What Is Condominium Insurance?

Condo Insurance Definition

Condominium insurance is a type of home insurance policy that covers the policyholder for liability and damage to their condominium unit and contents. Condo insurance is usually a requirement if you are taking out a mortgage to purchase your condominium and it has many advantages. Condominiums are also known as stratas, or bare land stratas, in some regions of Alberta.

The greatest concern a condo owner has is liability.

When compared to a freestanding house, in a condominium, there are much larger opportunities for other units to become damaged from a fire or water damage in addition to your own. If these damages happen, you could be liable for them. You may also need limited liability for common areas if you are hosting an event and they are damaged during the course of it.

A condo insurance base package starts with contents and liability, as well as any obvious areas of coverage that are lacking in the condominium corporation’s insurance policy. Optional coverage, or endorsements, can cover renovations you make to the unit and contingency coverage that tops up coverage on your own unit where your condominium corporation’s insurance may fall short.

One endorsement every condo owner should consider is loss assessment coverage, which kicks in when there is major damage to common property or other units. This means that if water damage to other units originates in your unit, you’ll have coverage to pay for repairs to other units. Your base package may only cover up to a certain amount in this situation.

Example

Mrs. Mapplethorp has just purchased her first home, a condo in downtown Calgary. As a condition of her mortgage, she has to get condominium insurance. She calls her condominium corporation to get a copy of the corporation’s insurance policy, and goes to see a broker. The broker recommends that she get increased liability coverage for common areas, since her corporation’s policy falls a bit short of what the broker would like to see her covered for.

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Condo Insurance Tips from First Foundation

Fill the Gaps in Your Condominium Corporation Insurance

Don’t assume you’re properly covered because your condominium corporation or board has insurance. This insurance usually only extends to common areas and the building itself, rather than the interior of your unit, except in some cases for original carpet, flooring, countertops and other fixtures. When you talk to your broker about condo insurance, bring a copy of your condominium bylaws and regulations and your condominium corporation’s insurance policy with you.

Make Sure Contents are Protected

Most home and condo insurance policies only allow for a certain amount of money to cover certain categories of items. This means if you have an extensive collection of valuables, the entire amount may not be covered in the event of theft or a total loss due to fire or other risk. Additional coverage can usually be purchased to protect your valuables.

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Last updated Oct 29, 2018