Dear Paul: Water went into my unit from neighbour unit in 2012, Strata replaced my carpet then. This year the water pipe busted in my unit and again cause water damages to my carpet, Strata refused to replace my carpet citing that the cost is under the deductible of the Insurance claim.
I am the original owner and the carpet is considered original installed by the developer.
What should I do? I do not have my own insurance on this unit.
SF: Thank you for your question. The condo insurance industry is certainly chaotic at the moment. Due to disastrous events in Canada and around the world, we have seen premiums increase dramatically. As a result, many condo corporations have increased deductibles in an effort to lower the premiums. I understand that the corporation may have paid to replace your carpet in 2012, but that was eight years ago, and many things could have changed since then. The first thing to do is to review your governing documents. Your legislation, Declaration and Bylaws may have changed and may now contain more limiting provisions regarding responsibilities for damages. Ask your Strata corporation, in writing, for an explanation of why it will not replace your carpet. Ask for a copy of the Strata’s insurance policy. If the damage was not caused by any negligence on your part, you may have a case for having the carpet replaced. Some governing documents or legislation may have a provision that requires the unit owner responsible for the damage to pay the insurance deductible. When a claim is under the deductible, normally the corporation would have to pay for the replacement. If you had your own insurance on your unit, some policies cover the cost of a deductible required by the Strata’s insurance. Finally, you should consult legal counsel to determine what legal recourse you may have. I wish you the best.