What is the scope of an Insurance Appraisal?
The main purpose of an Insurance Appraisal is to ensure that the entire property; materials, labour, professional fees, overhead, contractor’s profit, taxes and insurance, is insured to a supportable dollar amount. In general terms this comprises:

  • The structures including foundations, frame, exterior & interior walls, roof structure, roofing, interior finishes, HVAC, electrical, lighting, fire protection equipment, and elevators.
  • The site improvements such as: pavement, curbs, trees, grass, and fencing
  • An allowance for demolition and removal costs
  • An allowance to bring the original structure up to current Provincial and Municipal Codes for fire protection, parking, and handicapped access
Why should Insurance Appraisals be done?
  • For Stratas and Condo corporations, the Strata Property Act or your provincial Condominium Act states that a corporation must obtain and maintain full replacement cost insurance on the building, the common facilities and any insurable improvements, and also review annually the adequacy of the insurance.
  • Many buildings are not up to current codes for sprinkler systems, parking spaces, and handicapped access. The additional cost that would be required to bring these properties up to code is often significant.
  • Having a recent Insurance Appraisal can at times allow for more flexible terms with your insurance broker.
How often should a full appraisal be done?

Every year.

That is why we create multi-year programs with free updates for our clients so that they have a recent appraisal available to them at all times. Having your property appraised frequently will ensure that the latest changes to construction costs, building codes, and bylaws are incorporated into the appraisal.

What will the appraiser need?

The appraiser will need to meet someone on site, who can provide access to a typical suite (residential), common areas, parking garages, and mechanical rooms.

The appraiser will need to borrow blueprints or obtain Strata Plans so that accurate floor area measurements can be obtained.

Why does the appraiser need to view a suite?
It is important for an appraiser to view a suite with “typical” finish in order to document important construction components. The quality and type of floor finishes, ceiling finishes, countertops, cabinets, appliances, baseboards, crown moldings, lighting fixtures, vaulted ceilings, and plumbing fixtures will be noted and used in the determination of an appropriate replacement cost.
Will personal belongings such as beds, tables, chairs, and dishes be included in the appraisal?

No. Insurance Appraisals typically cover the buildings only.

Common equipment such as swimming pools, jacuzzis, security systems, and handicapped lifts should be included in your appraisal. Other equipment such as exercise machines, televisions, and billiards tables may be included, but this will depend upon the arrangements made with your appraiser.

Will suite improvements, such as flooring or cabinets, be included?

If they were installed and paid for by the building owner, yes.

In a situation where the building is older and most of the suites have undergone some replacement or modification, it is the appraiser’s responsibility to determine a reasonable estimate of the overall type and quality of finish. Any information provided by the owner or managers that will help clarify this to the appraiser is important.