Am I responsible for condo insurance?


Dear David: My wife and I are moving into a condo for the first time and are wondering about condo insurance. Our insurance agent needs to know if our condo corporation carries insurance for the exterior of the building and “other perils”. I understand I’m responsible for coverage for the interior (fire, contents, etc.) but is this extra coverage my responsibility? – COVER ME

DEAR COVER: The answer to your question will be found in your condominium Status Certificate.

Every condo corporation must hold a standard level of insurance, as mandated by the Condominium Act. This essential coverage offers liability protection while also safeguarding the building exterior and common elements such as lobbies, hallways, stairs, roof, pools, garages, parking areas and playgrounds.

Because each property is different, the exact nature of this standard coverage will vary from one condo corporation to the next. Within a complex, the same level of coverage is provided to each unit owner and the cost is generally covered by their monthly maintenance fee.

The specifics of the insurance held by your condo corporation will be outlined in the Memorandum of Insurance, which is part of the Status Certificate.

Your personal condominium insurance needs to cover whatever the corporation’s policy doesn’t. Typically, this includes damage to the contents of your unit, such as furniture, appliances, and personal property. If necessary, it should also cover any property you store in a garage or locker on the grounds. Your policy may require personal liability coverage in the event you are deemed responsible for unintentional property damage or bodily injury caused to others. For example, if your bathtub overflows and causes water damage to the unit downstairs, you may be responsible for any resulting repairs to your neighbour’s ceiling.

It’s important to review your Memorandum of Insurance carefully, to understand what your condominium covers and what additional insurance you’ll need to purchase on your own. Some condo corporations require a minimum level of coverage for individual units, so be sure you understand the requirements of your particular complex.

PRO TIP: Condominium insurance policies can change from one year to the next. As a condo owner, it’s important to review your building insurance policy on a regular basis and adjust your personal policy accordingly if necessary. #AskDavid #Advice

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