What is condo insurance?

A happy couple enjoying a sunny afternoon on their living room couch in their condo

Condo insurance is a type of home insurance designed for condo living. It typically covers your unit and improvements or upgrades you’ve made to your space. It also includes coverage for your personal belongings, liability, and additional living expenses should you need to temporarily move out of your unit due to a covered claim.

Condo living means sharing common areas with other residents including the lobby, elevators, multipurpose rooms and in some buildings even a pool or gym. While your standard condo corporation (also known as strata or condo association) may have insurance to cover the main building’s structure and shared spaces, you’re still responsible for your unit, what happens in it, and the things you have inside. When you buy personal condo insurance, it adds an extra layer of protection – complementing your building’s condo corporation insurance.

When looking for condo insurance, it’s good to know what’s covered and what’s not.

What does condo insurance cover?  

Personal property

Condo insurance helps to financially protect your personal belongings against insured damage or loss. It covers things like clothing, furniture, and other personal property inside your condo unit. In some cases, it may also extend protection to items in your vehicle. For high-value items, such as jewellery and art, you may need to buy additional coverage.

Liability and shortfalls

A condo insurance policy may help cushion your financial responsibilities if you accidentally cause property damage or bodily injury to others. This can be helpful in case of accidents and emergencies.

Additional living expenses

If a covered loss causes you to have to live elsewhere or pay for storage while repairs or replacements are made, your condo insurance can help cover related expenses.

Unit upgrades

If you or a previous owner made upgrades or improvements to the condo unit and these were damaged under a covered claim, you may be able to get financial help to get them fixed. This coverage may include things like flooring, light fixtures, countertops, and the like.

Owner-occupied versus rented condo: How it affects condo insurance

Condo occupancy affects condo insurance. If you decide to rent out your condo, you should inform your insurance provider of the change, and you’ll likely have to make changes to your condo insurance policy.

An owner-occupied condo is as it sounds - the property owner is the same person living in the condo. When the condo owner leases the unit to someone else, this is a rented condo. In the case of a rental unit, the renter will likely have to get their own renters’ insurance.

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