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Condo/Strata Insurance

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Condos are a popular choice among people who either want to downsize, who don't want a lot of yard work and house maintenance and who like the amenities that a condo building provides! It gives people the opportunity to embrace homeownership without the hassle of menial tasks such as yard work, snow removal or home repairs - you just have to worry about your own living space. The communal areas such as building hallways and lobbies are taken care of by cleaning and maintenance staff so that is also off your plate. It gives you more time to enjoy your building, the close community it can provide as well as the amenities. But, remember there are condo fees, so be aware that all of this is not free or included in the price of your condo. It comes with a price tag - and how much you'll pay per month all depends on the building.

The condominium industry has been booming in Canada, with dozens of new towers being built each year, giving people the option of living in the heart of city centres and close to their jobs. 

Condo insurance is not legally required in Canada, but, it is mandatory for those who need to get a mortgage. Condo insurance is essential for insuring your private property and any aspect of your unit that isn't included in your condo association's policy.

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Condo Insurance in Canada

Regardless of the condo association coverage you have, you will need condo insurance to cover the personal contents in your unit. This can relate to property such as furniture, home entertainment systems, and clothing.

Condo insurance protects you from liability. In the event that someone gets injured while at your place, your liability coverage will help you with settlement costs. Be sure to choose a liability limit capable of protecting all your assets. This will help ensure your online quote's accuracy.

Again, depending on your condo association's policy, you can be covered for any upgrades and improvements you've made to your unit.

You can also get a quote to further secure your condo unit, in case your association's coverage doesn't protect you fully against loss or damage.

Yes, of course! 

Most companies allow you to pay a number of different ways, however, this can be dependant on your payment/credit history

Yes, while condo insurance isn’t mandatory, if you have a mortgage your lender will require it.

Now, a few tips -  your condo association will have a master insurance policy, but it may only cover the basics. Some associations will buy a more a policy that also includes more basic items within each unit, such as appliances, carpets, cabinets, or interior walls.

Always best to find out the scoop, and then chat with your Surex Advisor to figure out what's right for you! 

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Have Questions? We've got answers:

Your condo association's policy will provide one of the following three types of coverage:

  1. A policy with coverage insuring the primary building and common areas only.
  2. A policy with coverage insuring your building and any items in your unit that aren't personal property.
  3. A policy with coverage insuring your building, your unit and improvements made to the unit.

You do not want to get stuck with condo insurance that provides unclear provisions on what is covered and what is not. Your condo insurance should provide coverage for:

  • The contents in your condo- All contents inside the condo including but not limited to electronics, furniture and clothing are protected against perils such as theft, fire, explosions and water damage caused by overflows and bursting pipes, up to the insured amount. Contents such as fur and jewelery will often have specific limits of coverage that can be increased for an additional premium. Also, be keen on other exclusions such as computers, cameras and recording equipment, especially for people who work from home. 
  • Personal liability- Personal liability provides coverage for bodily injury to other parties such as visitors and neighbours. For instance, your visitor may trip over a rug and sustain injuries. Your bathtub may overflow and cause water damage to the apartment below, inflicting damage worth tens of thousands. This insurance will provide coverage for such unpleasant occurrences. 
  • Walls and floors- The condo owner is responsible for insuring their specific condo unit, including fixtures, floors, walls, ceilings and appliances.

Most insurers provide coverage for pets if notified beforehand. However, there are limitations on the type and breeds of pets that will be insured. While most insurers provide coverage for dogs, there are limitations based on the type of breeds. Pit bulls, for instance, may be difficult to insure given the perceived higher risk of bites. Also, most insurance providers have limitations on the type of pets that can be insured. 

You can reduce the cost of your condo insurance without increasing your deductible. Minimizing the probability of accidents from occurring is a clever way to reduce the cost of insurance. For instance, installing a fire alarm system and security system ultimately reduces the chances of fire-related accidents and theft. Note: This has to be a centrally monitored alarm with a valid certificate to qualify for the discount in Ontario.

These questions may seem complicated especially for a first-time homebuyer. To ensure you get your condo insurance needs right, always work with a reputable insurance provider or agent. 

Many condo owners sublet their homes. But with platforms like Airbnb, some people end up commercializing their condos, ignoring the provisions of the insurance. If you are planning to rent out your apartment for, say, six months, you can always modify your coverage. This ensures that your condo insurance is not rendered ineffective. Your insurance will not be cancelled if you live in the condo part-time, provided you do not rent it out. However, the condo should still be occupied and not vacant.

Point to note: Always inform your insurer or agent in case you decide to sublet or lease your condo. 

There are many advantages to living in a condo! Here are a few:

  • Flexible living, you can just lock up and go
  • More affordable than single-family homes
  • Cheaper insurance
  • Great sense of community in the building with your neighbours
  • Living in the heart of the city, giving you proximity to entertainment & business districts (closer to your work)
  • Top-notch amenities, such as gyms,  pools, party rooms etc.....
  • Appliances included
  • Covered maintenance in your condo fees - building maintenance and cleaning of communal areas
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