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January 31, 2022

Calling All Heritage Building Owners! Important Insurance Survey

The National Trust for Canada and its partner organizations across the country are seeking solutions to the insurance problems currently being faced by many owners of heritage buildings. In the past year, the National Trust has received numerous reports of insurance policies on heritage properties are being cancelled with 24-hour notice, not being renewed, or being rejected with no clear rationale. This is putting buildings at risk and putting inappropriately large financial burden on the owners of these buildings. Why is this happening, and what can be done?

The bigger picture is that the Canadian insurance industry is in near-crisis mode, and heritage properties are playing a small but significant role in the turmoil. As in the mid-2000s when there were similar insurance pressures, the industry is currently in a very “hard’ market: it is having to pay out massive claims due to extreme weather events and is now going to great lengths to minimize any other risks it can. The result is that any property that has unknown factors or risks – whether real, perceived or misunderstood – are being questioned or rejected. Older buildings, especially designated heritage buildings, appear to have become a target of this approach.

Please fill out the National Trust’s five minute survey if you own a building or property, regardless of its age, type, use or heritage designation status. All responses will be completely anonymous. The survey deadline is Thursday, February 17th, 2022.

Your survey responses will contribute to a better understanding of the issues, provide quantitative data on the scope of the problem, and help us attract the attention of the insurance industry and governmental regulatory bodies. Please pass this survey along to friends, family, and neighbourhood organizations!

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