Congratulations, you’ve bought a condo! Now, among the zillion and one other jobs on your to-do list, you need to get insurance.
Condo insurance is unique because you need to make sure you have enough coverage for your unit and contents, as well as enough to cover any potential damage you cause to your neighbours’ units or common areas. Your mortgage lender and condo corporation may have minimum insurance requirements and want to see a binder letter (proof of insurance) with their name on it before you can move in.
Fortunately, getting condo insurance is easy and there are lots of options to choose from. Here are some of the best P & C insurance companies in Canada that offer coverage for condos.
Best for customer satisfaction: The Co-operators
The Co-operators is a Canadian insurance co-op owned by a group of 46 credit unions and agricultural companies. The Co-operators insures almost 900,000 homes in Canada, and also offers life and auto insurance coverage.
While “customer service” isn’t the first thing most people associate with “insurance company,” The Co-operators excels against its peers in this category. J.D. Power’s 2019 Canada Home Insurance Satisfaction Study ranked it first in overall satisfaction in Ontario/Atlantic and second in Western Canada.
Condo owners can choose from two types of coverage. The Co-operators’ Classic coverage offers named perils coverage for your unit and upgrades, third-party liability and personal property. Its Prestige package adds coverage for things like unintentional damage, as well as increased limits for contents insurance categories like collections and bicycles. You can also choose to add an “Enviroguard” endorsement that pays extra to replace damaged property with environmentally friendlier products.
The Co-operators offers a $100 reduction to your deductible for every year you don’t make a claim. It also offers discounts to customers with multiple home and auto policies.
Best for preventative maintenance: Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is the Canadian subsidiary of the UK-based insurer by the same name. Aviva offers home and auto insurance to Canadians directly, as well as through insurance brokers.
According to its website, Aviva insures 100,000 condos across the country. Its condo insurance policy includes coverage for your belongings, your unit and upgrades, and third party liability. You can add optional coverage for water damage, broken glass, earthquakes, and your home business.
You can also choose to add the “Home Protect Bundle” endorsement, which pays for the cost of preventing a future claim. For example, you could claim up to $2,000 for a minor repair that could lead to an insurance claim if not rectified. Following a claim, this bundle also offers up to $2,500 toward the cost of installing a device that could prevent the same claim from happening again, like a security system or automatic water shut-off.
Aviva customers can get a discount for having a centrally managed alarm system and/or a centrally monitored water alarm. You can also get a discount for bundling your condo and car insurance with Aviva.
Best for condo owners in Quebec: Desjardins
Desjardins is the largest federation of caisses populaires in North America and Quebec’s largest financial institution. Its insurance division is the fourth-largest in Canada and the largest in Quebec by a wide margin.
Desjardins condo insurance covers your unit and upgrades, third-party liability coverage, accidental water damage and your contents including furniture. Optional coverage is available for additional water damage, earthquakes, and short-term rentals.
Desjardins offers a bundling discount for home and auto insurance, as well as discounts for centrally managed alarm systems, a claims-free history, and if your building is LEED certified. You can also get an insurance discount for purchasing Desjardins’ Alert security system and monitoring service.
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Best for flexible claims options: TD Insurance
For condo owners, TD Insurance provides third-party liability coverage and all perils protection for your unit and improvements, as well as your contents. You can also add coverage for identity theft, coverage for family members in nursing homes, claim forgiveness and the cost of replacing damaged property with eco-friendlier products.
You can optionally add a “Settle Your Way” endorsement that allows you the choice of taking a cash settlement instead of repairing or replacing damaged property. With this plan, you aren’t obligated to repair or replace what’s been lost if you make a claim and depreciation won’t be deducted from your settlement.
TD offers discounts if you get a condo insurance quote online, have a centrally monitored alarm system, and insure multiple products. TD also offers group insurance plans through its Meloche Monnex program which caters to employer and university alumni organizations.
Best for people with expensive hobbies: Allstate Canada
For condo insurance, Allstate offers two packages but only its VIP Package is likely to meet your needs. It covers third-party liability, all risks to your personal property, and coverage for your unit against the most common perils like fire, smoke and water damage.
Allstate Canada also includes a free “personalized coverage” option that can cover your expensive hobbies like golfing, fishing and skiing. These packages provide additional coverage for your equipment, reimburse your prepaid membership fees if you’re sick or injured, rental fees for temporary replacement insurance, and even the cost of a “hole-in-one” celebration.
Allstate offers discounts for being claims-free and offers a claims forgiveness rider that promises your premium won’t go up after a claim. They’ll also reduce your deductible each year you don’t make a claim.
A Canadian-owned alternative: Intact & Belairdirect
Intact Insurance is Canada’s largest provider of personal insurance, offering home and auto insurance through its relationships with over 2,000 insurance brokers and directly to consumers under its Belairdirect brand.
Intact’s condo insurance policies provide coverage for your unit and upgrades, personal property, and third-party liability. Added coverage is available for water damage and identity theft. You can augment your Intact condo insurance coverage with an endorsement to keep your premiums from going up after a claim. You can also get an endorsement to waive your deductible, up to $1,000, on your first claim.
Intact offers discounts for having an alarm system (even if it’s not centrally monitored), certain water safety devices, and bundling your condo and car insurance together.
The bottom line
These are just a few of Canada's top condo insurers – while each company offers something unique, the best condo insurance policy is the one that gives you the coverage you need at the lowest price. Compare condo insurance quotes online to get rates from multiple insurers and find the coverage that’s right for you.