Rob Parker, strata council president at the Prestwick townhouse development, said the owners of the recently-built complex were unable to find a better deal. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

A last-minute scramble fails to find better insurance rates for Langley condo owners

Premium for claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex nearly tripled

There just wasn’t enough time to get a better deal.

Residents of the 95-unit Prestwick townhouse complex in Langley’s Willoughby Heights will have to dig deeper to pay their insurance after a last-minute notice of a major rate hike sent them scrambling in search of a better deal.

Rob Parker, the strata council president, said they were given notice their premium would nearly triple just three days before the insurance was due to be renewed on Monday, March 23rd.

Parker said the strata council managed to get a 30-day extension to try and find a different insurer, but were unable to find a better deal.

“At the end of the day, we had no place to go,” Parker told the Langley Advance Times.

“We took the hit.”

For Parker, personally, that will mean paying a one-time levy of $600, plus a $150 a month hike in monthly maintenance fees to cover the increase, bringing them to just under $400.

Other owners face similar increases.

Parker said the strata council will be spending the next year looking for a better deal, but he isn’t optimistic one can be found.

“I think the government needs to step in,” he said.

Prestwick, located at 7138 210 St. in Willoughby Heights, is about two years old, and has never filed a claim.

READ MORE: Insurance shock for Langley condo owners

Parker said he was given several reasons by their insurance broker for the premium hike, including the possibility of earthquakes, the fact the townhouses are wood frame, and the risk of fire.

Several other condo projects have seen sudden jumps in their insurance costs in Langley and elsewhere.

In December, residents of a three-year-old 181-unit strata in the Yorkson Creek Complex 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.

At Abbotsford’s tallest building, the brand-new 26-storey Mahogany Tower, premiums rose by 780 per cent, from $66,000 to $588,000.

Covering the hike was projected to 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

READ ALSO: LETTER: Province must take action on condo insurance

Rob de Pruis, director of consumer and industry relations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said 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.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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Rob Parker, strata council president at the Prestwick townhouse development, seen here in his home. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

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