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Unauthorized Suites – Insurance Coverage

A client asked me the other day “what happens if you have an unauthorized suite (a suite in contradiction of city bylaws) and your tenant starts a fire and burns your house down? Are you still insured?”

My first thought was that you were probably are not, but I wasn’t 100% sure so I let them know I would ask and report back. Following that we had our office meeting where I asked other realtors if they knew, and to my surprise not one could answer the question, not even our broker and his 60 years of experience…

So I headed to a few of the local insurance companies (The Cooperators, Johnston Maier, Hub) and met with a few insurance people and asked them. Here is the general consensus:

If you let them know that you have a suite (whether legal or unauthorized) they will surcharge your insurance and your home will be covered in case of an accident. This is great to know for those who have purchased unauthorized suites in Abbotsford.

There are a lot of unauthorized suites in Abbotsford and hopefully people are insuring them as multi family dwellings.

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