Your condominium is your home, but its insurance needs are quite distinct. With the changes made to the laws governing condominiums, in addition to the many particularities of home insurance in this specific case, it is easy to get lost. We have therefore gathered here the essential information to consider when purchasing or renewing your condo insurance.
First and foremost, you need to differentiate between:
- Content insurance for your unit, which you, as the owner, must purchase;
- The insurance of the building, covered by what is called the syndicate.
Both are closely related, so you should make sure they both cover what is right for you.
Two Insurances. One Home.
Your condo insurance must cover your personal belongings, your civil liability and finally, the renovations you may make to your unit.
The co-ownership syndicate’s insurance, on the other hand, covers the building, the common areas and the original layout of each condo. The syndicate must take out this insurance, for which an amount is deducted from your condominium fees.
Looking to Renovate your Condo? Insure it Immediately.
Changing the laminate countertops in your condo for granite ones? Are you giving your cabinets a complete makeover? Before you indulge your creative desires, be aware that the condominium corporation’s insurance only covers the original fixtures, i.e. the fixtures as they were when you purchased them. Anything that is not part of the “standard” condo unit is considered an improvement that you are responsible for covering with your personal home insurance. So make sure that the insurance amounts offered by your home insurance company are sufficient to cover all improvements.
And in the Event of Damage?
Civil liability coverage is your best ally. Since you may be held responsible for some of the damages caused to the condominium, make sure that the liability portion meets your needs and the requirements of the law to reimburse the amounts claimed. Condominiums with less than 13 units must be insured for a minimum of one million, while those with more than 13 units must be insured for two million.
Play it Straight with the Franchise
The deductible is the amount you are responsible for in the event of a claim. Water damage can occur very suddenly! For example, your floors are soaked, warped and need to be replaced. You then claim $2,000 from your personal home insurer. However, the deductible in your insurance contract is $500. Your insurer will only reimburse you for the $1,500 difference. Of course, for the best coverage, go with a deductible you are comfortable with, based on the amount of insurance premium you are able to pay based on your salary and other financial obligations.
Watch out for the Special Contribution!
Has another water leak damaged part of the common areas? Your syndicate could and would have the right to ask you for a special contribution, an amount that is added to your monthly condo fees, to cover the cost of repairs.
In fact, if the co-ownership syndicate’s insurance deductible for the water damage only covers a part of the repairs, the syndicate can impose a special contribution to each co-owner to make up for the shortfall. Find out more: your insurer often offers you the possibility of adding a “complementary coverage – distribution” (water damage, to use the example) to your contract to reimburse the cost of certain special contributions related to the repair of damage that cannot be compensated by the syndicate’s insurance. However, for this coverage to apply, you must of course be insured against the risk in question.
At Lussier Dale Parizeau, we protect your condo, yourself and the administrators of the syndicate of co-ownership. Ask about our many protections that ensure your peace of mind.