There are hundreds of thousands of condominium corporations in Canada, and insurance rates are increasing dramatically for many of them. This is particularly true in the North, where some have been quoted unaffordable premiums or simply denied coverage. This has devastating effects on northern and Indigenous housing, driving up the cost of living and reducing access to housing.
The Nunavut Condominium Corporation Insurance Solutions Lab intends to take a participatory approach to this complex problem. It will bring stakeholders together to better understand the system, see different perspectives and co-create meaningful solutions. The understanding and solutions created will improve the likelihood that condo insurance will continue to be available in Nunavut.
Key Findings / Key Goals
Continue to build relationships with Inuit organizations in order to gather and include their perspectives in the process.
Investigate rising insurance premiums or outright refusal of coverage for northern and Nunavut condominium corporations.
Create a way for condominium corporations in northern communities to afford private insurance.
Project scope and expected outcomes
An industry facing challenges
The insurance industry is facing challenges, such as increased claims from climate events, increased replacement costs and decreased investment revenue. These are exacerbated by high housing costs in the North, including substantial construction costs, few housing options and socioeconomic insecurity. This has financial implications for condo owners, adding to the already high cost of living and directing funds away from needed building maintenance.
It also has an effect on housing availability. Condominiums accounted for 5% of all owner-occupied dwellings in Nunavut in 2016. If they are unavailable as housing due to insurance that is too expensive or not available, other housing becomes more expensive. Family budgets are squeezed further, and more people are driven into already overcrowded housing. These pressures will make a difficult housing situation even worse.
Using social innovation to help create a solution
Traditional approaches are failing to address the problem thus far. That is why this Lab takes a collaborative approach, using social innovation lab methodology to help create a solution. It is designed around a series of collaborative design sessions and workshops involving key partners and stakeholders.
The Lab occurs over 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase will confirm the problem scope and the nature of the issues. It also will develop criteria for choosing stakeholders and begin participant recruitment. The first web-based steering committee meeting also will occur in this phase.
- The Discovery Phase includes a gap analysis, research on key issues, and interviews with key stakeholders and end-users. A list of best practices will be compiled, and a preliminary synthesis and analysis will be completed.
- The Development Phase involves a system discovery and ideation session for stakeholders. Additional research will be done after the session to gather data on the most viable solutions.
- The Prototype and Test Phase involves a prototyping session. A solutions summary report will be prepared that outlines the preferred solutions, ideal conditions and barriers to implementation. The report will then be refined based on an input session with participants.
- The Roadmap Phase will include developing the roadmap and collecting feedback from stakeholders. A final steering committee meeting will provide input on the roadmap, and final communications materials will be prepared.
Recording findings and progress
The Lab will record its findings and progress in several different forms. There will be a roadmap, literature review and research summary, and a synthesis of the stakeholder interviews. The Lab will also produce a webinar on its findings, process and solutions that include graphics, data and charts. This will be presented to Lab participants, who will be invited to ask questions about the Lab findings and methodology.
Project Team: Rankin Inlet Condominium Corporation Number 2
Location: Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- Nunavut Housing Corporation
- Insurance Bureau of Canada
- Gray Management Services
- MaRS Solutions Lab
Get More Information:
Search our Housing Knowledge Centre for important updates on the progress of this lab.