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Do you have the right condo insurance coverage?

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Pros and Condos
OMA Insurance
9/19/2018
Do you have the right condo insurance coverage?

​Imagine that a fire breaks out in your condo unit. Although it is quickly put out, smoke and water damage affect several nearby units. Did you know that, as a condo owner, you are considered responsible for the damage and personally liable?


Why you need personal condo insurance

Your condominium building has its own insurance policy, so why do you need another separate condo insurance policy? Here is the reason: your building’s insurance policy typically covers the structure of the building and common property – such as the lobby, elevators, gardens, pool and gym.

What is not covered?

  • Personal belongings inside your unit
  • Improvements you've made to the unit
  • Liability coverage if claims are made against you personally

Condo association insurance: what’s covered?

In a condo building, you own your condo unit and the personal belongings inside of it – the rest is communal property owned jointly by the condo association. Even your balcony and storage locker could be considered part of the condo association’s ownership, but designated for your exclusive use. The condo association has an insurance policy that covers the building and common areas. As a unit owner, the premiums are paid as part of your monthly maintenance fees.

Condo insurance coverage by a condo association typically includes:

  • Buildings and structures
  • Common property such as lobby, hallways, stairs, roof, garage and driveways
  • Standard construction fixtures such as floor and wall coverings, and electrical and plumbing fixtures
  • The repair or replacement to common property damaged by a covered peril, such as fire or theft
  • Liability coverage for the condominium association to cover medical and/or legal costs of a claim if someone is injured in a common area

Personal condo insurance coverage

Anything not covered by the condo association insurance policy can be covered by your personal condo insurance policy. Such a policy typically includes:

1. All-Risk Condo Insurance

Protects your personal property against loss or damage due to things like fire, theft, vandalism, windstorms, smoke and water damage caused by a burst pipe. It also covers:
  1. Condo upgrades and improvements: Coverage for repair or replacement cost if there is damage to upgrades you’ve made (such as flooring, fixtures or kitchen cabinets). Tell your insurer about the improvements
  2. Accidental damage such as spills or breakage
  3. Additional living expenses: In the event of major damage caused by an insured peril, you’re covered for relocation costs and increases in your normal household expenses until your unit is repaired.

2. Personal Liability

This protects you and the people residing in your condo unit (whether you are on the property or not) against any claims made for any bodily injury or property damage unintentionally caused to others – things like fire damage to a neighbouring unit. Most people opt for at least $1 million in liability insurance.

Optional coverage worth considering:

  • Sewer back-up
      •  Helps cover the cost of repairs if a property’s drainage system overflows, it could flood the condo unit.
  • Above ground water damage
      • Helps cover the cost of repairs if water suddenly entered a condo unit from a severe weather event, such as heavy rain.
  • Swimming pools or hot tubs
      • Also cover equipment, accessories and patios connected to your pool or hot tub (they do not cover patios attached to your residence).

Notes
This article is being provided by OMA Insurance on behalf of The Personal which has a group sponsorship agreement with regards to home and auto insurance for our members.
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.