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Heritage Property Insurance Files to Be Reviewed
(Friday, August 8/2003)-- Representatives of Halifax Regional Municipality and the Insurance Board of Canada will be examining individual cases of heritage property owners being denied insurance, or facing steep increases in premiums, in light of recent media attention and public concern about the situation.
The findings of the review will be presented when a joint committee representing the insurance industry, the municipality, the Province, and heritage advisory groups and property owners meet again in September.
At a first meeting today organized by HRM, representatives from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, the Provincial Heritage Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia, the Heritage Advisory Committee for HRM and HRM Staff, discussed the issue of insurance coverage for heritage properties.
Kevin Barrett, Heritage Planner for HRM, said discussion focused on the fundamental misconception by some in the insurance industry and others, about heritage registration and its implications with regard to insurance.
Mr. Barrett said "The meeting was productive, and there is a positive dialogue between HRM and the Insurance Bureau. To understand the concerns raised by some heritage property owners, there is a need to study the specific cases that have been identified by heritage property owners."
Councillor Sue Uteck, a member of HRM's Heritage Advisory Committee, said "I am pleased the meeting took place today, that all parties realize there are misconceptions (about insurance coverage for heritage properties) and that future examination is warranted."
Allan MacLellan, Chair of the HRM Heritage Advisory Committee, stated improved communications between the insurance industry, municipalities, and heritage property owners is also needed.
Paul Dunphy, Director of Planning & Development Services for HRM, added "Given that the issue of insurance for
heritage properties is a major concern, HRM needs to ensure all applications to rebuild any property - whether it be
registered or not - is done in an efficient and effective manner. If improvements to the current processing of such
applications are needed, they will be explored and implemented."
Councillor Sue Uteck
Member, HRM Heritage Advisory Committee
Director, Planning and Development Services
HRM Heritage Planner