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An overview of Canadian condo insurance

A brief history of condo insurance

The first condominium development in Canada was in 1967, a townhouse complex known as Brentwood Village in Edmonton, Alberta 1967. Since then, Condo developments are surging in popularity, especially in major metropolitan areas.

As of 2017 (the last census data), approximately 1.9 million Canadian households are living in condominiums.  Among that group, two-thirds are owners, while 615,570 Canadians rent.

Almost a third of people in Vancouver live in a condo (or "Strata" in BC). In Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton around 20%  of the population live in condos. It's just under 15% in Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa. 

As demand for housing grows, these numbers are rising as more people move into cities. Condos allow developers and city planners to maximize space while battling housing scarcities in major metropolitan areas

What you need to know about condo insurance

Generally, a single person or family owns a condo unit, whereas the building, and all its amenities, are shared.

In insurance-speak, your coverage responsibility is for your condo unit and your personal liability. For example, If someone slips and injures themselves in your unit, the responsibility is on you. However, if they slip in the lobby, the responsibility falls to the building. 

Coverage for the common areas such as the elevators, the lobby, and the building itself is through the condo corporation’s insurance. The corporation will also likely have coverage for certain parts of your unit that are core to the building, like your windows.

However, much like your own insurance, the corporation’s insurance doesn’t cover everything; there are limits.

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How condo insurance coverage works

What does condo insurance cover?

A typical comprehensive condo insurance policy is all in coverage. You can read about add-ons (or condo insurance endorsements) below. 

Coverage for your contents

Protecting your personal property inside your unit. Contents insurance protects everything from your furniture and clothing to your TV and hardwood floors, up to a specified amount. 


It also covers your liability, such as damage to someone else's property (for example, a neighbouring unit) or if you cause an injury to someone in your unit. Personal liability coverage will protect you against claims up to a specified amount set in your policy. 

Additional living expenses

This coverage pays for you to temporarily relocate following an insured loss . For example, damage within your unit or a neighbouring unit making it unsafe to live in your condo. Additional living expenses pays for your hotel, or Airbnb, as well as additional food you wouldn't otherwise be buying. 

If you're renting out your condo, look to landlord's insurance to cover any potential lost revenue. 

Condo fees

When you own a condo unit, you also own a share of the building and property itself. Your condo fees typically cover maintenance, utilities, and a portion of the building insurance. 

Through the condo corporation, all the owners bear joint responsibility for its insurance. For example, if a visitor slips and falls, injuring themselves in a common area like the parking lot, the condo corporation insurance covers any damages.

Use the list below for more details on available comprehensive condo insurance coverage:

Property coverage

Condo building & unit

Unit improvements and betterments

Unit additional protection (contigency coverage)

Personal property

Loss of unit

Additional living expenses

Liability coverages

Personal liability

Building liability

Common coverage additions & endorsements

Loss assessment coverage

Directors' and officers' liability coverage

Overland water

Sewer backup

Identity theft

How much is the average cost of condo insurance?

On average, expect to pay $30-$50 per month or $400 to $600 per year depending on many factors like location, age of building, and risks.

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Factors that impact your condo insurance premiums

Many factors affect the price you pay for condo insurance. An insurance provider will need to know your unit's unique details and the building, like its age, construction materials, and even the estimated cost of all your insurable contents.

The more details, the more accurate they can be in assessing risk, probabilities, and cost.

More risks, or the more expensive repairs and replacements may cost, the more expensive your condo insurance premiums will be.

When determining your premiums, condo insurance providers will look at the following factors:

Property type

Credit score

Replacement cost


Internal construction

Renovations & betterments

Past claims history


Special use

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How to get cheap condo insurance

  1. Shop around and compare

    At, we take the work out of monotonous phone calls and visits to many different brokerages repeating the same information over and over. By entering your information, we can give you several quotes from Canada’s top condo insurance providers in minutes.

  2. Bundle policies

    Insurers will often give a discount to consumers who get both their condo and auto insurance from them. If you can, look to have both your condo and car protected by the same insurer.

  3. Monitored alarm systems

    If you have a monitored alarm system installed, providing communication between your condo security system and the central station of your security provider, you could receive a discount. This typically does not include your own cameras and motion sensor lighting - to get the discount, you must have a central station that protects your condo building.

  4. Increase your deductible

    A standard condo insurance deductible is $500. If you increase your deductible, which means having to pay more before the insurance company pays the rest, they will often decrease your monthly premium.

  5. Renovations

    If you upgrade your unit with more expensive finishes from appliances to countertops, it will cost more to replace, and so you’ll likely pay more. If you or your building does an upgrade to your outlets or toilets, it’s worth informing your insurer to see if there may be a reduction.

  6. Ask about discounts

    A new job may mean union membership, group discounts, or corporate discounts. A retiree may also save on condo insurance. A yearly review is recommended to see and ask what discounts may apply to you as your life changes.

  7. Be loyal

    The longer you stay loyal to your condo insurance provider, the more they’ll reward you with discounts, especially if you remain claims free.

  8. Improve your credit score

    If your insurer monitors your credit score, be sure to pay your bills on time and watch your credit card balance – getting close to the max could hurt your score.

Frequently asked condo insurance questions

Does condo insurance cover appliances?

Does condo insurance cover special assessments?

How much is condo insurance?

When am I not covered with my condo insurance?

Is condo insurance mandatory?

How do condo insurance claims work?

Do I need condo insurance for AirBnb?

Author Bio

Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

Matt started his professional career at CARPROOF where he honed his marketing and analytical skills for over 3 years. Matt then took his wealth of experience to’s Toronto offices, working with insurance providers, agents, and brokers to grow and expand the Insurance business unit. He is a thought leader in the community and a valuable insurance resource to respected publications like the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and 680 news radio in Toronto.

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