British Columbia

B.C. insurance rates rising after Alberta floods

As North Vancouver residents begin counting the cost of cleaning up after Monday's torrential rainfall, they - and the rest of B.C. - can expect a hike in their insurance premiums.

Businesses as well as homeowners are starting to feel the pinch

The 2013 Alberta floods are having an impact on insurance rates in B.C. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The ripples from last year's devastating floods in Alberta are making their presence felt in B.C. as insurance companies pass on their costs with higher premiums.

And homeowners faced with a hike in rates can expect to be hit twice — as local businesses pass on the cost of their own higher premiums by pushing up the prices of their goods and services.

Richard Truscott with the Canadian Federation for Independent Business says his members are feeling the pinch.

"Those costs can really add up for a small business, especially ones that are struggling, or marginally profitable, or start ups."

Truscott told CBC News that the higher premiums could lead to reduced hours or even layoffs for staff, as well as higher costs for consumers.

But that will be a double hit for homeowners, who are already paying hundreds of dollars more on their premiums, especially landlords who aren't able to pass on the costs to tenants.

David Hutniak with Landlord BC says because of rent control, landlords are stuck shouldering the increase.

Hutniak says his members end up having to weigh higher deductables or less coverage in order to afford the higher premiums.

With files from Jesara Sinclair

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