Condo buyers sometimes think they don’t need insurance, because it is somehow covered by their common expense payment each month. Learn how you can avoid unwanted surprises or assessments if something happens in the future.
Make Sure You're Covered
Although the condominium corporation must carry insurance on the building, it does not cover everything and there are deductibles involved. Many condo owners don’t realize that a when fire or leaky pipe in your unit damages another, you may be personally responsible for the damages, this is NOT covered by the condominium corporations insurance policy.
Even if the condominium policy pays for part of the loss, you will likely be responsible for the deductible.
A building insurance policy typically will cover common areas, such as the structure, lobby and elevators, but does not cover an owner’s personal belongings. Nor does it cover any improvements that you have made to your unit or if you damage someone else’s unit or property or someone gets hurt while visiting your unit.
- There is also insurance protection available in some instances when there are claims against the corporation insurance policy for damages to the common elements or lawsuits against the corporation. If there is not enough insurance to pay for the loss or the insurance deductible, special assessments are levied against each of the unit owners to pay for it. You can buy insurance to protect you against these types of special assessments.
- Unit owners are also generally responsible for any repairs and maintenance for anything in the unit itself. For this reason, it is generally advisable to have a condominium inspected by a home inspector to look at the plumbing, HVAC or other systems that may be the unit owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair, should a breakdown occur.
Insurance Tips for Condominium Living
Here are some helpful tips and advice to consider:
- Helpful Tip: Make sure that any contents coverage insurance includes the items that are stored in your condominium locker for safekeeping. If your locker is owned as a separate unit, you must disclose this to your insurer to ensure that you are properly protected as well.
- Information for Renters: As a tenant you still need to protect your personal belongings and you should also protect yourself in the event that your actions (such as a fire staring in the unit or a tap is left running and water damage results) to the unit owner and other unit owners who may suffer damage. Contact us to get a quote for tenants insurance.
- Helpful Tip: Did you know that simply replacing the rubber hoses on the back of your dishwasher & washing machine with steel braided hoses is one of the most inexpensive and easiest things you can do to reduce the likelihood of water damage in your condo?
- Bundle and Save: If you have a car, combining your auto and condo or renters insurance can can amount to substantial savings
- Running a business from your condo? A regular condominium or tenants policy will not provide coverage for business operations or contents but you may qualify for a home business extension. This can be an inexpensive way to ensure you are property protected.
- Are you renting out a room or your entire condo unit to others? Renting out any portion of your home long term, short term or occasionally through sites like Airbnb, VRBO or Home Away may change the type of coverage you require. There are risks that come with renting out any portion of your premises, even on a short term basis and your insurer needs to understand the nature of the rental arrangement to determine what type of coverage will provide you with adequate protection. Contact us to learn more!
By purchasing the right kind and amount of insurance, you can avoid unwanted surprises or assessments if something happens later. Contact us and let's have a conversation — we live and work in the Leslieville neighbourhood, and can help answer your questions.
We would be happy to talk to you about finding the right coverage or even recommending a great place to eat!
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