Home Insurance has been around for well over 100 years, so in the big scheme of things Condo insurance is relatively new.
Even though Condo insurance has been around for decades, there remains a lot of confusion over how to insure them. Many would say that you simply pick a value based on the amount of contents, but this may not be correct and you could suffer a severe financial loss in the event of a claim.
Many believe that the Condo owner should insure their contents, and the Condominium Corporation will insure the building – this may not be the case. Depending on the Standard Unit Definition and the Insurance requirements set out in the Condominium Declarations, you may find that the Condominium Corporation is simply insuring a concrete box and you are responsible for all drywall, fixtures and fittings.
Condominium policies are similar to Home and Renters Insurance, however they should also include three main coverages special to Condominiums:
- Unit Improvements and Betterments – this would insure any improvements and betterments to the unit at the owners expense such as upgraded flooring, cabinets or countertops.
- Loss Assessment – this would insure you against a special assessment by the Condominium Corporation should their policy be inadequate to cover a loss to collectively owned property.
- Unit Additional Protection – this coverage is provided for the owners unit (excluding items insured under Unit Improvements and Betterments) when the Condominium corporation has no insurance, its insurance is inadequate, or it is not effective.
If you are going to purchase a Condominium, be sure to speak with your lawyer for clarification on what the Declarations indicate that you should be insuring. Then be sure to speak with an Insurance Broker for independent advice on the different condominium insurance policies and which one is the right fit for you. If your insurance provider suggests you purchase insurance without referring to the Condominium Declarations, I would suggest you consider another insurance provider.
If you are going to purchase Condo insurance, I suggest you speak with an Independent Insurance Broker to help you navigate the options and be sure you are getting the best policy coverage for the best price. If you don’t have an Independent Broker, click here to contact us and we’d be happy to help.