Anyone living in a condo should have proper insurance, but there’s much to know about the different types of condo insurance available and what coverage is entailed from each. The amount & type of insurance coverage needed also differs a bit between those who own the unit compared to those who rent. Read on to learn more about the type of condo insurance anyone who lives in an apartment, duplex, or townhouse should be considering and keeping an eye on.
Do I Need Condo Insurance?
Yes. If you want to have a “safety net” for your apartment, duplex, or townhouse (and the valuables in it), you will want the right insurance coverage. Some regions actually require it legally.
Condo Unit Insurance vs. Condo Building Insurance
One of the first things to know about condo insurance is the difference between insurance for your unit vs. the insurance for your overall building or complex.
Insurance for the Unit
This is the insurance that covers your apartment, duplex, or town-home unit itself (and the valuables inside it). This insurance is usually registered and paid for directly by the person residing and/or owning the condo apartment unit. This is also different than the overall building insurance.
Insurance for the Building/Complex
This is the insurance that covers what is sometimes called “common spaces” throughout the building or complex, and includes areas like the building lobby, hallways, elevator, building frame, building exterior, parking garages, building landscaping, and possibly more. This insurance is usually registered by the “condo/complex group” (or “Strata”) of the building which usually consists of all or elected resident members, and/or a property management company that helps manage the building’s needs. Payment for this building/complex insurance is pooled together and paid by all unit owners.
Contingent Insurance for Extras & Emergencies
Another type of insurance that condo owners pay (see paragraph above) goes into contingent insurance for the building/complex as sort of an emergency fund to cover any shortfalls in the other insurance coverage. This insurance fund can be used for building/complex improvements that may be needed over time, but which may not be covered by insurance.
How Much Condo Insurance Do I Need?
How much insurance one needs will depend on a number of things like, who owns the unit, what you own and how much coverage one is comfortable with.
Insurance for Valuables
Every insurance coverage plan should protect the valuable assets inside the unit like furniture, electronics, clothes/accessories, etc. in case they get damaged – or stolen.
Insurance for Natural Disasters
Most condo insurance coverage plans here in BC should also have some sort of natural disaster coverage, especially for earthquakes, as that is the main natural disaster risk in the area.
Insurance for Your Unit
Proper condo insurance coverage also needs to cover any damage that may occur to the structure of the inside of your unit (or your neighbours’ units, if you cause the damage). This includes damage that you may cause to your own unit (or units around you), as well as damage that may be caused by your neighbours. A common form of damage that should be covered is water damage, as water damage can leak into other neighbouring units.
Finalizing Your Condo Insurance
Whether you’re renting or you own, the right condo insurance coverage is always important for your apartment, duplex, or town-home. If you’re renting, you will need insurance for your valuables inside of it etc. However, if you own a condo, you will also need to contribute to the overall condo building’s insurance too in order to protect the “common areas” of the condo building. Every condo insurance plan is a bit different, but in most cases you will want some sort of coverage for valuables and damage to the unit/building. Speak to one of our insurance experts about our condo insurance options today to ensure you have the coverage you need!