Get the Condo Insurance You Need
A condominium is like any other real estate asset that you purchase, you need to protect yourself from an unexpected loss that it may sustain.
Why Should I Buy Condo Insurance?
While the condominium may have a strata corporation that insures the building and common elements that insurance does not always apply to unit owners and there can often be gaps in coverage. The fact is, while the building itself may be protected, the contents inside your unit are definitely not.
As a condo owner, there are special requirements for your insurance policy because the building and your unit have separate insurance requirements. Condo insurance is valuable for unit owners because not only does it cover your personal property, but it also covers parts of your unit that aren’t covered by your association’s insurance policy.
Speak with a broker for a quote on condo insurance: 1.800.731.2228
What does condo insurance cover?
The basic coverages included in most condo insurance policies include:
- Personal Property: Protects the contents in your condo—items such as clothing, furniture, television, etc.
- Loss of your Unit: this is a coverage that provides for any additional living expenses you may incur while your condo is unlivable, any maintenance fees that are charged to you while until is under repair and you are not in it, fair rental value if it or a portion that is rented may not be fit for occupancy, prohibited access but civil authority where you are unable to access your unit due to a loss by an insured peril at a neighboring unit or common elements area.
- Additional Living Expenses: If you cannot live in your unit after an insured loss, this coverage will help to cover some of your expense.s
- Betterments and Improvements – provides protection for any upgrades you have made to your unit
- Third-Party Liability: Protects you financially if you unintentionally cause bodily injury or property damage to others inside your unit or anywhere in the world.
- Unit Additional Protection: your unit will be insured if the condo corp has no insurance, inadequate insurance or ineffective insurance.
- Common Elements Loss Assessment: Helps pay your share (up to policy limit) if there is a loss not covered by the condo association’s insurance policy.
Additional coverages may be included or excluded depending on the insurer and there may be endorsements that require additional premium.
How Much is Condo Insurance in Ontario?
Another positive about condo insurance is that it is generally quite inexpensive. And, if you already have an auto policy, then combining it with a condo insurance policy can add up to big savings.
|Contents Limit||$1M Liability||$2M Liability|
|$300 DED||$500 DED||$1,000 DED||$300 DED||$500 DED||$1,000 DED|
Sometimes there are unique situations that require different coverages to be combined. For example, if you own a freehold townhouse condo, you could require a homeowner’s policy with loss assessment added on. Each condo situation is different, so it’s important to speak with a broker who can help you secure the right policy.
Common Questions About Condo Insurance
Condo insurance is usually cheaper than homeowner’s insurance, as it does not cover the actual physical dwelling as a homeowner’s policy does. However, there could be other factors that make condo insurance equal or more expensive than some homeowner’s policy. The factors include the type of building; where it is located; its construction style; and the amount of coverage you need to purchase for your specific needs.
Generally speaking no it is not. However, if you use your condo as a place of business (something you must disclose to your broker and insurer) there could be tax deductions available.
No one is required to have insurance on their property but the strata corporation of your condo may require you to have coverage. Furthermore, if you have a mortgage or line of credit secured by your condo you may be required to have coverage by your lending institution.
This is a policy held by the strata council or condo corporation that covers the entire building and most importantly the common elements that are shared by all unitholders. Most master policies cover the following: the structure, common elements areas, and your standard unit. All other upgrades from when the builder delivered it are the responsibility of the unit owner. All unitholders are included as policyholders under a master condo policy. Deductibles can be quite high for a master policy and not all master policies cover every type of claim and this is why unit owners are encouraged to purchase their own personal condo insurance. Master, polices are generally paid through the condo fees each unitholder pays to the strata or condo corporation.
While not common, in some cases smaller condo buildings of like size and construction can purchase insurance together to reduce premiums and possibly increase coverage options for the condo associations. Another form of pooled insurance is when a condo is large and insurance companies ‘pool’ together to take on part of the risk. If a condo is to be insured for 20 million 4 companies may take 25% of the 20 million in risk so if a loss happened they would each be responsible for 25% of the loss.
Every insurer who offers condominium covers the standard coverages listed above in question 2 but they may have distinct nuances or differences. The best insurance is the product and coverage that fits your individual needs and risk tolerance. Since there are many companies and products available it can be hard to determine what is ‘the best’. That’s why talking to an insurance broker will lead you to coverage that fits your budget and covers you where you need it most.
This is a complicated question because there are several concerns at play. You should have enough coverage for your personal property value, any improvements and betterments that you have acquired or made as well as coverage for the condo corporation’s deductible at the very minimum. If you have a mortgage the lender may have a requirement for certain limits. The basic, all-encompassing answer is that the amount of coverage should be enough to make you whole again so that you do not suffer any financial loss of your own.
As insurance brokers, we work with a number of different insurance companies, so we can shop around and find the right policy for your particular needs. Please call us or email us to get started on a quote.