Condo insurance protection
When you own a condominium or co-op, your insurance coverage revolves around your personal coverage needs and the needs of the co-op or strata association.
Reliance’s HomeProtect™ program is custom designed for your specific property from studio-sized units to high-end penthouses.
A condominium insurance policy is designed to meet your unique homeowner needs, including coverage for your personal possessions, permanent improvements made to your living space and additional living expenses if you have to temporarily move out due to an insurable claim.
When selecting condo coverage, it’s important to determine what’s covered by your Strata Association’s master policy and what items are your responsibility. Typically, your strata association carries an insurance policy for all common areas, such as the lobby, walkways, elevators, heating systems, etc. The key is to understand what is defined as “common property” by your Strata.
Condo residents own their individual units outright but have shared ownership of the condo building/community and its common areas. Know the differences between the two coverages.
This is what causes condo insurance to differ from single-family dwelling insurance: your ownership of common property is shared with your neighbours, so your insurance responsibilities can get divided up too.
Condo insurance tips
- Ask for a copy of the Strata or Homeowners Association insurance policy.
- If you’re a renter or tenant, check out our Tenant Insurance self-serve policy purchase.
A personal condominium policy will help safeguard you from losses to your personal property and the interior of your unit. As such, you will need to estimate:
- The cost to replace the contents of your home
- The cost to replace any permanent improvements or alterations you have made to the unit such as the installation of new flooring, fixtures, millwork, etc.
If you suffer a loss on your unit improvements, the strata are only responsible for the value of the original finishes and fixtures. The unit owner is responsible for insuring the difference in value for any new improvements made.
When considering the value of your personal belongings, remember that insurance settlements are usually done on a “Replacement Cost” basis – the cost to replace yesterday’s purchases at today’s prices (regular price including taxes).
Save on your condo or home insurance premium
- Consider raising your deductible
- Get a credit-check
- Invest in a home security/fire alarm system
- Install a water leak detection/shut-off system
- Start early – Claims-Free and Loyalty discounts typically kick in after 3 years of continuous coverage. Start as early and possible and earn your discounts
In addition to your belongings, the liability-to-others portion of your policy covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or a family member, and some cases, pets, cause to other people. It pays for both the cost of litigation and any court awards, up to the limit of your policy, and covers you at home or anywhere else in the world.
Additional coverages to consider
- Strata assessment coverage: Sometimes a condo unit owner can be assessed with the strata’s insurance deductible. For example, if your dishwasher leaks and causes damage to other areas of the building, the strata may pass the cost of repairs or its insurance deductible onto you. These types of assessments commonly range from $5,000 to $25,000 or more, so it’s becoming increasingly important for unit owners to know what their (strata) deductibles are.
- Flood or earthquake: Optional coverage may be purchased for these devastating types of natural disasters. Protection is now available for fresh-water surface flooding.
- Scheduled items: Condo insurance can cover your personal property anywhere in the world, but some types of items have specific limits. For example, claims on jewellery are typically limited to $6,000 per occurrence. For higher-value items, we recommend speaking with one of our personal insurance specialists to determine the best way to protect your belongings.
- Loss of use: If your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss, your condo insurance policy can provide reimbursement for the cost of temporary accommodation and, in some cases, the cost of food.
We have coverage solutions to help meet your unique home insurance requirements. Contact us today for a quote.
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— Michael Wormald
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