A condo is a major investment that needs to be protected. The right condo insurance can protect you financially in case of a fire, theft, flood, or other damage to your home.
The right condo insurance also offers the coverage you need at a fair price. But what is the cost of condo insurance in Ontario, and how do you know if you’re getting the best deal? Let’s dig into the facts on how you can find affordable insurance.
Key takeaways on the cost of Ontario condo insurance
- A typical condo insurance policy protects you against the unique risks of owning your property – coverages include third-party liability, unit improvements, contents insurance, and additional living expenses.
- While there are many factors that contribute to the cost of condo insurance in Ontario (including property type, location, and coverages) the average premium can range from $300 to $600 a year.
- There are many steps you can take to help lower your cost of condo insurance. Compare quotes across the Ontario market to ensure you're selecting the best option out there.
What is condo insurance and why do I need it?
Condo insurance protects you financially in case something goes wrong with your unit. Just like home insurance, it covers you in case of fire, burglary, and liability. It will also include added protection for the unique risks that come with living in a condo.
A typical condo insurance policy has several parts:
Third-party liability. When you own a condo, there’s an increased risk that you could cause injury to another person or damage to their property. If a fire causes smoke damage in the unit above yours, or a failing dishwasher causes water damage to the unit below, third party liability insurance will cover the cost of repairs and legal fees if necessary.
Also read: Does home insurance cover water damage?
Your condo insurance policy may also pay for any special assessments made to cover liability claims against the condo corporation. If the corporation doesn’t have enough insurance to cover a claim, your personal condo insurance policy may pay for the additional costs that are passed on to you.
An added benefit to third party liability insurance for condos is that it’s not limited to just your home. Your coverage will protect you if you’re responsible for property damage or a personal injury anywhere in the world.
Unit improvements and betterments. Your condo corporation is responsible for insuring the unit itself, but it only needs enough coverage to restore it to its original state before any upgrades. The improvements, or “betterments” portion of your Ontario condo insurance policy pays for upgrades over and above the builders’ standards, like countertops, flooring, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and even the paint on the walls.
Contents insurance. It can cost a lot of money to replace all of your furniture, clothing, electronics and other belongings if they’re stolen or destroyed. The contents portion of your policy pays to replace everything you keep in your condo following a loss. It can also be extended to cover items in your car, a storage locker, or elsewhere.
Keep in mind that contents insurance doesn’t automatically extend to everything. Most policies come with a limit for things like jewelry, bicycles, artwork and collections – usually between $500 and $5,000 per category. Be sure to ask your insurance broker if you have enough coverage for anything that would be particularly costly to replace.
Additional living expenses. If something happens that temporarily precludes you from living in your condo, the additional living expenses portion of your condo insurance policy lives up to its name. This coverage will pay for temporary housing and additional expenses (a longer commute to work, for example) while your unit is uninhabitable.
Some condo insurance policies also extend this coverage to replace your rental income if your tenant is temporarily forced out for the same reasons. Insurance for rental properties is usually treated differently, so be sure to tell your insurance provider if you intend to rent out your unit. Keep in mind, this coverage does not extend to the renters belongings, they would need their own tenant insurance policy to cover their contents, additional living expenses and liability.
What isn't covered by condo insurance in Ontario?
Your insurance policy can protect you against many things that can go wrong as a condo owner, but there are limitations you should be aware of.
Condo insurance usually excludes:
The unit itself. In Ontario, the condo corporation is responsible for insuring the unit itself. All of the floors, walls, windows, cabinets, fixtures and other components of your unit will be covered by the corporation’s policy. The exception is any improvements made to the unit, which your policy will cover.
The deductible. Every insurance policy comes with a deductible: the amount you have to pay for a claim before your insurance policy kicks in. The deductible is there to discourage you from making small claims, which can be a nuisance to your insurance company. Depending on your policy, and what type of claim you’re making, you may be responsible for paying a deductible between $500 and $5,000.
Ordinary wear and tear. Insurance is there to protect you from an unexpected disaster, but won’t help you when it comes to maintenance. The good news is that the most expensive maintenance costs are likely the condo corporation’s responsibility, and the cost of most major repairs will be built into your condo fees.
Excluded perils. A “peril” is insurance-speak for things that can go wrong, and your policy will probably exclude some specific ones. Earthquakes, sewer backup, and overland water damage are three commonly excluded perils. Depending on your needs, you may be able to purchase endorsements to add these coverages.
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How much does condo insurance cost in Ontario?
Condo insurance in Ontario costs between $300 and $600 per year, depending on where your condo is, how much coverage you need, and which insurance company you choose.
The primary factors influencing your condo insurance premiums are:
Condo location. Your insurance cost may be higher if your condo is in an area with a higher incidence of crime or flooding.
Condo construction and age. Condos in older buildings can be more expensive to insure as there is more likely to be problems with plumbing, wiring and other components that could lead to a claim.
Condo security. If you live in a condo townhome that’s accessible from the street, you might pay more for insurance than if you were on the 18th floor of a building with an on-site security guard.
Upgrades to your unit. It’s your condo corporation’s responsibility to insure your unit, but it’s your responsibility to insure any upgrades or improvements. The more valuable your upgrades are, the higher your insurance premium will be.
The value of your contents. The more it would cost to replace your items after a theft or fire, the more you’ll pay for insurance.
How can I save money on condo insurance?
Condo insurance is well worth the investment, but you shouldn’t pay more than you need to. Consider these tips for saving money on condo insurance:
Raise your deductible. Raising your deductible can help you save a lot of money on insurance premiums. Choose the highest deductible your insurance company will allow to get maximum savings.
Skip optional coverages. Most of Ontario is at low risk for earthquakes, and chances are you don’t need this policy endorsement.
Avoid making claims. Making even a small condo insurance claim can cause your premiums to rise. Use your insurance when you need it, but avoid making small claims that could cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Compare insurance quotes online. Each insurance company categorizes risk differently, and the cost of a policy can vary widely between providers. Compare condo insurance quotes online to make sure you’re getting the best price for the coverage you need.
The bottom line
Condo insurance in Ontario costs an average of $300 to $600 per year, and provides financial protection for your home and the things you keep there. Compare condo insurance quotes online to get the best price for the insurance you need.