How condominium insurance works


Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purposes, with the sole objective of providing food for thought. Under no circumstances should it be construed as advice regarding insurance solutions. Only a duly certified insurance professional is qualified to analyze your personal situation, discuss your needs with you and advise you on insurance solutions.

The difference between insuring the building and insuring your unit

When you own a condominium, you are probably aware that your condo corporation already has insurance to cover the building and all common elements such as the hallway, stairwell, elevators, pool… What you might not know is that you also need insurance for your own unit to insure your personal property, your liability and your upgrades. Since your building managers are already handling the former, we’ll focus here on the latter. Note that if your condo is not your primary residence, you’ll need to get insurance for your second home. (

Proper coverage for your personal effects

Condo owner insurance provides coverage for your personal liability in case you inadvertently cause any damage to the building (like a fire or water damage), and it also covers any damage to your personal property. This means that damaged or stolen furniture, decorations, computers, cell phones, kitchen appliances, clothes, jewellery, sporting goods and all those things you can collect over time (DVDs, CDs, collectibles, comic books…) will be replaced. It is therefore essential that you carefully evaluate the replacement cost of everything you own to establish how much coverage you need. Make sure you are aware of the limitations of your policy especially when it comes to art, jewellery, furs and collectibles. Your insurance representative can also guide you and recommend insurance for high-value items you need specifically insured.

Don’t forget your upgrades

It’s often said that condo insurance covers anything that’s within the four walls of your unit. It can be misleading however, because upgrades that you have put in place in your condo might be covered in your own policy. That’s why it’s safer to talk about upgrades. Any improvement you’ve made and paid for to your unit is covered on your own policy, as long as you’ve got enough insurance. Check your policy to find out how much coverage you have. Also read your building’s declaration to find out more about your insurance requirements.

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