Compare condo insurance quotes
In under 5 minutes, compare personalized condo insurance quotes from Canada's top providers, for free.
Matt Hands, Business Director, 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. Condo developments have since then exploded in popularity, especially in major metropolitan areas. As of 2017 (the last census data), approximately 1.9 million Canadian households lived in condominiums. Among that group, two-thirds are owners, while 615,570 Canadians rent them.
Almost a third of people in Vancouver live in a condo (What's known as Strata in BC). In Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton the number is around 20% and in Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa that number is just under 15%.
As demand for housing grows, these numbers are rising with more people moving into cities. Condos allow developers and city planners to maximize space while battling housing scarcities in big cities like Toronto.
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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A typical comprehensive condo insurance policy includes the following:
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.
Liability: 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 relocate following an insured loss temporarily. For example, damage within your unit or a neighbouring unit making it unsafe to be in your condo.
If you're renting your condo, look to landlord's insurance to cover any potential lost revenue.
When you own a condo unit, you also own a share of the building and property itself. Your condo fees may 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 shared area like the parking lot, the condo corporation insurance would be used and not your own.
Use the list below for more details on available comprehensive condo insurance coverage:
Condo building & unit
Unit improvements and betterments
Unit additional protection (contigency coverage)
Loss of unit
Additional living expenses
Loss assessment coverage
Directors' and officers' liability coverage
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.
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:
Renovations & betterments
Past claims history
better choices made
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The longer you stay loyal to your condo insurance provider, the more they’ll reward you with discounts, especially if you remain claims free.
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.
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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 Ratehub.ca’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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