Condo insurance crisis leads to online petition by New Westminster, B.C., woman

Asifa Lalji has worked hard to stay in her New Westminster home.

When she was diagnosis of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, she invested thousands of dollars to make the strata unit more accessible. Now, she worries an increase in her building’s insurance premiums might force her to move.

“You’re paying for insurance as long as you don’t use it,” said Lalji. “Once you actually need to use it, then they don’t want to insure you anymore.”

The premium for Anchor Pointe on Quayside Drive climbed 300 per cent from $69,000 to $259,000 upon renewal this year. The reason the strata council was given was there were fewer insurance providers willing to provide the coverage. The companies that would, meanwhile, have dramatically increased the cost.

“We got word three days before the insurance expires that the rate was going to go up,” said Stephen Holmes, the strata council treasurer.

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