Why Condo Insurance?
With the high price of real estate in British Columbia and Greater Vancouver in particular, more people are living in Condos or Townhouses than in detached homes. In the past, many went without their own condo insurance policies. However, the recent trends towards more losses as a result of water damage should cause those who ignore the need for condo insurance to reconsider.
What does it cover?
Condo insurance policies cover, not only your contents and betterments and improvements to the condo since it was built, but also your portion of the strata deductible, if you are found liable for a loss that affects either your unit, your neighbors, or strata common property.
Another important feature of condo insurance is the additional living expense coverage. If the condo is your primary residence, additional living expense covers the cost of living elsewhere in the event of an insured loss to your unit that makes it unfit to live in. If your condo is being rented out, additional living expense may reimburse you for the cost of lost rent, in the case that your tenant has to move out due to an insured loss. (Please note that additional living expense does not cover your tenant’s belongings or liability, nor does it cover the period in which your unit is vacant between the end of one tenancy and the beginning of another)
These coverages are in addition to protecting your own personal contents, which is the basis of the condo insurance, and legal liability for injury or damage to property of others.
How can I get a quote?
When shopping for condo insurance the two main criteria for determining what coverage you need would be the contents limit and the strata deductible amounts. The contents limit is up to each individual to determine and should take into account the cost to replace personal property inside the unit, as well as the cost of any additions or renovations done to the unit since it was built (whether by the current owner or any previous owner). The strata deductible amounts can be gathered from a copy of the strata master policy. This is distributed to all owners at each Annual General Meeting (AGM) or can be requested of your realtor if you are just buying a property.
Further, condo insurance can be tailored with many optional coverages, including earthquake, sewer backup, additional jewelry limits, or various other coverages.