Get Cheap Condo Insurance in Toronto

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How condo insurance works in Toronto, Ontario

Owning a condo can be a great lifestyle choice or a good first starter home before you venture into a larger purchase. While condo corporations have their own insurance (also known as strata insurance) for structural elements or common areas, condo owners are responsible for their own units.

Things like unit improvements, repairs, loss assessments or replacement of items are your sole responsibility. While not mandatory, condo insurance in Toronto, like homeowners' insurance, not only protects you from risks, but is often required by lenders before any mortgages are approved.

Typically, Toronto condo insurance covers your possessions within your condo or storage areas. Condo insurance is cheaper than home insurance. On average, condo insurance costs between $30 and $50 per month, depending upon your coverage requirements and assets covered.

There are two types of coverage you can get with condo insurance. Basic and optional.

Basic condo insurance in Toronto usually covers:

  • Contents coverage for your possessions: Basically anything you own that resides in your condo or storage area is covered under this insurance. More expensive items like fine art or jewelry might require a rider or additional coverage. Many people taking out Toronto condo insurance will opt for about $50,000 in total coverage.
  • Improvements and upgrades you have made to the condo: Upgrades and improvements cost money. New appliances, for example, or renovations can be protected under your condo insurance. Informing your condo insurance provider can get you covered for your upgrades and renovations but keep in mind this might add to your overall coverage costs.
  • Personal liability insurance: Lawsuits happen, and you’ll want to be protected from any suits that occur because of someone getting injured on your property. Also, personal liability insurance protects you if you damage other units in the building or common areas.
  • Unexpected living expenses: This protects you if your condo is deemed uninhabitable due to fire or water damage, for example. Usually, your Toronto condo insurance provider will specify the amount of time you can use this benefit to pay for living expenses while your condo is being repaired.
  • Vehicle break-ins: You might have auto insurance, but it doesn’t cover any items solen from within the car. This will protect you against theft or break-in into your car and compensate you for stolen possessions.
  • Loss of unit: This allows you to be compensated for maintenance fees or lost rent, for example, if your unit is deemed unlivable for a specified amount of time.

Optional

  • Endorsements for high value items: Many of your items will be covered by basic condo insurance, however more expensive items may need additional coverage. Talk to your Toronto condo insurance provider about endorsements for items such as fine art or jewelry, for example.
  • Sewer backup coverage: This will cover you for sewer backup and waste water damage to your condo and your possessions. This coverage is especially important for people who live on a lower floor where damages sewer backup can be more common.
  • Identity theft: Your condo insurance policy can cover you if you experience monetary loss from identity theft.
  • Overland water coverage: This will protect you and your possessions from water that gets into your condo from outside and causes damage. Higher floor residents often experience water damage from leaky roofs or melting snow. Lower floors experience flooding.
  • Directors’ liability coverage: If you choose to sit on your condo’s board, you may want to consider this coverage. It protects you from lawsuits which can result from your corporate position with the building.
  • Loss assessment: There are times when corporate condo insurance will not cover the entire expense of a repair in the building or common areas. When that happens, condo owners are often asked to split the costs. Loss assessment can save you the expense of paying out-of-pocket for these extra repairs.

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How much is average condo insurance in Toronto

Of course, Toronto condo insurance will vary depending on your needs and risks, however the typical charge is $20-30/month for insurance coverage. The more items you insure or add to your policy, the more you will pay.

According to data collected by RATESDOTCA’s Insuramap tool, in 2021, the average annual cost of condo insurance in Toronto was $299. This is about 7% more expensive than the provincial average in the same year: $279.

Condo owners in cities surrounding the GTA enjoy lower insurance premiums than in the city; rates in Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa are about 4.68-9.25% lower.

Factors that determine your Toronto condo insurance premium

Toronto condo insurance costs can vary for different reasons. Even similar units in the same building can have different rates. Here are some factors that will determine your Toronto condo insurance.

  • Your location: Toronto condo insurance companies will always look at risks. A higher crime rate neighbourhood with more break-ins or theft will cost more than safer neighbourhoods with low crime rates.
  • Your coverage options: Different coverages have different costs. Basic insurance is cheaper than condo insurance with extra endorsements or add-ons.
  • Your deductible: The higher your deductible (what you are willing to pay out-of-pocket) for repairs or losses, the lower your costs will be. Condo insurance companies see this as a risk reduction and therefore may offer a discount to you.
  • Limitations of your policy: Most policies come with limitations. For example, the contents of your storage locker may be covered but higher priced items within the locker may not be. You can pay extra or add on riders to have these higher items covered in your Toronto condo insurance.
  • Your possessions: Basic coverage covers most of your condo’s contents, but higher priced items may need additional coverage.
  • Access in the event of a fire: Risk reduction is always the goal of Toronto condo insurance providers. That’s why your proximity to a fire station or hydrant can help reduce your premiums, if the risk of fire can be averted quickly.
  • Your heating system. Older heating systems can break down or even cause fires. Toronto condo insurance providers will want to know this information when assessing risks. The newer or more modern your building, the more likely you can reduce premiums.
  • Your personal info: Condo insurance providers look at lifestyles and gender to assess risk. If you smoke and are a young single male, you are likely to have higher Toronto condo insurance premiums than a middle-aged couple who are “less risky.”
  • Your condo building: A newer, more modern building with good construction is less risky than an older building with a roof that needs replacement. Toronto condo insurance providers will assess these items when determining your rates.
  • Your claims history: Claims histories denote risk in the minds of Toronto condo insurance providers. It is assumed that the more claims you’ve made, the more you are likely to make in the future. This could negatively affect your condo insurance premiums.

Frequently asked questions about Toronto condo insurance

Still got questions about condo insurance in Toronto? Weve got them answered here.

How can I find the cheapest condo insurance quote in Toronto?

Finding the cheapest condo insurance premiums in Toronto starts with comparison shopping. Quote comparison sites like InsuranceHotline.com provide up-to-date insurance rates from the top Toronto condo insurance providers. We’ll put you in touch with brokers who can assist you in choosing the right insurance coverage for your specific needs.

If you already have insurance, it makes sense to review it around renewal time to see if you are over (or under) insured and if you can receive any discounts.

What kind of risks do Toronto condo owners face?

Toronto condo owners can face a myriad of risks. Theft and break-ins can occur either in storage areas or specifically, in your own unit.

Given the climate of Toronto, melting snow in the spring and water are other risks facing condo owners. Lower floor owners may face more flooding risks while top floor owners could face snow and water leakage from the roof.

Owners of older units may need to pay for upgrades that will bring the condo up to current regulatory codes for safety and construction.

Do I need to update my Toronto condo insurance provider if I am running a short-term rental on Airbnb or Vrbo?

It’s important to talk to your condo insurance provider before renting out your unit. If you already have insurance, creating a rental unit may void your original contract and you’d have to start from scratch, that’s because creating an income property changes the terms of your contract.

While Airbnb and Vrbo offer some forms of so-called host protection, you still need short-term rental insurance to cover things like lawsuits, litigation or loss of income.

How can I file a condo insurance claim in Toronto?

Assess the damage yourself and see if you can come up with a ballpark amount of what should be compensated. Make an inventory or list of everything that has been damaged or stolen and take photos of as much of it as you can. If you have receipts for your items, even better.

Look at your policy and remind yourself of your deductible. In some cases, it may not make sense to start the claims process if your deductible is high.

Talk to your broker and try to make the claim by phone (or online, if possible).