Insurance and Heritage Properties 

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. 

Insurance Survey pdf

Gathering of the Heritage Sector: Insurance and Heritage Properties: Review of Survey Findings.


Spotlight on the Problem (Present and Past): 

Guidance and Advice Documents 

Jurisdictions and the insurance industry have resources online to inform owners how to deal with obtaining insurance for historic buildings, but the environment is rapidly evolving and the advice (while sound) may not reflect the current industry context. 

Insurance Survey

National Advocacy Opportunity  – NEW Heritage Property Owner 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 some parts of Canada, insurance policies are being cancelled with 24-hour notice, not being renewed, or being rejected with no clear rationale. 

Why Fill it Out? 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.

Our goal is to work with all stakeholders (the insurance industry, property owners, governments at all levels, the heritage sector) to develop the information and training resources required to address misconceptions and prejudices against heritage buildings, and advocate for their fair and transparent treatment.


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