What is Condo Insurance?
Do I need Condo Insurance?
A common question that comes up around condo insurance is why does a separate insurance policy need to be purchased when the condominium building overall already has insurance? Here's the difference - a building insurance policy (commonly called the shared insurance policy) typically only covers the common areas, such as the lobby, elevators, and gym, but does not cover an owner’s personal belongings. So while it is possible that the areas and things around and outside of your unit benefit from coverage under the shared insurance policy, personal belongings inside your unit along with improvements you've made to the unit are not covered by the shared insurance policy. In addition, the shared insurance policy does not provide any liability coverage and therefore will not protect you against any claims made against you personally.
On top of the usual reasons you need insurance (to protect your financial security), as a condo owner you could be responsible for any major repairs. That’s because condominium declarations will often have rules in them that stipulate that if the loss began in your unit (example, if a pipe bursts in your apartment and spreads to other units) you could be responsible for the entire shared insurance policy deductible (which could be in the tens of thousands of dollars) and possibly even some of the cost to repair the damage. Your own insurance policy can help provide protection against this expense. Figuring out what kind of condo insurance you need can be complicated, but with TD Insurance, we can help you tailor an insurance package that meets your individual needs.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?A condo insurance policy can provide protection against a number of things. Some of them include:
- All-Risk covers the contents in your unit along with improvements and betterments made to your unit from losses due to the widest range of perils (or risks), unless specifically excluded from your policy like intentional damage
- Personal Liability insurance protects you for unintentionally injuring someone or damaging their property and having to pay damages (example: someone has a slip and fall in your unit, breaks his/her leg and now cannot work for a period of time)
- Contents Insurance covers your belongings (including when you travel) for losses resulting from the most common types of perils (or risks) up to a specified amount
- Replacement Cost Coverage means that the contents of your condo are insured for the amount it costs to replace them without depreciation
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage will help you pay for reasonable and necessary expenses (like hotel and food costs) in the situation you are forced to leave your condo following an insured peril (or risk) for a period of time
- Improvements and Betterments Protection covers you for any upgrades you’ve put into your condominium (including upgrades completed by a previous owner), on top of what the building originally provided for you, up to the limit of the replacement value. For example, if your unit was originally finished with a medium-grade carpet valued at $5,000, and then you upgrade it to a high quality carpet valued at $10,000, the Improvements and Betterments protection will ensure you receive the full value of your new carpet in the event of a loss.
- Loss Assessment is when you share responsibility with others for common property. With Loss Assessment, your insurer will pay, up to a stipulated limit, your portion of any loss to common property caused by a peril you are insured for.
Is the average condo insurance cost higher if I live in a city like Toronto or Vancouver?Just like home insurance, one of the determining factors of your insurance premium will be the location of where you reside. So while we cannot definitely say that insuring your condo will cost more in a major city, it is one of many factors that is taken into account when your premium is calculated. Some of the other factors that determine what your premium is can include:
- Age of condominium building
- Value of your personal belongings
- Leasehold improvements – How much have you spent upgrading your unit? If there was a previous owner, how much did they spend upgrading the unit?
- Any past claims
Why is Loss Assessment Coverage Important?Loss Assessment coverage is an important feature of condominium insurance because you equally share in the responsibility with the other condo owners for the condominium building. That means that if there is a special assessment for your condominium building, all the condo owners have to split the cost of the assessment.
What about my storage locker, is that covered by Condo Insurance?If you have any belongings stored in your condominium locker for safekeeping, make sure to let us know. If your locker is owned as a separate unit, you must disclose this to us to ensure that the locker and all the contents inside are properly protected.
How do I get my Condo insured?
Start by completing a quote online. In most instances, we will be able to instantly provide you with a condo insurance quote. To complete your purchase, you can call us and speak to a TD Insurance Advisor who will walk through your quote with you, including looking for any further opportunities to save on your premium.