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Compare condo insurance

Protect your apartment, townhouse or co-op against interior damage and theft.

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Do I need condo insurance?

Protecting your own condo can get tricky because you’re in close quarters with property that’s not exactly yours. Position yourself for a better decision about the insurance you need by understanding what’s covered by your homeowners association (HOA).

While insurance isn’t legally required for condo ownership, your lender and HOA probably require it. That’s because unrepaired damage to your condo can decrease the value of those around you. If it’s required, you should see that stipulation listed in your contract.

How does condo insurance work?

When buying a condo, you’re purchasing your home and renting the building and land it’s housed within. You don’t own the entire property, and so your HOA is responsible for damage to exterior structures and shared spaces.

You help pay for the HOA’s “master” insurance policy through membership dues. You’re responsible for insuring the property you own.

What does condo insurance cover?

A personal condo policy protects you from expensive damage to your home and belongings, generally covering:

  • Owned property. Pays for damage that occurs within your condo’s walls, such as damaged electrical wiring, plumbing or flooring caused by a covered peril.
  • Liability. Protects you and your guests from medical or legal expenses for injuries that happen in your living space.
  • Personal belongings. Keeps your belongings safe from theft or damage, including jewelry and other prized possessions.
  • Living expenses. Know you have a place to stay if damage makes your condo unlivable for a time. Depending on the insurer, this coverage is included or an add-on.
  • Loss assessment. If your HOA requires condo owners to take care of damage to shared spaces, such as a fire in the lobby, this add-on helps you pay your portion.
  • Water backups. Consider this add-on if you’re HOA policy is among those that don’t cover water backups, like sewage.

What does my HOA cover?

Items protected vary depending on your HOA, but most HOAs cover:

  • Boiler rooms
  • Elevators
  • Hallways
  • Liability outside your condo
  • Roof and siding
  • Swimming pools
  • Landscaping
  • Other shared spaces or common areas

What’s not covered by condo insurance?

Between your HOA and your personal condo policy, you likely have broad coverage. Think about the limitations of your policies that may not cover:

  • Expensive jewelry. Most policies include a standard limit on jewelry coverage, such as $1,000, which may not protect more expensive valuables.
  • Exterior damage. While most exterior spaces are covered by your HOA, brush up on the exact items it covers. If an exterior space or item isn’t protected, you may need extra coverage.
  • Flooding. Water damage caused by floods likely isn’t covered by your or your HOA’s policy.
  • Unlisted perils. Condo policies are typically listed peril policies, meaning damage caused by anything not listed isn’t covered.

How much does condo insurance cost?

The average policy rate for condo insurance in Canada is $20 to $35 per month but this varies based on where you live. Costs range depending on your location, condo value and amount of coverage. Condo insurance usually costs less than regular homeowners insurance.

How can I save on condo insurance?

Wish you didn’t have to pay so much for your policy? While shelling out the cash now may be worth it, you can shave savings off your premium with a few tips.

  • Go shopping. Comparing several providers could mean saving hundreds of dollars a year.
  • Bundle policies. You can often get a one-and-done packaged deal for car, condo, RV or life insurance all in one place.
  • Hunt for discounts. Spy out which discounts you might qualify for when comparing insurance companies, like those for home safety devices or automatic payments.
  • Raise your deductible. Consider shouldering more responsibility for damage for savings up front. But weigh the risks, because you could lose out after a catastrophe.
  • Lower coverage limits. You could opt for a limit that covers the value of your condo — and not much more than that.
  • Proof against disaster. Your insurer may lower your premium if you take extra measures to protect your home, such as installing stormproof windows.
  • Install a security system. Lower your rate and make sure you’re better protected against theft at the same time.
  • Consider personal belongings value. It’s wise to assess the dollar value of your belongings to make sure you have adequate coverage.

Additional condo coverage to consider

Think about other home-related policies that can protect you under specific circumstances:

  • Earthquake insurance. Your HOA and personal policy likely won’t cover earthquake damage. Add this protection if this peril is common in your area. Earthquake policies are similar to condo insurance, with coverage for interior damage, personal belongings, living expenses or loss assessment.
  • Flood insurance. This coverage pays for repairs to areas like walls, floors and built-in appliances if damaged in a flood.
  • Umbrella insurance. Consider a policy that extends liability limits above your or your HOA’s condo insurance liability. Higher limits may help if you have high-dollar assets you’d like to protect against lawsuits.
  • Valuable personal property coverage. This coverage type gives you the ability to cover expensive items like jewelry at the appraised value. This insurance comes in handy for items that appreciate in value.

How do I get condo insurance?

Applying for a condo policy proves simple with a few easy steps:

  1. Call your preferred insurance company or apply for a quote online.
  2. Give your personal information and details about your condo and coverage needs, such as your location, value of personal possessions and any pets in your home.
  3. Receive your quote and finalize details and payment information.
  4. Start your policy on the effective date chosen.

Bottom line

Get adequate coverage and find savings on condo insurance by outlining exactly what your HOA takes responsibility for. Once that’s done, you can understand what coverage to look for when shopping multiple insurance providers.

Frequenly asked questions about condo insurance

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