Suppose a fire broke out in your apartment. Although the fire was quickly extinguished, several neighboring apartments were affected by smoke and water. Did you know that as the owner of an apartment, you are held responsible for the damage and are personally liable?
Why do you need condominium insurance?
Why do I need separate insurance for my condominium when my apartment building has its own insurance? Building insurance generally covers the building structure and common property (e.g. lobbies, elevators, gardens, pools, gyms, etc.).
What is not covered?
- Personal property in the home
- Improvements made to the apartment.
- Liability insurance against claims against you personally.
Condominium Insurance: What is covered?
In a condominium, you own your apartment and the personal belongings in it, with everything else being the common property of the complex. Balconies and storage rooms may also be considered part of the condominium, but are for your use only. Condominiums have insurance for the building and the common areas. As an apartment owner, the premium is paid as part of the monthly management fee.
Policies for condominium corporations generally cover
- Buildings and structures
- Common property such as hallways, walkways, stairs, roofs, garages, and driveways
- Standard building equipment such as floors, wall coverings, electrical and plumbing fixtures
- Repair or replacement of common property damaged by an insured event such as fire or theft.
- Condominium liability insurance: covers medical and/or legal expenses for injuries in the common areas.
Insurance coverage for individual condominiums.
Anything not covered by the condominium corporation’s insurance may be covered by the condominium’s personal insurance. This insurance generally includes
1. Comprehensive condominium insurance
It protects against loss or damage to personal property in the event of a fire, theft, vandalism, storm damage, smoke damage, water damage due to broken pipes, etc. It also includes
- Condominium upgrades and improvements: covers the cost of repairing or replacing improvements you have made that are damaged (e.g., flooring, light fixtures, kitchen cabinets). Inform your insurer of these improvements.
- accidental damage due to tipping or breakage
- Additional living expenses: if you suffer significant damage as a result of an accident covered by insurance, moving expenses and increases in your normal living expenses will be covered until your home is repaired.
2. Personal Liability
This insurance protects you and the occupants of your condominium (whether or not you live in a condominium) against claims for unintentional bodily injury or property damage to others – for example if a fire breaks out in a neighbor’s home. Most people prefer to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance.
Additional insurance to consider
Covers the cost of repairs if the sewage system overflows, causing flooding in a home.
Covers the cost of repairs if water suddenly seeps into a home due to heavy rain or other adverse weather conditions.
Pool or Jacuzzi
Equipment, fixtures, and decks related to pools and hot tubs are also covered (decks related to condominiums are not covered).
Damage is generally not covered. Theft insurance coverage may also be limited if the unit is rented.
Lily Poole is a Property and Home Insurance officer by profession. She is pretty well experienced in the Condo Insurance and accounting field and has an impressive profile in the training and development industry.