Condo Insurance 101: Things to Consider


From fires to floods to accidentally breaking a window, many condo owners might be surprised to learn how vulnerable their investment actually is. But with proper insurance, you can protect your belongings, your condo and your personal liability as an owner.

But first see how your condo investment fits within the larger condo corporation:

How a condo corporation works

When you purchase a condo, you are buying a stake in a building. Comprised of several or many units, the building is maintained by a condo corporation. This means the condo corporation is responsible for maintaining all common areas and amenities in a clean, presentable and working order.

They have insurance too.

Your building’s condo corporation has insurance for the building itself. Although specific coverage varies from corporation to corporation, common areas or infrastructure features, like sidewalks or plumbing, are usually protected under their insurance policy.

Condo fees also cover some things

As with a condo corporation’s insurance policy, condo fees are designed to help maintain and improve common areas of your building. Usually paid monthly, these fees are pooled with other building residents to help finance common areas and building staff (i.e security, cleaners, landscapers, etc.).

So, do you need condo insurance?

Many people think their condo is covered under their condo corporation’s insurance policy. While this is true for the building itself, the condition of the unit at purchase and infrastructure surrounding the unit, actual coverage ends at your front door once you sign the dotted line.

Here are 6 ways condo insurance can protect your financial investment:

1. Individual unit improvements

Like driving a car off the lot, liability for the interior condition of a condo falls on the owner after purchase. This means that in the case of a building fire or something else beyond your control, reimbursement is based on the unit’s original condition. Without proper condo insurance, improvements to your unit, like new cabinets, wooden floors or even new showerheads, are not protected.

2. Building damage

Although the condo corporation is responsible for maintaining the building itself, sometimes not everything is covered under their insurance policy. For example, if residents improve a party room with a pool table, which is then damaged, the cost to repair or replace the table most-likely falls on the residents.

3. Accidental damage

Accidently break a window moving a table? Spill a bucket of paint on the carpet? Condo insurance helps protect your investment against the thumps and bumps of daily life. In addition to accidental damages, your policy should also include coverage for any injuries sustained by visitors to your condo.

4. Your “stuff”

Even if you are not home, there is still potential for damage to occur to your condo. Whether a burst pipe or an electrical fire, there are a variety of disasters which can strike at any time. When shopping for condo insurance policies, be sure to ask whether storage lockers and their contents are covered.

5. Your neighbour’s “stuff”

Believe it or not, if a fire or flood originates from your unit, you may be liable for damage to your neighbours’ property or the condo’s common elements. This damage can be as simple as stepping out of the shower and causing water to seep through the ceiling below.

6. Just in case…

While most relationships between owners and their building’s corporation are amicable, sometimes there is conflict. From neglected building repairs to conditions under which you bought not being met, condo insurance helps cover you.

At the end of the day, owning a condo is something you should totally enjoy, not stress about. Having condo insurance helps fill the gaps of your condo’s protective coverage. And you know you can always speak with a PC® Insurance broker to see what condo insurance policies fit best with your specific situation.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-866-660-9035 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

    What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

    If you own or drive a vehicle in Canada, you must be insured. Different provinces have different requirements, but the four mandatory elements of auto insurance are:

    1. Liability - if you cause an accident and someone sues you
    2. Accident benefits - if you or someone in your vehicle is hurt in an accident
    3. Direct compensation – property damage (Ontario only)- if your vehicle gets damaged (and it's determined you're not at-fault or only partly at-fault)
    4. Uninsured motorist - if you're in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver
  • How do I reduce my insurance costs?

    How do I reduce my insurance costs?

    There are several things you can do to reduce your insurance premium costs:

    1. Work on your driving record
      Here's an easy, yet effective way to bring down your insurance costs: build a consistent accident and conviction-free track record with an insurance company.
    2. Choose your automobile wisely
      Do your research before you invest in a new car. Read consumer reports, and check with your insurance company to find out which cars tend to be targets for theft and vandalism. Remember, if you buy a car with a high theft rate, your premium will be higher.
    3. Adjust how you use your car
      By adjusting the way you use your vehicle, you can also bring down the cost of your insurance rates. If you live in a metropolitan area:
      • can you take the subway, train or bus to work?
      • has your job changed, or have you moved recently?
      • do you use your automobile to drive a short distance to work?
      • does your vehicle get used for low annual kilometers?
        If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be entitled to lower insurance costs. Another consideration is whether you let others use your car. It is sometimes possible to exclude certain high-risk drivers from your policy so that good drivers are not penalized with a higher premium.
    4. Choose a higher deductible
      If you choose a higher deductible up front, your premiums will be lower.
    5. Review your coverage
      Take a closer look at your coverage to make sure you're not paying for things you don't need.
  • How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial Mastercard to pay your PC auto insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium.

  • Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

    Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

    Yes, as long as he/she has your permission to drive the vehicle, has a valid driver's licence and has not been specifically excluded from driving the vehicle. However, all licensed drivers in your household must be listed on your policy—regardless of how often they use your vehicle.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is the amount that you agree to pay towards the repair or replacement of your vehicle before your insurance pays the rest. You choose your deductible amount when you purchase your auto insurance. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

See all Auto Insurance FAQs


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