1- What is the difference between condo insurance and home insurance?
Maintaining a home is much more different than maintaining a condo in terms of insurance. When you live in your home, your insurance covers the entire structure, while for a condo, your insurance will insure what is exclusive to you such as your appliances, your personal belongings and the interior walls of your condo. You are therefore not responsible for ensuring common property such as common building, gym, swimming pool, spa, etc.
2- The insurance coverage needed for a condo
Condominium insurance is specific to each individual owner. This insurance protects your personal property as well as the value of your condo. It also insures your civil liability as a condo owner. It also protects you against damages to your unit for example a claim due to the renovation of your bathroom.
Insurance for the building contracted by the syndicate of co-ownership. This insurance should be equal to the amount of the reconstruction cost of the building. It covers the common areas of the condominium, the damages to the building (exterior walls and floors, roof, hallways, siding, entrance, etc.) and of course, the civil liability of the directors of the syndicate of co-ownership.
3- What is covered by condo insurance
Basic condo insurance will cover you against loss and damages of your personal property due to: – Fire, theft and vandalism
- The bad weather: windstorms, hail, lightning
- Smoke – Glass breakage
- Breakage of water pipes
If you are in a risk area, you should ask to add insurance to cover floods and earthquakes. You may also purchase natural disaster insurance to cover you for specific natural disasters. Other optional guarantees exist for your condominium insurance. For example, the warranty for civil liability is interesting to protect you from any damage caused by you, a member of your family or even by your pet. Also, add the following options as needed: leasehold improvements, loss of use and loss assessment.
4- Additions to add
Unfortunately, many condo syndicates do not have complete coverage in terms of insurance. The problem with this situation is that in the event of a loss or major damages to the building, if the coverage is not sufficient, it will be the co-owners who will have to pay the missing sum out of their pockets. You can then require your insurer to increase this amount in your policy. In the event of a loss, your own insurance will compensate you for these costs to be paid but only if the latter covers this loss in itself. To ensure this, you can request a copy of your insurance coverage from your condominium corporation along with the building appraisal report to see if the amount of the new value is high enough to rebuild the building into the worst of cases.
5- Who pays in case of water damage in the condo tower building?
In condominium units, there is a syndicate that must subscribe an insurance policy that covers the common parts but also individual unit parts. Usually, these fees are included in the cost of the condo fees of each owner. If the damage is at the origin of the common parts, it will be the insurance of the syndicate of co-ownership to take care of it. However, if the damage is related to a person responsible for his own unit, then it will be the condominium insurance of the owner to make the claim.
6- You rent your condo?
It is necessary to inform your insurer if you rent your condo, several adjustments must be made to your insurance policy so that you are well covered in case of damages to your own unit. Otherwise, your insurance may no longer be valid. Be vigilant and take the necessary steps to be well covered. In addition, ask your insurer to make sure that you are the primary insured on your tenant’s insurance policy. Thus, the latter will not be able to cancel it without advising you. If your tenant causes damage to your unit, your condominium syndicate may ask you to pay a deductible if your tenant is not covered. This deductible could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Take the necessary steps to have a correct file.
7- You haven’t bought your condo yet ?
Important tips to follow
There are many things to check and analyze when buying a condominium. Go through the current condition of the unit in which you are interested but especially, the general condition of the building.
Here are some examples to help you choose your condo:
- Condo fees are low, be suspicious!
- The contingency fund must cover the main renovations provided for in the maintenance plan. The latter must be well calculated.
- Opt for a condo that is newer rather than an older one.
- Can tenants use a BBQ on their terrace / balcony?
- Are pets accepted?
- How many claims have there been since the construction of the building?
- Is the building equipped with cameras?
- Do you have rooftop services such as a pool, spa, BBQ area connected to propane?
- In the event of sewer backup, does the syndicate’s insurance cover it?
- Does the building use oil heating?
- Is there a valve connected to the building? If yes, his age and last interview?
- Are the duties of syndicate members well defined?
- Are the financial plans and minutes well written?
When buying a condo, follow the rules of the art not be disappointed. Ask and demand all the necessary documents for you to have all information in order to make a smart purchase. If you already own a condominium, do not hesitate to shop your insurance every year or two years to maximize your coverages.