With condos becoming increasingly popular in our growing city, our clients are often wondering what is condo insurance. Like a home or tenant insurance package, you have the option of selecting a Comprehensive or Broad policy, but a condo package also includes:

  • Contents Coverage – provides coverage for all your belongings in your condo including any storage unit you may have on the premises.
  • Additional Living Expenses – provides coverage for expenses you may have for things such as a hotel if you are unable to stay in your unit after a claim.
  • Unit Betterment & Improvements – if there have been upgrades made to your unit such as flooring, countertops or fixtures, this will provide additional coverage to ensure these items are replaced in the condo in the event of a claim.
  • Common Elements Loss Assessment – if there is extensive damage to a common area and the condo corporation is underinsured, each condo unit owner may be held responsible for a portion of the damage costs.

Some Optional Coverages You May Want To Consider

  • Sewer Back Up/Sump Pump Failure – can provide you with coverage in the event water comes into your home through your sewer lines or your sump pump fails.
  • Scheduled Items – items such as jewellery, furs, collections, watercraft or bicycles can be subject to a limit in the policy. If you have a higher valued item, scheduling the article on your policy might be in your best interest.
  • Overland Water – previously declined by all companies, this coverage can now be purchased with select markets. It can provide coverage if water enters your home through a window well after a heavy rainfall or if a body of water rises or overflows and causes damage to your home.

What you should know when purchasing

Any real estate purchase can become overwhelming in no time at all! To help you through the process here are some things you should find out about your condo before purchasing your insurance:

  • What type of condo have you purchased? Is it a standard condo or a bare land condo? The type of condo you have will determine what type of coverage and how much coverage you may need. The condo corporation is the best place to find out this information.
  • What type of heating is in the unit? Do you have a central furnace or baseboard heaters in your unit?
  • When were the shingles on the building last replaced?
  • Know what type of plumbing and electrical is in your unit. This would include the amps of your electrical as well as the wiring type and the type of pipes in the unit.
  • Find out of if the unit has a sump pump and/or a backwater valve. If you are looking to purchase the Sewer Back up Coverage, the amount of coverage available to you can depend on whether or not these are installed in the unit.

Ways to save

If you have just made your first real estate purchase and all the extra costs involved in this are starting to add up or if you are just looking for ways to stick to your budget, here are some ways you can save on your condo insurance:

  • Claims free for 3 years
  • Non-smoker
  • Monitored or local alarm system
  • Mortgage free
  • New hot water tank
  • Mature citizen
  • Increasing the deductible

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