In and amongst the grey skies of the Canadian Strata environment there is a looming rainbow on the horizon to stop the sky from falling!
Much has been written recently about concerns in the Condo/Strata market regarding rising premiums, availability of adequate insurance capacity and impact of increasing costs resting squarely on the shoulders of unit owners. Insurance costs have increased as much as 400%.
Effective November 1, 2020, the BC Government deemed it necessary to enact legislation to curb an environment where the strata and unit owners are increasingly placed in precarious financial positions due to increased premiums. Government legislations specifically identified disclosing conflicting interests within Property management and Broker relationships. This is a good first step by acknowledging the criticality of this systemically flawed environment.
The Client Perspective
The biggest impediment from moving most initiatives forward is the fear factor of organizations not wanting or willing to invest time and effort into changing the status quo. In today’s Canadian, Strata/Condo environment the status quo is no longer acceptable or good enough.
Most engaged insurance enterprises expressed no urgency to address real change to existing business practices, traditional relationships, and supply chain support services. This abandons policy holders who must source solutions on their own. The insurance industry’s siloed practice of maintaining status quo or waiting for others to move first continues to leave Strata/Condo associations and unit owners to pay for inefficient traditional approaches. Why?
Insurance industry stakeholders must open their minds to address systemic distribution gaps, supply chain duplications and conflicting relationship inefficiencies. These impact cost of risk placed upon paying Strata/Condo owners.
LCM Solutions has sourced, engaged and developed solutions with Commercial Loss Experts (CLE) founder Matt Johnson over the past two years. We have engaged insurance companies, brokers, property management, loss adjusters, TPAs and supply chain executives in the Commercial and Strata markets. Education of Strata Councils and Condo Boards is paramount in changing how they have participated in past in managing their asset. There is a need for strata / condo owners
to be their own advocates, to proactively exercise control in emergency preparedness, maintenance, risk and loss control, and the capturing of data to reduce their loss exposure.
W. Stevenson, Treasurer of a Strata Council is a 15-year Commercial owner; he is emphatic that more collaboration with insurance industry stakeholders is required.
“Historically, we have had little control over the cost of insurance premiums and have generally relied on our property manager to contact one or more brokers to shop for the best value on behalf of the Strata. While we appreciate property manager efforts in requesting quotes from brokers, unit owners and Strata Councils have little input or control over the insurance process.
Property managers have no basic records of previous claims for their buildings to predict potential losses. The information they must provide to prospective insurers is limited. Stratas are extremely interested in exploring practices and procedures which will improve overall risk preparedness and future expense mitigation from potential incidents affecting the Strata.
In searching for solutions, we found LCM Solutions who understood our needs and introduced us to their CLE powered Strata preparedness program. In response to the dramatic increases in insurance premiums in recent years, our Strata now proactively invest in solutions to control risk, loss preparedness, insurance and maintenance items related to our buildings’ overall cost of operation. Our intent is to reduce cost of forward risk by looking to our brokers and insurers for product differentiation for Strata’s which may not be as proactive in pursuit of best future risk and insurance outcomes.”
Scott McFie, Managing Director of LCM Solutions states:
“On behalf of the premium paying customers, Strata/Condo stakeholders need to address openly, and transparently, relationship conflicts, siloed hierarchal empowerment and internal/external redundancies. Collaborative partnerships would deliver Strata/Condo customers valued long-term solutions. Proactive behaviour will deliver positive outcomes to the Condo association and will reduce unit owner’s loss exposure that will mitigate severe financial consequences produced by exposure to increasing premiums, higher deductibles (SIR) that today impact unit owner fees.
We advocate thinking outside the traditional insurance risk box developing “customer first” resource partnership solutions, reducing incident-claim exposures, and controlling maintenance, indemnity, and overall cost of risk.
The insurance, risk and property management industry must look at the customer first, asking how did the Strata/Condo sector become so systemically flawed, now requiring legislative governance instituting transparency? It is time to promote what’s right for premium paying Strata/Condo owners. The first step is rejecting self-interest and introduce educated change.”
For more information on LCM Solutions please contact Scott McFie, Managing Director