Insurance Guidance for Condo Owners – Letter to the Editor

February 2024

I was on your site (that I’ve come to rely on as a fabulous resource!) to look up information on condo insurance.  It’s on our radar these days, following a recent water leak in one unit that caused damage in others below it.  It has a few of us checking our policy and I’ve had a few discussions with our board about it.

When I called my insurance agent to hash through questions about our coverage, I found it painful – she was a good generalist (typical) but didn’t have enough subject matter expertise on condos.

While I know you’ve got lots or articles around insurance in your archives, I didn’t find any Condo Archives articles for unit owners that provide guidance for questions to ask their insurance broker.

Where can I find this guidance?

B. B.


Response from Toronto Condo News

You are entirely correct.  Insurance is painful and exceptionally difficult to understand.

Obtaining information on condominium corporation  insurance is relatively simple.  Obtaining information on a personal condo policy is next to impossible.  Part of the problem is that there are no standards so each insurance company can disclose different information or handle things differently.   To cite just one example, some policies will cover the corporation deductible but there is no information on this provided to the policy holder.  It can take a herculean effort to determine if your policy will cover the entire deductible for your corporation.  Any insurance claim involving a personal policy, the corporation policy and possibly other personal policies create further complications.

Finally, how the condominium corporation chooses to handle an insurance-related matter can impact on personal policies.  For an identical damage situation, one corporation may file with their insurance provider.  Another may choose to pay for repairs rather than risk higher future premiums or deductibles.  Then there is the matter of paying for repairs or deductible from the reserve fund which means having to replenish unplanned-for expenditures.  In short, the corporation’s actions may dictate how your insurance provider responds.

We would love to produce an article titled Best Insurance Practices for Condo Owners. This will have to wait until the industry establishes some level of standardization that is simpler to understand.  In the interim, we continue to publish articles such as “Who Pays for Damage” which helps provide a degree of clarity to this issue.

I hope this helps.  Keep well.

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