The cost to insure condo buildings in Calgary appears to be skyrocketing, and that could mean higher fees for owners.
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Premiums for insurance have increased by 25 to 35 per cent and deductibles have also gone from $5,000 to $25,000, according to Joanne Coates.
Coates, a consultant who works with condo buyers and boards, says there are likely two factors to blame for the increasing costs — owner negligence and natural disasters.
"It's amazing how often I read in [board meeting minutes] about another irresponsible condo owner who hasn't bothered to check on their hoses or hasn't bothered to notice that they have left the bathtub running," she said.
Prior to last year's floods, Coates says the majority of insurance claims from condo owners were from faulty dishwashers and overflowing bath tubs
However, there were also some big natural events that saw increased claims — including the 2011 hail storm, the 2012 windstorm and the 2013 floods.
Co-operators to stop insuring condos
For some companies, there just hasn't been enough incentive to continue insuring condos, so they are getting out of the business all together.
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The Co-operators — Alberta's third largest property insurer — is in the process of transitioning out of the commercial condo insurance business in most of the country.
In Alberta, the company says it is no longer underwriting new businesses and will soon stop renewing commercial condo policies.
"For many years, this part of our business has been under-performing," said Leonard Sharman, spokesperson for The Co-operators. "We've chosen to sharpen our focus on other areas of our commercial insurance business."
While the company is getting out of insuring actual condo buildings, Sharman says The Co-operators is helping its current clients find coverage through other companies. The Co-operators will continue to insure individual condo units.