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Ontario Condo Insurance

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  • Know you're covered for your upgrades and renovations
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  • Protect your contents, including storage units
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Condo Insurance Ontario

Condominium living requires specialized insurance to meet condo residents' needs. Morison Insurance has the industry experience and knowledge to provide you with the best possible advice to look after your Ontario condo insurance. Many condominium unit owners do not realize they need their own separate condo insurance policy and insurance held by their condo association or corporation. Ontario condo insurance provides personal property coverage and personal liability.

Our expert condo insurance brokers at Morison Insurance will ensure you have adequate coverage for your investment.

What Is Condo Insurance?

In Ontario, condo insurance provides protection against losses or damage to your condominium, your belongings, Betterments and improvements you have made, and liability for insured damage or injury to others while in your condo are all part of condo insurance. Ontario homeowners who have invested in a condo should protect that investment with the right insurance coverage. It's important to note that you also need liability coverage for common areas of your condominium building, such as the lobby or gym. It's also a good idea to consider loss assessment coverage that will provide funds to cover the cost of a claim deductible should it be assessed to you by your condo corporation or association if there is damage to the building that exceeds the coverage limits of the condo association master policy. 

Finding The Best Coverage For Your Ontario Condo Insurance Policy

The best advice is to first speak to your condominium corporation representatives to understand better what kind of Ontario condo insurance policy you need. Do you own your house and the land it sits on? Do you own your unit only? Do you share common areas with other condo owners? These are frequently asked questions about Ontario condo insurance. Once you know this, your dedicated condo insurance broker can provide expert advice regarding what coverage you should have to meet your specific needs.

If you have a freehold condo where you own your home and the property that it sits on, you likely require homeowners’ insurance. This is because homeowners’ insurance covers your home and property. Note that in a freehold condominium, you may still have a condominium corporation that will provide coverage for shared premises, such as parking lots, which would require additional coverage.

When you own a condo unit in a high-rise or multiple-unit building, the condominium corporation (sometimes called a homeowners’ association) that manages the building will have condo insurance for the building and common areas/property. For example, the condo corporation will often insure the building's exterior, hallways, lobby and recreational areas. As a unit owner, you and the other condominium owners are considered the corporation’s condo insurance policyholders. Ontario condo owners pay for this coverage through their monthly fees. However, as a condo unit owner, you are required to get a personal Ontario condo insurance policy to protect your unit from the wall studs inward. It also protects all of your possessions that are housed within your unit.

If you are unsure about what kind of insurance coverage you require, submit a condo insurance quote request to an expert insurance broker who will provide expertise to ensure you have the right coverage for your home.

Is Condo Insurance Mandatory In Ontario?

While it's not legally mandatory to have condo insurance, Ontario residents may be required to have it for other reasons such as:

  • If, like most of us, you have a mortgage, the financial institution holding the mortgage will require that you have Ontario condo insurance. Should you not have a mortgage, this coverage is still wise protection for your residential investment, which is often the biggest investment many of us have.
  • Often, condominium corporations will require that the unit owners have their own coverage.
  • Ontario condo insurance is smart protection because, as we all know, losses or damages can be expensive. With insurance, you are reducing your exposure to paying the costs to cover any losses on your own.

Why Buy Condo Insurance In Ontario?

It is important to buy Ontario condo insurance to protect your home in case of a loss. Condo insurance protects your financial investment in your condominium home. It covers what is inside your unit—damage or loss to your unit, your belongings, any improvements you may have made to your condo and your personal liability.

Why Is Ontario Condo Insurance Important?

Ontario condo insurance is important because without it if you have a loss, you will have to cover the costs of the loss on your own. When you have an Ontario condo insurance policy, the insurance company agrees to cover the costs of losses or damages specified in the policy up to the policy limits. Costs are covered after the deductible is paid by you. Often the cost of a loss can be quite high.

It’s also important to know that you must have condo insurance if you borrow money to buy your condo. Your mortgage lender will require you to have Ontario condo insurance when purchasing your new home. Should any damage occur to your unit or cause any accidental damage to someone else’s property in a unit nearby, condo insurance will cover your damages and liabilities. Most importantly, this type of policy lets you enjoy condo living with full peace of mind knowing you are properly covered.

How Much Ontario Condo Insurance Do I Need?

You need enough Ontario condo insurance coverage to protect the value of items in your unit. Third-party liability coverage and repairs for losses to your unit from the wall studs should be included in your policy for condo insurance. Ontario condo owners should first consider the value of their belongings. You need to insure them to their replacement value. You should consider asking for at least $2 million in liability coverage. This will help to protect you if you are sued should someone be injured while at your premises. Consider the amount of protection you need in case of damages to your unit from perils such a fire or theft. It's important to get the advice of a condo insurance broker who can help you to determine how much insurance you need.

What Do You Need To Insure With Ontario Condo Insurance?

Think about what you need to protect. An insured peril is an unexpected event that is accidental. You should insure the unit in case of damages such as fire, theft and other perils. Do you have expensive jewellery? An expensive bike? Do you want extra coverage for art? What is the value of your expensive belongings? How much personal liability coverage should you have? An Ontario condo insurance broker will discuss coverage options suited to your needs.

Is Ontario Condo Insurance Purchased By The Condominium Corporation Enough?

No, the condominium corporation’s policy does not cover your personal insurance needs as a condo owner. There is no coverage in the corporation’s policy for your personal unit, the belongings inside it or your personal third-party liability. To protect your personal belongings inside your unit, you require personal condo insurance coverage. An Ontario condo insurance broker can assist with this.

Do Condo Owners Need Condo Insurance For Common Areas That May Exist In Your Building?

The condominium corporation’s insurance covers the building and common areas within the building—such as hallways, pools, fitness rooms, party rooms, elevators, recreational facilities and other areas that may be part of the building (the roof, for example). The corporation’s policy typically covers property losses and liability.

Your Ontario condo insurance policy should include 'Common Elements Loss Assessments' to provide for your portion of a claim should one occur. This prevents you from paying out of pocket for a deductible if the cost exceeds the limits of your condo corporation's policy.

Does Personal Ontario Condo Insurance Provide Coverage For Personal Liability Losses That May Occur While Others Are In Your Unit?

A typical personal Ontario condo insurance policy includes personal liability coverage. Often $1 million or $2 million in liability coverage is provided. Purchasing at least $2 million in liability protection on your condo insurance is a good idea. Ontario residents should note that the additional coverage typically costs only $10 to $20 more per year, and you receive an additional $1 million in liability protection. This is a small amount to pay for vastly more coverage, especially when you consider that liability awards—which can involve lawyers and the courts—can be very expensive. Because there's a strong possibility that the costs could exceed $2 million, it's a good idea to consider additional personal umbrella coverage ranging from $1 million to $10 million. The umbrella coverage will kick in when the coverage limit on your Ontario condo insurance is reached, preventing you from paying out of pocket for expenses that exceed your original limit. More details on liability insurance are provided later in this article. 

Does Ontario Condo Insurance Cover The Possessions In My Unit?

Yes, an Ontario condo insurance policy covers your personal items (such as furniture, appliances, art, jewellery, camera equipment and computers). There are special limits to the coverage provided for some expensive belongings such as jewellery, art, sports equipment and other high-value items. You can purchase extra coverage—these are called endorsements—to provide protection for these kinds of items so you can recover their replacement value. Be sure to talk to an Ontario condo insurance broker about standard coverages on condominium policies to determine if you need additional coverage to meet your lifestyle needs.

These are just a few of the important questions that you should get answers to before you purchase Ontario condo insurance. A great guide to start with is a home inventory list. This will allow you and our expert brokers, see everything in your condo and its current value. Be sure to speak with a qualified condo insurance broker to get answers to all of your questions before purchasing a policy.

Some Ontario Condo Insurance Terms You Should Know

There are a lot of terms, coverages, limits, enhancements and exclusions that may make Ontario condo insurance feel like a confusing hassle. The best thing you can do to make sense of it and get your condo protected is to speak to a condo insurance broker. A broker will make the process quick and easy. He or she will explain your options and provide expert advice.

Personal Liability Coverage

Personal liability coverage protects you in case of property damage or bodily injury to others inside your unit. We strongly advise that you get as much liability coverage as you can afford. Legal rulings can far exceed $1 million when a claim advances to court. In these cases, the condo owner would be required to pay for the difference between the liability coverage stipulated in the condo insurance policy and the amount of the court ruling.

Translation: If you are found liable for $1.5 million in damage and only have $1 million in liability coverage, the condo owner (the insured) must pay the additional $500,000 out of their own pocket.

The additional cost to increase your coverage from $1 million to $2 million in liability coverage is very reasonable—usually $10 to $20 more per year. The extra liability protection you receive for this small additional cost makes additional liability coverage a wise investment.

Here are a few examples of when liability coverage on your Ontario condo insurance policy can protect you financially in the event of damage or bodily injury:

  • A visitor to your home trips while in your unit and breaks their hip.
  • Construction workers in your unit damage your neighbour’s wall.
  • A friend slips on a rug in your condo and injures their back.

Deductible

A policy deductible is the amount you will have to pay to cover a claim before the insurance company pays for losses covered in your Ontario condo insurance policy. For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you have a loss of $3,000, you will pay your deductible of $1,000, and the insurance company will pay $2,000.

Personal Belongings

Personal belongings include items such as a washing machine, dryer, TV, computer, sofa, clothing and similar items possessions inside your condo. Make sure you have enough content protection to permit you to replace these items with new items should they be lost due to a covered peril. As is the case with property insurance policies, you may want to film a video of your possessions, so you have a record of your personal items in your condo. 

How Does Personal Condo Insurance Work?

Getting Ontario condo insurance begins with reaching out to a broker and sharing some details about your condo, your lifestyle and the amount of protection you need. A broker can help you to determine how much insurance you may want to have. If you require additional protection, extra optional coverage is available. The broker will provide details about your condo and insurance needs to several insurance companies after submitting an condo insurance quote. Not all Ontario condo insurance companies provide the same coverage limits or prices. A broker will go through the insurance quotes with you and answer any questions you may have. You can then choose which Ontario condo insurance policy best meets your needs.

What Does Ontario Condo Insurance Cover?

Condo insurance covers your property and liability. Property coverage includes losses to your condo and any upgrades to the unit and the contents. It also provides additional living expenses if you cannot live in your condo while repairs are made following an insured loss. Liability coverage includes damages or losses to others while inside your condo, regardless of whether you are present at the time of the loss or not. You are also covered for items in a storage locker if you have one in your condo building. This is because your locker is considered to be part of your insured unit. Find information about some more specific coverages below.

Unit Betterments And Improvements Protection

Your condo corporation’s master insurance policy covers the building and common areas. It doesn’t provide coverage for any upgrades you or previous owners made in your unit. Betterments and improvements coverage is an important coverage included in a condo policy.

It's important to note that some companies automatically offer a separate limit for this coverage, whereas others require you to include the amount in the content limit. Any betterments and improvements done to the unit (whether from the previous owner or by the current owner) must be accounted for in order to have coverage. Even something as simple as a new coat of paint is considered part of betterments and improvements. Should a loss occur, the condo board will only replace what was original to the unit when it was first built.

Loss Assessment Protection

Occasionally, the condo corporation may assess all of the unit owners an amount—a special assessment—to cover significant repairs to the condominium building if it has been damaged and the condo corporation insurance policy is not adequate. If that happens, a special assessment is levied on all the condo owners. The loss assessment endorsement is a special endorsement that is included under your condo insurance. Ontario brokers at Morison Insurance are happy to discuss the limit options available or begin a condo insurance quote.

Personal Property Protection

Your condo policy will also provide coverage for all of your personal belongings at your chosen limit. This includes your furniture, clothing and electronics. Make sure to discuss any special coverage limits on contents that may be applicable with your Ontario condo insurance broker at Morison Insurance.

What Does Ontario Condo Insurance Not Cover?

Every policy has exclusions that Ontario condo insurance purchasers should be aware of. Common exclusions are wear and tear, maintenance and some types of water damage. Other exclusions may include:

  • Business pursuits or any business use of the premises except as provided under “Business And Business Property"
  • Bodily injury or property damage caused by any intentional or criminal act or failure to act
  • War, invasion, act of a foreign enemy, hostilities, civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection or military power

It is important to know what is and what is not covered by your condo policy. An expert Ontario condo insurance broker can help review your coverage options.

A special note about those who may be using their unit for Airbnb uses: you need to tell your Ontario condo insurance broker about this use; otherwise, a loss may be denied by the insurance company.

Still, they need tenants’ or renters’ insurance to cover their contents and liability. As a condo owner, you should tell your broker if you are renting all or a portion of your premises.

What Does Condo Insurance In Ontario Cost?

Condo insurance typically costs about $55 per month or $550 per year before taxes. Be aware that the cost will increase if you have more things you want to insure. Ontario condo insurance is generally much less expensive than most home insurance policies. Some factors that come into play when determining your condo insurance premium are how much your personal possessions are worth, how old your building is, your insurance history and your claims history.  

Below are the average Ontario condo insurance prices per year in nine cities, based on $75,000 worth of contents.

 

Condo Location

Condo Insurance Price (Annually)

Hamilton, Ontario

$400 - $1,100

Hagersville, Ontario

$400 - $1,100

Oakville, Ontario

$400 - $1,100

Ottawa, Ontario

$400 - $1,200

Port Dover, Ontario

$400 - $1,100

Simcoe, Ontario

$400 - $1,100

St. Catharines, Ontario

$400 - $1,100

Tillsonburg, Ontario

$400 - $1,000

Toronto, Ontario

$550 - $1,200

 

How Can I Save On Ontario Condo Insurance?

There are several ways to save on your condo insurance. Ontario residents can benefit by being aware of some of the more popular ways to save, such as:

  • Increase your deductible. This can lower your premium. With a higher deductible, you agree to pay more of the initial costs if you have a claim. From the insurance company’s point of view, you are reducing their potential costs in the event of a claim, so they reduce the premium.
  • Maintain a good claims record. Fewer claims will help to lower your premium.
  • Buy in a newer building. There is a lower likelihood of losses in a new building.
  • If you avoid smoking cigarettes, you may be able to get a lower premium because it reduces the risk of accidental fire.
  • Bundle your policies with one company. You will often lower your costs when you bring several insurance policies to one company.
  • Speak with a condo insurance broker. They can help you get all the condo insurance savings you qualify for.

Find out more about ways to save on your Ontario condo insurance on our home insurance discounts page, and speak to your Morison Insurance broker about which ones you qualify for.

Is Condo Insurance Different Than Homeowners Insurance?

Condo insurance is different from homeowners’ insurance in several ways. Homeowners insurance covers the home, outbuildings, property and liability. Ontario condo insurance covers the unit and the contents and provides liability coverage. 

Do I Have to List My Mortgage on My Ontario Condo Insurance Policy?

Yes, mortgage companies do require your mortgage to be listed on your policy for Ontario condo insurance.

Who Pays The Condo Insurance Deductible?

The insured person pays the deductible on an Ontario condo insurance policy.

5 Benefits To Condo Living

  1. No more outside chores. Yay! Someone else gets to shovel snow, cut the grass, repair the building, clean the windows.
  2. Amenities aplenty. Fitness room? Pool? Party room? Party patio? Condos can offer super amenities.
  3. Share the costs. No more roof repairs to pay for all on your own. Maintenance costs are covered by the collective—every unit owner contributes through their condo fees.
  4. Location. You can be right in the heart of an urban area and have your oasis of calm. How serenely perfect is that?
  5. Greater security. Often condominium high-rises have 24-hour concierge and security services.

How Can I Buy Condo Insurance?

You can buy Ontario condo insurance from Morison Insurance by submitting a condo insurance quote We are an award-winning team of insurance professionals who help many condo owners to get personalized policies. Your protection is our top priority. Get started today by calling 1-800-463-8074 or by filling out the contact form on our website.

 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.

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