Get Cheap Condo Insurance in Vancouver

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How condo insurance works in Vancouver, B.C.

Buying a home, whether a house or condo, isn't only a huge life milestone, it's also the most significant financial investment you'll ever make — and one you'll want to protect. Condo insurance in Vancouver will help shield you against losses, repairs, and even lawsuits.

Condo insurance, like home insurance, is not mandatory. Still, most lenders will only provide a mortgage with the assurance that your home has some protection against fire, theft or other perils.

Vancouver condo insurance providers will assess your needs and the likelihood of making claims when determining your costs.

Generally speaking, condo insurance in Vancouver will cover your possessions, those stored away in a locker, and even possessions you may travel with. The physical structure of your condo building, or shared areas, are not your responsibility and is therefore covered by the condominium corporation's insurance, sometimes called strata insurance. Your condo fees help pay for it.

Condo insurance is generally cheaper than home insurance. Depending on your requirements and possessions, monthly costs can average between $20 and $50.

There are many types of condo insurance you’ll want to consider depending on your specific circumstances:

  • Contents coverage for your possessions –  Vancouver condo insurance will cover possessions you own, from nick-nacks to home electronics. Higher priced items like art or jewelry may require you to take out extra insurance, often known as a rider. Most insurers insist on a minimum of $30,000; most Canadians opt for around $50,000 in coverage.
  • Improvements and upgrades you have made to the condo - Upon purchasing your condo, you may have changed a few things, like new appliances or renovating the interior. Your Vancouver condo insurance can provide coverage for that. Just remember to inform your insurer about your plans before you start work.
  • Personal liability insurance - This insurance will protect you if someone injures themselves on your property or you cause damage to an adjacent condo or common area.
  • Unexpected living expenses - You may be forced to live elsewhere temporarily in case of severe fire or other weather-related damage to your condo. It will help pay for those unexpected living arrangements and cover rent, transportation and meals. Talk to your insurance provider to see if they place a cap on how much coverage you can receive.
  • Vehicle break-ins - Auto insurance does not cover the contents inside your vehicle. Your condo insurance does have provisions to protect you and reimburse you for such an event.
  • Loss of unit - If your condo is deemed unlivable, this insurance will cover the costs of maintenance fees.

Optional Vancouver condo insurance coverage 

There are also optional coverages if you want to boost your policy for ultimate protection:

  • Endorsements for high-value items: Some items, such as higher-priced jewelry or art, are not covered by basic Vancouver condo insurance. An endorsement can protect you if these items are stolen or lost in a fire, but an appraisal or receipt will be required. Vancouver condo insurance providers will charge an additional cost for the endorsement coverage.
  • Sewer backup coverage: Condo owners on lower floors may face issues such as sewer backup or flooding. This coverage will help cover decontamination costs and the replacement of possessions.
  • Identity theft: Your Vancouver condo insurance policy can help compensate you for losses from having your personal information stolen or identity theft.
  • Overland water coverage: This covers losses caused by water seeping into your condo from outside. Lower-level condos might experience this via flooding, while higher-level condos might see water damage from leaky roofs.
  • Directors’ liability coverage: If you are an elected member of your condo board, you will be protected from lawsuits that might arise as part of your position.
  • Loss assessment: While protected by corporate condo insurance, your building may face costs not covered by insurance. Those extra costs can be spread among the unit owners when this occurs. Loss assessment coverage helps protect you from paying those out-of-pocket expenses.

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Factors that determine your Vancouver condo insurance premium 

Insurance providers take many things into account when determining your Vancouver condo insurance. Your address and age of your building count, but even owners of similar units can have different insurance quotes. Here are some factors that insurers will consider when determining your condo insurance premium:

  • Your location. Location is a real estate catch-all. For insurance providers, it helps them determine risk factors such as the crime rate in your area. The higher the crime rate and likelihood of theft, the higher your Vancouver condo insurance premiums will be.
  • Your coverage options. You may require more coverage beyond what a basic policy offers. The extra protection will increase your premium.
  • Your deductible. A higher deductible means paying more to replace or repair an item before your insurance benefits kick in. The more you are willing to pay, the less of a financial liability you are to your provider, and the lower your Vancouver condo insurance premiums will be.
  • Your possessions. Your Vancouver condo insurance will cover your personal belongings. But there are limits. High-priced items such as fine art or jewelry will require extra coverage, adding to your premiums.
  • Preparedness in the event of a fire. Your insurance provider considers your proximity to a fire station or fire hydrant. The closer you are to safety infrastructure, the lower your Vancouver condo premiums will be.
  • Your heating system. Fire is a real problem that can occur with outdated heating systems. The more modern your system, the more favourable your rate will be.
  • Your habits. Insurance companies consider your personal habits when assessing your insurance premiums. For example, a household of smokers will face a higher premium than a couple who does not smoke.
  • Your condo building. Older buildings have older construction materials and systems. These tend to break down and cost a lot to repair. Insurance companies will want to know the age and materials of your building to determine premiums.
  • Your claims history. Claims histories are looked at by insurance providers when calculating premiums. Past claims indicate to providers that future claims might also occur, adding to your premium. Homeowners with long histories without claims can secure preferred rates on Vancouver condo insurance.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver condo insurance

Still have questions about condo insurance in Vancouver? We answer them here.

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

Getting the cheapest rates for Vancouver condo insurance starts with comparing quotes. Sites like RATESDOTCA help you find the most up-to-date quotes from the area's top providers. All you need to do is provide information about your condo insurance needs. We'll do the rest by providing quotes and, most importantly, choice.

What kind of risks do Vancouver condo owners face?

Vancouver is a large metropolitan area. As a result, issues of crime and theft can affect Vancouver condo owners. Also, being on the West Coast, Vancouverites should be prepared to face earthquakes or other natural occurrences such as floods, forest fires and landslides.

Older buildings may require upgrades and repairs to bring their units up to insurance standards.

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

Before listing your condo unit on Airbnb or Vrbo platforms, talk to your insurance provider. Turning it into a short-term rental unit may void your current insurance policy. Having your insurance cancelled can result in you paying significantly more for insurance and having difficulty finding an insurance company to cover you.

While Airbnb and Vrbo offer some “host protection,” you will still need short-term rental insurance to cover lawsuits, litigation or loss of income.

How can I file a condo insurance claim in Vancouver?

Assess the damage and contact your Vancouver condo insurance provider. You can file a claim by phone or even online. Take pictures of the damage.

Take a look at your policy and assess your deductible against any claim. Going forward with a claim may not make sense if the deductible is high.

Before disaster strikes, prepare an inventory of the personal effects you would want to have replaced if they were ever damaged.