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Condo Insurance and Home Insurance – Are They Different?

December 16, 2011

Whether you live in a house or a condominium, you will likely require insurance to protect yourself and your place of residence from any kind of harm; however, home and condominium insurance are in fact different.

What are the main differences between condo insurance and home insurance?

Maintaining a home as a single family unit can be more expensive as compared to maintaining a condo for the same purpose. When you live in a home, your home insurance likely provides coverage for the structure of your home, any other items that may be present in your property as well as the belongings that you have stored inside your home. On the other hand, your condo insurance will not be responsible for insuring any shared property like pools or sidewalks or the building your condo is housed in. In fact, your condo insurance does not have to insure any structure that does not technically belong to you. This means that your condo insurance will only be responsible for your personal possessions, appliances, walls that are interior-facing and the items that solely belong to you.

What does condo insurance cover?

A condominium insurance policy will typically provide coverage against loss or damage to your personal property due to the following causes:

  • Theft or vandalism
  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Theft
  • Water escape
  • Smoke
  • Breakage of glass

Flood and earthquake damage is not typically covered under basic insurance coverage. You will likely require special insurance coverage, if offered by the insurance provider.

Optional coverage for a condominium insurance policy may include:

  • Improvements and betterments – building additions and alterations, installations or additions
  • Loss of use – substitute place to stay if severe damage to your unit
  • Loss assessment – major injury on common property or major damage to commonly-owned buildings and these are not fully covered by condo building’s insurance policy
  • Personal liability – protects you from others making a claim against you for bodily injury or property damage

Be sure to do research and shop around for condo insurance rates to find the policy that is right for you.

What coverage does home insurance provide?

Your home insurance will normally cover:

  • Structure of your home: The structure of your home is normally covered against hurricane, hail and lightning. Flood and earthquake are not likely covered, but if so, will be covered in a separate policy.
  • Your personal belongings: These may include your furniture, sports equipment, and other personal items. Coverage may be against theft, hurricane, fire or any other listed disasters. Create a home inventory in order to get a good estimate of how much coverage you will be given.
  • Liability: This is when you or any other member of your family or even your pet causes any damage to others. It should also cover the cost of defending yourself in court. Check with your insurance professional as this coverage may extend outside of Canada.
  • Additional living expenditure: If you are unable to stay in your home because of the damage cause by fire, hail or any other listed disaster, this policy should be able to cover your additional expenses of renting another place temporarily and the additional costs of staying away from home.

Are home insurance and condo insurance mandatory in Canada?

When you buy a home in Canada, you are required to have home insurance in order to secure your mortgage. It covers the cost of damage to your home as well as your possessions from fire, theft or loss. And if you live in a condo you also must insure your property.

It is always a good idea to do your research and shop for home insurance rates in order to find a great deal that suits your needs.