Why do I need Condominium Insurance?

Condominium dwellers experience some of the best aspects of home ownership and renting. As a condominium owner, you have title to your own “unit” as well as a share in common areas such as lobbies, for example, or perhaps a swimming pool, parking garage, or garden. The nice part about condominium living is that you are a shareholder in the corporation from which you “rent” access to the common areas. The no-so-nice part is that you and your fellow owners can be held personally liable if things go wrong. A condominium insurance policy is a low-cost way to worry-free condominium ownership.

Loss assessment coverage is an important feature of condominium insurance because you share responsibility with others for common property. The insurer will pay (up to a stipulated limit) your portion of any special assessment that is valid under your condominium corporation’s governing rules providing:

  • it is due to a direct loss

– that affects a shared part of the premises (such as the lobby, example, or an elevator)

– that has been caused by an insured peril

  • it is due to legal liability arising out of shared ownership of common areas of the condominium premises (for example: to compensate a visitor for injuries caused by tripping over a frayed carpet in a corridor)
  • The assessment was not necessary because of a deductible in the corporation’s own insurance policy.

 

Normally, the condominium corporation’s own insurance coverage will be adequate; insurance-related special loss assessments are not very common.

Condominium owner’s improvements or tenant’s improvements coverage is an important consideration, as most policies have standard limits which may not be high enough to cover upgraded broadloom, for example, or built-in cabinets or sound systems. You may wish to consider buying extra coverage.

If you own a condominium unit, you can choose from a range of insurance policies. You’ll want to insure the contents of your home, and you may wish to insure your condominium (excluding improvements) separately from the condominium corporation so that you would be protected, should the corporation itself not be adequately insured.