Definition : Insurance - Deductible

Predetermined amount in the insurance policy which must be deducted from the amount of the indemnity paid out by the insurer following a loss and which must be supported by the insured.

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In the event of a claim, the insured, whether a co-owner or a syndicate of co-owners, must declare its occurrence to his insurer. The latter will generally appoint a claims adjuster who will guide him through the steps of the claim. The claims adjuster may also be mandated by syndicates of co-owners. This reality is even more true because of the importance of the insurance deductibles, sometimes unreasonable, that they have to bear, leaving them with all the responsibility of managing the loss. Investigating the circumstances of a disaster, assessing the damage caused by a claim and negotiating a settlement are the three key functions of this certified professional.  
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23 février 2021 — Un récent sondage commandé par le Bureau d’assurance du Canada (BAC) a révélé plusieurs données inquiétantes. Parmi elles, on apprend qu’un copropriétaire sur cinq (19 %) ignore que sa copropriété est protégée par deux contrats d’assurance. Cela confirme une méconnaissance pour la chose par plusieurs copropriétaires, alors que tous devraient s’intéresser davantage à leur investissement.
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La loi oblige tout syndicat de copropriétaires à déclarer un sinistre, bien qu'il puisse ne pas réclamer d'indemnités. Ne pas déclarer un sinistre peut entraîner de graves conséquences.
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Les chauffe-eau installés dans les parties privatives d'une copropriété doivent être remplacés à temps, afin d'éviter un éventuel dégât d'eau.  
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A bathtub or a washing machine that overflows into the apartment below, a hot water tank that conks out and spills down six floors: losses involving the civil liability of a co-owner are many co-ownerships. And they are expensive! This is why the amount of insurance premiums and deductibles have increased significantly in recent years. Worse still, some insurers no longer want to insure co-ownerships, because of a loss ratio that has become out of control. This situation is directly related to the insurer of the syndicate, which is almost always called upon to cover a loss, when damage has been caused to the common and private portions. Thus the question of who is responsible arises. It is also necessary to know the applicable law to the owner at fault. Other considerations affect both the insurer of the syndicate and those of the co-owners concerned, to determine who will pay what?  
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The Self-Insurance Fund will become mandatory on April 15, 2022 following the adoption of the Bill 141, in 2018, which notably created section 1071.1 of the Civil Code of Québec. It had become necessary due to a substantial increase in insurance deductibles. Most of the time, the amount of these deductibles was formerly negligible, whereas today, it can reach tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Several syndicates of co-owners did not wait, or will not wait until April 15, 2022, in order to constitute a Self-Insurance Fund, according to their management based on logic and pragmatism.  
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After being victims of a loss, the members of the board of directors and the affected co-owners are often caught off guard. How will things unfold? There is no need to worry or panic, because in principle, once the notice of loss completed, various stakeholders get involved: the insurer of the syndicate, but also that of co-owners and lessees, who will respectively designate their own claim adjuster. Generally the co-owners affected by a loss, as well as the syndicate, believe that making a claim is always the right thing to do. This is true in many cases, but sometimes the syndicate might want to refrain from doing so.  
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Almost every insurance policy includes deductibles, in varying amounts according to the insured risk (e.g. fire and water damage). In co-ownerships, deductibles are a factor in the Building insurance, and in the third party liability insurance of the syndicate, directors, general meeting officers, co-ownership manager (gérant) and of the condo manager (gestionnaire). Regarding co-owner’s insurance, generally each home insurance policy contains one or more deductibles for various amounts according with the nature of the loss.  
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  In co-ownerships, most water heaters (electric or gas) are installed within the apartments. In such a case, this device is an integral part of the private portions of the building. Each co-owners therefore has the responsibility to ensure the proper functioning, by checking (notably) any signs of dilapidation, and, if necessary, by replacing it at its own expense. Failing to do so, in the event of a breach, a co-owner could be held liable for any damages to the common areas of the building, as well as to the private portions owned by other co-owners, up to the amount of the deductible provided for the syndicate's insurance coverage.    
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Water damage is the leading cause of loss in co-ownership. It is more and more costly, for syndicates and their insurers. In the last ten years, occurrences of water damages in co-ownership have more than doubled. Lack of maintenance, sub-standard construction and climate changes are the main culprits. In most cases water damage affects equally common and private portions, thus it is one of the most complex loss to adjust.    
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Question: I am a co-owner. Can the syndicate of co-owners claim the amount of the deductible for the insurance if I am responsible for the water damage?
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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.  
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