- Insurance : Reconstruction cost
Definition : Insurance - Reconstruction cost
Amount of insurance coverage required to be subscribed by the syndicate of co-owners to provide for the reconstruction of the immovable in accordance with the standards, usage and best practices in force at the time of reconstruction. This amount includes, without limitation the fees paid out to the professionals involved, retrofitting, various permits and taxes, etc.
WARNING! The establishment of the "reconstruction cost" must be evaluated at least every five years by a Chartered Appraiser.
October 3, 2021 - When it comes to determining the insurance premium based on the insurance value of a building (for insurance purposes), the broker or insurer will require his client to provide the cost of "reconstruction". Indeed, this premium is established according to the risks which are attributable to the building and the premises, but also according to the cost of reconstruction. We obviously understand that after a disaster we have to rebuild the damaged places, but the concept goes far beyond reconstruction. Indeed, the cost of reconstruction is impacted by contingencies and difficulties in restoring the inventory to its original condition. Think for example of the work involved in replacing a broken ceramic tile, on the wall or the floor, it goes without saying that this also involves the replacement of other tiles around, damaged by the work.
Le coût des matériaux de construction a augmenté considérablement depuis mars 2020, date du début d'une pandémie qui n'a pas dit son dernier mot. Cela pourrait jouer des tours à certains syndicats de copropriétaires, dont l'immeuble pourrait se retrouvé sous-assuré en cas de sinistre.
The insurance premiums are the amount paid by the insured monthly or annually to benefit in the event of a claim from the guarantees in the insurance policy. It is an expense towards the preservation, maintenance and administration of the immovable. Although the syndicate assumes this cost, it is charged back to the co-owners as a portion of their common expenses (condo fees).
However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of insurance premiums for most syndicates of co-owners. Two main factors are at issue: the general ageing of this stock of collective dwellings and the increase in claims caused by the failure to carry out maintenancework on the building. But the complexity of the insurance system also has its share of responsibility.
The law provides that the syndicate must keep a register available to the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors shall keep the list of members, as well as the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register represents the memory of the building for those who administer it. It constitutes the history of the experience of the condominium from its conception, and this by specifying its maintenance and the work undertaken, while listing the contractors and suppliers who intervened. In this sense, it is invaluable. The syndicate must preserve for organizational and management purposes, or for legal protection and evidence purposes, all documents and information relating to the operation of the co-ownership. That is why "preservation", "access" and "archives" are the hallmarks of this register.
Question: We suffered water damage. Three apartments, including mine, were affected by the breakdown of a water heater. The co-ownership’s insurer refuses to compensate us completely, claiming that our syndicate has paid too low a premium compared to the true risk insured. More specifically, it appears that the directors took out inadequate insurance cover with a reference to a rule proportional to 80%. I do not understand that. Is the insurer right not to fully compensate us?
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When the sale concerns a fraction of a divided co-ownership of a residential immovable, the preliminary contract must be accompanied, at the time of its signature, by certain documents (such as forming with it an indivisible whole). This includes the information note on the essential characteristics of the project, whether it is a new co-ownership or under construction, or a building that has undergone major renovations to the point of now being considered new. In addition, the contract of guarantee will complete the preliminary contract. It concerns immovables or projects subject to the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, i.e. those with no more than 4 private portions stacked one above the other (apartments).
The Law and the overwhelming majority of declarations of co-ownership require that syndicates of co-owners insure their building. This may seem surprising at first glance as the syndicate does not own the private portions nor the common portions. However, its main object is to ensure the preservation and the longevity of the building and to manage and administer it diligently following rules of the trade. This is why the legislator has given to the syndicate an insurable interest and has made it compulsory that it subscribe building insurance.