What Does Condo Insurance Cover In Canada?

Condo insurance is a unique type of property insurance designed to protect condo owners. Given how condo ownership is structured, you can think of condo insurance as something of a hybrid between tenant’s insurance and homeowner’s insurance.

In this article, we’re going to explore exactly what condo insurance is, what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and what additional coverages policyholders might consider purchasing as additions to their condo insurance.

There’s a lot of information to discuss—so let’s get right into it!

Basic Common Area Insurance

We’ll begin by defining what condo insurance isn’t—it’s not insurance that covers damage to the condo building. The condominium corporation’s insurance covers that (sometimes called condo association insurance)—your condo fees go, in part, toward paying the premium. 

This type of insurance is sometimes called common area insurance, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. In reality, condominium corporation insurance covers most of the condo building—with a few notable exceptions. Here’s what’s typically covered:

Condominium Building

Condominium corporation insurance covers the common areas of the condo—it also covers the units themselves. This means that if your walls, ceilings, or other elements of your unit’s structure are damaged by a hazard covered by the corporation’s insurance, the policy will pay out to cover the damages.

Contents within the common areas—be they furniture, gym equipment, or other property—are also covered by the condominium corporation’s insurance. Basically, if it’s in a common area or it’s a part of the building as it was originally built or upgraded by the condo corporation, it’s covered by condo insurance. Upgrades in your unit that were purchased or installed by you, on the other hand, will not be covered.

Note that not all condo corporation insurance policies cover the units themselves—though the vast majority do. Check with your condo corporation to see what its insurance policy covers. 

Building Liability

Liability is an important part of any insurance policy—and the condo corporation’s insurance is no exception. The corporation is responsible for protecting tenants, visitors, and other people on its property; slip and trip accidents from icy walkways and injuries caused by faulty furniture in common areas are its responsibility. 

The building liability offered by condo corporation insurance provides financial protection for legal action taken against the corporation. This does not, however, cover liability in your unit or when you’re outside of your home. 

Unit Fixture Coverage

Most condo corporation insurance policies also cover fixtures within your unit, including appliances, plumbing, and flooring. Remember, however, that it will not cover upgrades to those fixtures you purchased or installed. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to purchase your own condo insurance policy. 

Typical Condo Insurance Coverage

Now that you understand what’s covered by your condo corporation’s insurance policy, we can talk about the importance of a personal condo insurance policy.

Condo insurance protects your personal property, improvements made to your unit, and more. Let’s dive into some of the typical features of a condo insurance policy: 

Condo Unit

Most condo units and their fixtures are already covered by condo corporation insurance—this isn’t always the case, however. In order to get the right condo insurance policy for your needs, you’ll need to talk to your condo corporation about the type of coverage its policy offers for your condo unit. 

Personal Property

Your condo insurance will cover personal property—that means everything ranging from your furniture to collectibles and jewellery. 

Most people have more money tied up in personal belongings than they realize—tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine having to replace every article of clothing you own, your electronics, kitchen appliances, and more—personal property coverage is an essential part of condo insurance and one of the best reasons to purchase a condo insurance policy.

There are a few things you should know about the personal property coverage offered by most condo insurance policies:

  • Personal property is covered even when you’re not in your condo—this means your laptop is covered if, for example, it gets stolen from your workplace.
  • Most policies place specific limits on things like jewellery and collectibles—you’ll need to purchase additional coverage for these items separately.

To get the most out of your condo insurance policy, we recommend taking an inventory of your personal belongings, including their purchase price—and keeping receipts if possible. Should you need to claim, this inventory will expedite and simplify the claiming process.

Unit Upgrades

Condo owners will frequently upgrade their appliances, change their flooring, purchase higher-quality countertops, and make other changes to their units. These changes aren’t covered by condo corporation insurance—but they are covered by condo insurance.

Given the high cost of many of these upgrades, buying condo insurance is an excellent idea if you plan on renovating your unit. In truth, it’s a good idea to buy condo insurance even if you aren’t planning any renovations—liability and personal property coverage is essential—but having protections in place makes renovating a much more financially sound plan.

Personal Liability

Condo corporation insurance may cover icy walkways—but it doesn’t cover accidents within your unit. Personal liability does—and it covers accidents away from your home, as well.

Here’s how personal liability insurance works: It covers accidents that you are liable for, be they property damage or personal injury. Liability insurance covers you for accidents within your condo unit, but it also covers you for most accidents that you may be found liable for outside of your unit—excluding accidents that occur due to the operation of your vehicle.

Lawsuits linked to liability can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars—in fees, damages, and more. The personal liability coverage offered by your condo insurance can cover all of the above.

Additional Living Expenses

Should your condo unit become unlivable due to a hazard that’s covered, your policy may help you pay for costs associated with living away from home through additional living expenses coverage. 

With additional living expenses coverage, your policy may cover the additional costs of:

  • Food
  • Hotel rooms
  • Transportation
  • And more

These expenses can add up quickly, especially if you’re out of your home for months at a time; additional living expenses coverage is an essential part of your condo insurance package. 

Loss Assessment Coverage

When the condo corporation undergoes a substantial loss due to damage to the condo building, unit owners may be asked to pay a fee known as loss assessment. This fee can help the condo corporation pay for repairs, deductibles, and other fees.

Loss assessment coverage means that your condo insurance can help you pay for your portion of the loss assessment fee. 

Common Coverage Additions for Condo Owners

Condo owners will often add additional coverage to their condo insurance policy. We’ve already talked about adding higher limits for personal belongings like jewellery and collectibles—here are some other common additional coverages that may be purchased:

Extended Water Damage

Water damage coverage is fairly limited on most insurance policies. Extended water damage coverage can protect you from sewer backup and sump pump failure, as well as melting ice and snow or rainfall that seeps through your condo unit’s ceilings or walls. The types of water coverage vary significantly from policy to policy, so be sure to check with your insurance broker to find out what coverage is available! 

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious issue in Canada—fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself. We recommend reading the guide we just linked to—we also recommend you consider purchasing identity theft coverage.

This protection can help you recoup lost earnings, pay for legal fees, and more. Some condo insurance policies come with identity theft protection automatically—others will require you to purchase additional coverage. Review your policy carefully, and decide whether or not identity theft protection is right for you!

Contact Nation West Insurance for Your Next Condo Insurance Policy

Now that you know what condo insurance covers, it’s easy to understand how important it is. Condo insurance covers:

  • Your personal property
  • Unit upgrades
  • Liability
  • Additional living expenses
  • Loss assessment fees
  • And, in some circumstances, your condo unit itself!

Don’t have condo insurance yet? Contact one of our insurance brokers today. We’ll help you find the policy that perfectly matches your needs. Coverage levels, what’s covered, and additional coverages all vary from policy to policy—call a condo insurer broker at Nation West; they’ll go through dozens of policies to find the best one for you!

Ken Coughlin

About the Author

Ken Coughlin


Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the insurance industry. Strong business development professional skilled in Negotiation, Budgeting, Business Planning, Operations Management, and Property & Casualty Insurance.

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