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From the Spring 2020 Issue

Ask the Expert

Are board members qualified to approve insurance policies?

Your Condo || Sandy Fantino

Q: Are board members qualified to approve insurance policies?


A: From a qualification perspective, condominium board members are typically not licensed brokers, risk managers nor insurance professionals. They are people from varying backgrounds, bringing different views to the table. The situation is similar for property managers as they do not automatically have qualified insurance professionals on their team. Although some board members are getting experienced at purchasing insurance coverages, it is important to keep in mind that providing an opinion on a certificate or policy can put the board at risk of legal action from a unit owner incurring financial loss due to incorrect information received. Boards have a fiduciary responsibility to select service providers that are better suited to represent the best interest of their unit owners alongside the property manager. These decisions are not to be made lightly as they can have important consequences.


Therefore, the approval of insurance policies should be a combined effort between the board, the property manager and the insurance broker. They all have specific roles in the transaction: the board is the purchaser, the property manager is hired to provide the board with advice and alternate insurance options, and the insurance broker is present to inform both parties.


One of the objectives of insurance professionals is to educate the board and property manager about the available products and services by attending board meetings and, periodically, annual general meetings. This presence and availability allow both the board and property managers to get strong educational tools, easy-to-digest information as well as unbiased and qualified resources. The insurance professionals also provide clients with highly detailed infographics, presentations tailored to the audience and customized content to make sure that the information presented is clear, simple and adapted to their knowledge base. It helps bridge the gap and puts the board in a better position to make informed decisions.


Insurance brokers are quite active within the industry. The partnerships that we have developed from the condo specialist law firms to the appraisal houses and even to various levels of government gives a strong presence of credibility as an advisor and service provider in the face of our Property Manager partners and clients alike. This is an important asset for the Boards as they continue to educate themselves on insurance requirements.


BFL Canada Realty Team
Sandy Fantino, Client Executive


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