This past week, Normac had the pleasure of sponsoring and exhibiting at this year’s virtual PM Springfest. The 2-day event hosted educational seminars related to the property management industry with over 50 sponsors supporting the event.
PM Springfest is an educational conference specifically geared towards decision makers and influencers of the property management industry. The topics that were addressed included building envelopes, legal & regulatory issues, energy & sustainability, technology & innovation, and resiliency. Normac was proud to support this event and was delighted to connect with new and old faces within the industry.
We are optimistic that next year’s event will be hosted in person and look forward to once again supporting PM Springfest. Here is a snapshot of our virtual booth from the event:
Coinciding with day 1 of PM Springfest, our founder and president Cameron Carter was one of the panelists for a Twitter chat on Insurance hosted by CCI-Toronto alongside Tom Gallinger (VP, Atrens-Counsel Insurance Brokers) and Katherine Gow (RCM, Crossbridge Condominium Services). The expert panel covered topics such as condominium insurance rates & deductibles, insurance appraisals, role of the insurance broker, and the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance market.
Below are some highlights from the event!
On Insurance Appraisals
1/ An insurance appraisal provides an estimate of total replacement cost for a property in the event of a total loss. We call this the Total Insurable Value (TIV) and it is used for placing property insurance. #CondoChat https://t.co/UJOxNnORgE— Normac Appraisals Ltd. (@NormacOfficial) April 21, 2021
2/ Appraisals should be reviewed and revised every year to meet the needs of the Condo Act and for risk-avoidance. Our programs are 3-years in length to ensure that the correct value is always in place. #CondoChat— Normac Appraisals Ltd. (@NormacOfficial) April 21, 2021
The event kicked off with a question about insurance appraisals and why/how often they should be obtained. The Ontario Condo Act states that “Subject to a reasonable deductible, the insurance required under this section shall cover the replacement cost of the property damaged by the perils to which the insurance applies.” The only reliable way to determine replacement cost is to have a 3rd party appraiser assess the property. The adequacy of your coverage should be reviewed on an annual basis which will ensure that your condominium is paying accurate premiums.
On Risk Mitigation
Critical to review your condo's options for water damage prevention with your professional management team, they can help you make a water damage prevention and action plan. 80% of condo property losses are due to water damage #condochat https://t.co/ZmeHGaAWDt— Tom Gallinger (@CondosCovered) April 21, 2021
Water losses feel like Niagara Falls when water is flowing (large pipes and high pressure = large volume of water) on the ground procedures to identify the source, turn it off and begin mitigation immediately can be crucial #condochat https://t.co/ejZgNkRsDH— Katherine Gow (@KGowCondo) April 21, 2021
Risk mitigation, particularly water damage prevention was also addressed during the discussion. As 80% of all condo property losses are due to water damage, it is critical that your corporation take a proactive approach to minimizing any potential loss. Technological advances in leak detection now make it easier to catch unusual water levels at its source before it spreads to other units and common areas. A professional management company will be able to provide direction to the best preventative measures for your condo. Katherine Gow stated, “Your greatest tools for controlling risk will be 1. Standard unit bylaw 2. Deductible recovery bylaw 3. Inspections/programs to reduce water damage, slips and falls and risk of fire”.
On Standard Unit Bylaws (SUBL)
1/ A condo may want a standard unit bylaw for better clarity about what in the interior of the units will be covered by the condo's insurance policy. #CondoChat https://t.co/65Bu4Nxl9y— Normac Appraisals Ltd. (@NormacOfficial) April 21, 2021
2/ A standard bylaw can affect insurance. Example: if items previously included are removed due to a bylaw, then the insurable value will drop #CondoChat— Normac Appraisals Ltd. (@NormacOfficial) April 21, 2021
Standard unit bylaws (SUBL) can assist in faster claims processing by providing clarity as to what is covered when disputing a loss. Removing, adding, or modifying items in your SUBL will also have a direct correlation on your insurance premiums as it will either cause your premiums to go up or down according to the changes. When appraising a property, individual betterments and improvements are excluded from the valuation and a SUBL will help define what a condo’s standard finishes are. If a SUBL is not in place, the appraiser would make their best effort to determine the standard finishes. In an effort to save on premiums, we have seen cases of condos amending their SUBLs to a “bare-bone” to transfer some of the risk to their personal policies.
The discussion also touched on several other topics as it related to insurance such as rising lumber prices, charge backs/deductibles, and shared facilities to name a new. To catch up on the conversation, search #CondoChat on Twitter and scroll through the thread from April 21.
Thank you to the panel of professionals for sharing their insights!
- Katherine Gow, Crossbridge Condominium Services – Tweeting from @KGowCondo
- Tom Gallinger, Vice President, Atrens-Counsel Insurance Brokers – Tweeting from @CondosCovered
- Cam Carter, President, Normac Appraisals – Tweeting from @NormacOfficial