New regulations under the BC Insurance Act will improve protection for property owners - have been approved by Cabinet and come into force 01 July of this year.
Under the new rules - insurance companies will be required to:
- put in place internal complaint resolution procedures and offer access to ombudmen type services.
- extend the period to make legal claims from one year to two.
- provide holders of group insurance products with a copy of key parts of the polocies.
- the new rules will strenghen language to clarify fire coverage from any cause.
Typically some of you have been shown the "fine" print - after the fact. Always a good idea to sit down and review it regardless of what your broker has stated. Of note - when and if it happens - a fire caused by an earthquake will now be deemed covered under the comprehensive fire policy - unless expressly stated otherwise in the policy. Back in the day - fire due to earthquake was covered in the "earthquake" policy - which we all know had a much higher deductible.
This will be a good time to find the shoebox that your policy is kept and review your coverage. You can bet the insurance companies will find a way to "bolster" their rates due to costs of implementing this new internal ombudsman or shifting the fire premium - into a premium gain. I can hear it now - "new rules - its the Governments fault - we have to raise your premiums". Ho hum.