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FAQ: What Does Condo Insurance Cover?

Thursday, 17 June 2021

So, you’ve recently found the perfect condo in an ideal location – congratulations! As you prepare to move into your new place, you should consider purchasing condo insurance. With all the insurance terms that get mentioned while you shop around, it can become confusing to know what you’re actually getting. But we are here to help! Continue reading to learn about condo insurance as we answer many of your FAQs including, ‘What does Condo Insurance cover?’

What Is Condo Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Condo insurance is a type of personal insurance that supplements your condo corporation’s coverage. A personal condo insurance policy consists of several different coverages that protect not only the condo itself, but also your personal property, and upgrades made to your unit. It will also provide liability coverage and additional living expenses if your unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered claim. We will explain each of these coverages in more detail below.

Doesn’t My Condo Provide Insurance For Me?

What many condo owners fail to realize is that your condo corporation’s insurance usually only covers main structure, standard specifications of the units, and common areas of the building. It does not, however, cover your contents or upgrades/renovations you’ve done. This could leave you paying out of pocket to restore those upgrades in your unit or replacing damaged contents such as furniture, electronics, clothing, and so on.

What Does Condo Insurance Cover: Betterments & Improvements

When you or previous owners have made upgrades to the unit (e.g. fancy light fixtures, hardwood flooring, high-end cabinets), Betterments & Improvements coverage on a personal condo policy provides financial compensation to repair or replace items of like kind and quality. It would cover the difference not covered by your condo corporation’s insurance policy.  

Example 1: You have a grease fire in your kitchen that damages your custom built-in cabinets. Your condo corporation’s insurance would only provide standard cabinets, not the upgraded ones. Betterments & Improvements coverage will provide you the funds to replace the cabinets with new, upgraded ones of like kind and quality.

Example 2: Your freshly renovated bathroom floods and damages the flooring and fixtures. Your condo corporation insurance will only replace the bathroom with standard fixtures and floors. With Betterments & Improvements coverage, you would receive the money needed to restore your bathroom to its renovated state.

A BIG broker can help you decide on the right policy limit for Betterments & Improvements coverage. Whenever you make upgrades to your condo, you should always contact us to make sure you still have the appropriate coverage. Keep a record of any receipts or proof of upgrades and store them in a secure location in case you need to make a claim.

What Does Condo Insurance Cover: Your Belongings

You accumulate plenty of possessions – furniture, electronics, clothing, equipment for sports or hobbies – and your condo corporation’s insurance policy doesn’t cover any of it. Contents coverage is included in a personal condo insurance policy and will reimburse you for damaged items in a covered claim. Your broker can help you select the right coverage amount, but you can start by calculating the cost to replace big ticket items such as major electronics, appliances, jewelry, and furniture, and then gradually move to smaller items. Special collections of jewelry, artwork, sporting equipment, etc., might need increased or special coverage.

What Does Condo Insurance Cover: Personal Liability

Liability is a standard part of a personal condo insurance policy because lawsuits can be financially devastating. It’s possible that you could be held liable for unintentional harm or injury caused to visitors, or damage caused to condo units from a fire or flood. Personal Liability coverage helps cover legal costs and settlements if you are sued for third-party damage or bodily injury. Most basic policies start at $1 million liability coverage, but you can also upgrade to $2 million for a slightly higher premium.

What Does Condo Insurance Cover: Additional Living Expenses

Sometimes a claim can make your condo uninhabitable for a time. It can be stressful and costly as you scramble to find alternative living arrangements. Fortunately, Additional Living Expenses is included in most condo insurance policies. In a covered claim, your insurer will provide a set amount for your living expenses while your place is being repaired from a covered loss, or while you search for a new home.

 

As you can see, a personal condo insurance policy can provide plenty of benefits that your condo corporation’s insurance cannot. Especially when it comes to your personal property or unit renovations, you’ve invested a lot of money and you should have a condo insurance policy that protects that investment. Condo insurance is very affordable – find out just how inexpensive it is by getting a quote. If you have more questions about condo insurance, reach out to a BIG broker! We are always here to help.