Insurance Confusion

February 2018

Condo insurance is easily misunderstood.

There is a master policy for the condo corporation that provides some protection for all condo owners.  Condo owners and renters then require personal coverage to address what is not included in the master policy.

Assuming coverage where none exists can cost unsuspecting condo owners and tenants hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Many condo owners and renters are unaware of their responsibilities should there be damage or injury resulting from an accident, theft, weather or nature-inflicted event that causes damage to their condo building or suite.

Condominium Insurance Solutions, a provider of insurance to condominium corporations, explains that “the master policy generally provides coverage for all areas of the condo building except for improvement and betterments in individual suites.  Anything inside suite walls can be the responsibility of condo owners and residents as defined by the Standard Unit Bylaw.  Possible exclusions from coverage under the master policy include walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets and improvements or upgrades from original building construction.”

Personal coverage addresses anything not included in the master policy.  Condo owners can be held liable for damage to other suites or common areas.  Personal coverage can include protection against these risks.

Without this protection the owner of a suite with a kitchen fire or overflowing bathtub causing damage beyond the suite could be responsible for paying a deductible in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Condominium Insurance Solutions advises condo owners and renters to take steps to ensure they have adequate insurance coverage:

  • Make a list of all items in the suite not covered under the master policy.  Include personal items, contents, cabinets, flooring, fixtures, appliances and improvements.
  • Estimate the replacement cost of all items.
  • Include coverage for additional living expenses should there be a need to move out because of an insured event.
  • Determine the deductible on your condo corporation’s master policy and ensure it is consistent with what is covered in your personal policy.