have seen rebuild rates go up is because of changes in the supply chain – things simply cost more today than they did a couple of years ago. Additionally, we are still seeing an impact on the labour market from covid and other factors that also increases rebuild costs.
It is true that there is no condo insurance cap for condo corporations… but I believe that is true for all property insurance in Alberta except for vehicles. Perhaps the person who told you this was referring to the 2020 change where subscription insurance policies can have unique premiums set by each insurer for the policy – this has resulted in insurance rates for larger condo corporations going down. However, this change was a major positive for condo corporations. Here is the bulletin for more info: https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/80b795f6-c781-4268-9da2-f21e1d3cc338/resource/e182c131-c76b-4e96-b944-e20fa59aafb9/download/tbf-superintendent-of-insurance-2020-03-bulletin.pdf
One thing to keep in mind for condo corporation insurance is that the amount of insurance you purchase is generally capped to the amount you see on your insurance policy. If the actual rebuild costs more than what the appraisal estimated it would then the condo corporation could be in a position where the entire loss is not covered by insurance. There is nuance to this that is best discussed with an insurance broker, but in general I really recommend insuring your property to the full amount listed in the appraisal even if you think the estimate is too high.
Additionally, trees and shrub insurance is normally, by default, a fixed percentage of the total property value or a fixed dollar amount – you would have to check with your insurance company. I just share this as you mentioned trees and shrubs and these items are insured differently than the building structure. If you didn’t already know this and the trees and shrubs are important to your complex I would really recommend a conversation with the insurance broker about your trees and shrubs every year to make sure they are insured the way you expect.
I know you didn’t ask for a lot of this information, but I used to be an insurance broker and I felt like you might benefit by having this info!