Condo Insurance

Whether you’re new to owning a home or downsizing in retirement, protecting your condo with the right insurance is crucial. Condo living has unique insurance needs, and our expert brokers here at Brokerlink can guide you to the best coverage for condos at an affordable price.

How condo insurance coverage can protect you

Condo insurance is a safety net for anyone living in a condominium. It’s like a shield, protecting the inside of your home, your belongings, and even you from unexpected events. Let’s break down how this insurance works:

Inside your home

Imagine your condo’s interior - the walls, floors, and ceilings. If these get damaged due to incidents like flooding or fire, condo insurance helps pay for repairs. This is important because the condo association’s insurance usually doesn’t cover inside your unit.

Your belongings

Think about everything you own inside your condo, from your TV to your clothes. If these items are stolen or damaged, condo insurance can help replace them, ensuring you don’t have to bear the full cost.

Liability protection

Accidents happen. If someone visits your condo and gets hurt, or if you accidentally cause damage to another unit, condo insurance can help cover legal or medical expenses. This can save you from huge out-of-pocket expenses.

Extra expenses

If something major happens and you can’t live in your condo while it’s being repaired, condo insurance can help cover your temporary living expenses, like hotel bills.

Does my condo corporation’s insurance cover me?

No. Your condo corporation’s insurance covers the building’s exterior and common areas, like the lobby, hallways, and amenities. This means things outside your individual unit, like the roof, building structure, and shared spaces, are protected by the condo corporation’s policy.

However, what’s inside your condo unit—your personal belongings, furniture, and sometimes even the interior finishes like flooring or countertops, are not covered by the condo corporation’s insurance policy. Also, if someone gets hurt inside your unit or you accidentally cause damage to another unit or common area, the condo corporation’s insurance won’t cover that, either.

This is where having your own condo insurance comes in. Condo insurance is a special type of insurance for people who own a condo. Unlike regular homeowners insurance, condo insurance focuses on the inside of your unit and your belongings. It fills in the gaps left by the condo corporation’s coverage to protect you and your home.

What does a standard condo insurance policy include?

In Canada, a standard condo insurance policy is designed to complement the coverage provided by your condo corporation’s master policy by providing coverage for dwelling, contents, liability, and additional living expenses. While the condo corporation’s insurance policy generally covers the building’s exterior and common areas, your personal condo insurance focuses on protecting the interior of your unit and much more. While policies can vary, here’s a breakdown of what a standard policy typically includes:

Dwelling coverage

This specific component is crucial in condo insurance. It covers the interior structure of your unit, including walls, floors, ceilings, and any upgrades or renovations you’ve made (sometimes referred to as “improvements and betterments”). For instance, if you’ve renovated your kitchen or installed custom bookshelves, these enhancements increase the value of your unit and should be protected.

If these structural elements or your enhancements are damaged due to covered risks, this coverage helps pay for repairs or reconstruction. Dwelling coverage can be adjusted to reflect these improvements, ensuring that your insurance matches the true value of your home.

Covered risks for condos often include:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Explosions
  • Falling objects
  • Car or aircraft impact

While your condo association’s insurance typically covers the exterior and common areas of the building, dwelling coverage focuses on the interior space you own. This means if a disaster damages the inside of your unit, this coverage can help pay for the repairs or rebuilding needed to restore your home.

It’s especially important for condo owners because, unlike renters, they own the interior structure of their units. This coverage ensures that your investment in your home is protected, keeping you from shouldering the full cost of repairs due to covered incidents.

Content(s) coverage

Contents coverage in a condo insurance policy is like having a safety net for everything you own inside your condo. Imagine everything you’ve filled your space with – your TV, computer, furniture, clothes, and even the decorations that make it feel like home. These items aren’t just physical objects; they represent your lifestyle and investment.

Contents coverage protects your personal property against risks like theft, fire, water damage (except for flooding from natural disasters), and vandalism. If something unexpected damages or destroys your belongings, this part of your insurance can help cover the repair or replacement costs. It ensures that you won’t have to start from scratch or bear the financial burden alone if bad luck strikes.

This coverage is particularly crucial in condo living, where others surround your personal space, and risks can come from not just your own actions but those of your neighbours. For example, if a neighbour’s pipe bursts and water seeps into your unit, damaging your furniture and electronics, contents coverage can help you recover your losses.

When you choose a condo insurance policy, paying attention to the details of contents coverage is essential. It’s not just about the maximum amount it covers but also understanding the types of events it covers, the process for making claims, and whether it values your items at their replacement cost or actual cash value (depreciated value).

Personal liability coverage

Liability coverage acts as your financial shield against accidents that could happen in your condo, where you might be held responsible. Imagine someone visits your condo and slips on a wet floor, injuring themselves. Or perhaps, in a less fortunate scenario, something you do causes damage to another person’s property, like water leaking from your unit into the one below. These situations can lead to costly medical bills or legal expenses if the injured party decides to sue for damages.

This third-party liability coverage not only covers the costs associated with injuries that occur to others within your condo but also extends to accidental damage you might cause to other parts of the building. This coverage is especially valuable in densely populated living environments like condos, where your actions can have a ripple effect on your neighbours.

For example, if you accidentally start a fire in your unit and it spreads, causing damage to the building or other units, your personal liability coverage can help with the associated costs.

Personal liability is there to protect you from having to pay out large sums from your own pocket, which is why it’s common for condo owners to purchase higher coverage limits, like $1 or $2 million, or even more. It’s a crucial part of your insurance policy, offering you peace of mind by safeguarding your financial well-being against the unpredictable nature of accidents and the lawsuits they might bring.

Additional living expenses coverage

This part of your insurance steps in to cover the cost of a temporary place to stay, like a hotel or rental, and can also help with other increased living costs during this time, such as eating out if you don’t have a kitchen to cook in. It’s essentially ensuring that despite the disruption to your home life, you won’t have to worry about where you’ll sleep at night or how you’ll manage your daily living.

This coverage is particularly comforting because it addresses the immediate concerns of “What now?” after an unexpected event, allowing you to focus on getting back to normal without the added stress of financial strain from these temporary but necessary extra expenses.

Remember, policies can vary, so it’s essential to read yours carefully and talk to your insurance provider or broker to understand exactly what’s covered and any additional options you might need. A standard condo insurance policy in Canada is designed to fill the gaps not covered by your condo corporation, providing a comprehensive safety net for your home, possessions, and financial well-being.

Additional coverage options to further protect your condo

Here are some extra types of coverage that could be good to look into. Unlike the ones mentioned before, they don’t come in a standard condo insurance policy, but for some people, they could be very beneficial add-ons to help policyholders build more comprehensive condo coverage:

Sewer backup coverage

Sewer backup coverage is a type of insurance that protects you if wastewater flows back into your condo instead of flowing out to the sewer system. This can happen during heavy rainstorms or when the sewer system gets overwhelmed.

Imagine turning on your lights to find your floors covered in water that’s come up from the drains—not a pleasant thought! This coverage helps pay for cleaning, repairing, and replacing any of your belongings that get damaged in this mess. Sewer backup coverage helps ensure that you won’t be left dealing with the cleanup costs and damages on your own if this gross and unfortunate event occurs.

Overland water coverage

Overland water coverage is an add-on that covers damage to your condo from water that flows over the ground and into your home. This can happen during heavy rainfalls, rapid snowmelts, or rivers or lakes overflowing their banks. Imagine a sudden spring thaw, causing the nearby river to rise and water to start creeping into your condo. It’s a scenario no one wants, but it happens. This coverage steps in to help pay for repairs and replace belongings damaged by this kind of water invasion.

Equipment breakdown coverage

Equipment breakdown coverage adds an extra layer of protection for the appliances and systems that make your home comfortable and functional, such as your air conditioner, refrigerator, and washing machine. Normally, if one of these critical pieces of equipment unexpectedly stops working due to a mechanical failure or an electrical issue, the cost to repair or replace it could be significant.

Standard condo insurance policies don’t cover these breakdowns, assuming they’re part of regular wear and tear. However, with equipment breakdown coverage, you’re protected against the sudden and accidental malfunctions of your home equipment. This means if your fridge suddenly gives out because of an electrical problem, this coverage can help cover the costs to repair or replace it, ensuring you’re not left footing a hefty bill for something outside your control.

Home business coverage

Home business coverage is an important addition to your condo insurance if you run a business from your home. This coverage is tailored to protect against risks that typical condo insurance doesn’t cover related to your business activities.

Imagine having clients visit your condo, owning business equipment, or storing inventory – if something goes wrong, like a client getting injured or your business equipment getting damaged, standard condo insurance might not cover these incidents.

Home business coverage steps in to fill this gap, offering protection for your business property, liability for customer injuries, and even loss of income if a covered event disrupts your business operations. It’s essentially making sure that both your home and your livelihood are protected, allowing you to focus on your work without worrying about potential mishaps.

Loss assessment coverage

Loss assessment coverage comes to your rescue when you have to pay for repairs or damages that are shared among everyone in your condo building, and these costs go beyond what the condo association’s insurance covers. For instance, if a storm damages the roof of your building or a common area like the lobby, the total repair costs might exceed the condo association's insurance. When this happens, the extra costs are divided among all the condo owners.

Without loss assessment coverage, you’d have to pay your share out of pocket, which could be unexpectedly high. This coverage helps cover those costs, ensuring you’re not suddenly burdened with a large bill for damages to shared parts of your building.

All perils insurance

All perils insurance for condos is a type of coverage that offers a broad level of protection against damage or loss to your unit and personal belongings. Think of it as an umbrella covering a wide range of incidents, except for specific exclusions in your policy. This could include fires, theft, vandalism, and certain types of water damage.

The main advantage of all perils insurance is its comprehensive nature; instead of worrying about whether a specific issue is covered, you can feel secure knowing you’re protected against a wide array of mishaps. However, it’s important to read your policy details carefully, as there might still be some events or items that are not covered, ensuring you fully understand what’s included in your policy.

Is condominium insurance mandatory in Canada?

In Canada, whether or not you need to have condo insurance isn’t dictated by a law that applies across the board, making it technically not mandatory in the same way car insurance is. However, while the government might not require you to have it, other situations essentially make it a must-have for condo owners.

First off, if you’re buying your condo with a mortgage, just like with home insurance, your lender will most likely require you to have condo insurance. This is because they want to protect their investment (your home) against possible damages. It’s a way for them to ensure that if something major happens, like a fire or water damage, the costs of repairs won’t jeopardize your ability to keep paying the mortgage.

Moreover, your condo corporation, the organization that manages all the condos in your building, might also require you to have personal condo insurance. While the condo corporation will have its own insurance policy for the building and common areas, this doesn’t cover what’s inside your unit or personal liability. So, if there were damages inside your unit or to your belongings, or someone got hurt visiting you without personal condo insurance, you would have to cover these costs on your own.

Having condo insurance, therefore, becomes more of an unwritten rule for financial security and peace of mind. It covers gaps left by the condo corporation’s policy, ensuring that your personal belongings, interior upgrades, and potential liabilities are taken care of. Beyond just being a good idea, protecting yourself financially is critical. So, while not legally mandatory, the reality of owning a condo in Canada makes insurance an essential part of the ownership experience.

If you’re wondering what else you need to know about condo insurance, a condo insurance broker here at Brokerlink can help. They can explain everything you need about condo insurance policies and help you determine the best coverage for your unique situation.

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Factors that can determine the cost of your condo insurance premium

When you buy condo insurance, the amount you pay, known as the premium, isn’t just a random number. Several factors play a role in determining this cost, making it unique for each condo owner. Your condo insurance premium is personalized to you, reflecting a combination of your individual circumstances, your condo’s specifics, and the choices you make about your coverage.

Understanding these factors can not only help you make informed decisions about your insurance but also identify opportunities to save money while still protecting your home and belongings:

Value of your belongings

The more stuff you have, and the more valuable it is, the higher your premium might be. This is because the insurance company is taking on a bigger risk to cover more expensive items. If you own high-end electronics, jewelry, or art, you’re looking at a higher cost to insure them.

Location of your condo

Where your condo is located can significantly impact your insurance premium. If you’re in an area prone to natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, your premium could be higher due to the increased risk. Additionally, condos in busy city centers might have higher premiums because of the greater likelihood of theft or vandalism compared to more suburban or rural areas.

Building security and features

The more secure your condo building, the lower your risk of theft or break-ins, which can reduce your premium. Building or home security features like security guards, surveillance cameras, and secure entry systems are viewed positively by insurance companies. Similarly, buildings with modern fire safety prevention systems, like sprinklers and smoke alarms, may also benefit from lower premiums.

Age and condition of the building

Insurance companies will consider certain things about the building, like the type, age, and condition of your condo's heating, electrical, and plumbing systems. Older buildings might have higher premiums because they’re more likely to have issues like plumbing leaks or electrical problems that could lead to claims. Buildings in poor condition or those that haven’t been well-maintained can also be seen as higher risks.

Claims history

If you’ve made insurance claims in the past, insurance companies might view you as a higher risk and charge higher premiums. Similarly, if the building you live in has a history of many claims, this can also affect your individual premium.

Type of coverage

The extent of your coverage also affects your premium. Basic coverage that protects against a limited number of risks will cost less than a comprehensive policy that offers broader protection. Additional coverages, like overland water protection or coverage for expensive jewelry, will also increase your premium.


The deductible is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium because you’re taking on more of the financial burden yourself. However, choosing a deductible you can afford is important in case of a covered claim.

Credit score

In some cases, insurance companies may consider your credit score when determining your premium. A higher credit score can sometimes lead to lower premiums because it suggests financial stability and responsibility.


Finally, you might be able to reduce your premium through various discounts. For example, being claims-free for a certain period, having multiple policies with the same company (like auto and condo insurance), or installing additional security features can all lead to lower costs.

Expert tips to help condo owners find cheaper insurance coverage

Saving money on condo insurance in Ontario is simpler than ever, especially with the help of a licensed insurance broker. At BrokerLink, our goal is to make your condo insurance as budget-friendly as it can be. We provide lots of tips and guidance to condo owners to help them lower their insurance costs. Check out some of our best advice below:

Shop around

Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Compare prices and coverage options from several insurance providers. Prices can vary significantly between companies for similar coverage, so shopping around can really pay off.

Bundle policies

If you have other insurance policies, like car, motorcycle, or cottage insurance, consider bundling them with the same provider. Many companies offer discounts when you have multiple policies with them, which can lead to substantial savings.

Increase your deductible

The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. By opting for a higher deductible, you can lower your premium costs. Just make sure it’s an amount you can comfortably afford if you need to make a claim.

Ask about discounts

Insurance companies often offer various discounts, but you might need to ask to find out about them. These can include discounts for having a security system, being claims-free, or even being a member of certain professional associations.

Review your coverage annually

Your insurance needs can change over time. Review your policy annually to ensure it still fits your needs. You might find you’re paying for coverage you no longer need or discover areas where you need more protection.

Improve home security

Enhancing the security of your condo with approved locks, a security system, or smoke detectors can not only make your home safer but can also qualify you for discounts on your insurance premium.

Understand what impacts premiums

Remember, factors like the location of your condo, the building’s age, and your personal claims history can affect your insurance rates. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions, like choosing a condo in a less risky area or in a newer building to lower your rates.

Limit claims

While it’s important to use your insurance when necessary, frequent claims can increase your premiums. Consider covering smaller losses out of pocket to maintain a lower claims history.

Update your policy for major renovations

If you make significant upgrades or renovations to your condo, inform your insurance provider. While this might not always lower your premium, it ensures your coverage reflects the current value of your home, preventing you from being underinsured.

Work with an insurance broker

An insurance broker can compare policies from multiple providers on your behalf, helping you find the best coverage at the most affordable price. They can also offer personalized advice based on your specific situation.

By following these tips, condo owners can find insurance coverage that protects their home and belongings without breaking the bank. Remember, the cheapest policy isn’t always the best; aim for a balance between cost and coverage to ensure you’re adequately protected.

Why work with a BrokerLink broker

Since 1991, the BrokerLink team has been dedicated to finding insurance policies that meet the needs and budgets of our customers. We are experts in all things insurance and can ensure you receive the most competitive rate on your policy.

We’re in your community

Getting involved in the community is a big part of who we are. We live and work in your community. We love meeting our neighbours!

Contact us

At BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible.

You can reach us by phone, email, or in person at any one of our locations throughout Canada. No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool that can provide you with a competitive quote in minutes.

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FAQs for condo insurance

How much is condo insurance in Canada?

The cost of condo insurance in Canada varies depending on the condo owner’s unique factors and circumstances, like where your condo is, how much coverage you need, and the value of your belongings. To understand how much you may pay for condo insurance in Canada, consider gathering free insurance quotes from several Canadian insurance companies to compare offers.

What is condo protection insurance?

Condo protection insurance is a type of insurance specifically designed for condo owners. It covers things inside your condo unit (like your furniture, electronics, and personal items), personal liability, and parts of the condo’s interior structure that aren’t covered by the condo corporation’s insurance.

Do you need insurance for a condo in Ontario?

No. However, while it’s not legally required by the Ontario government, most mortgage lenders and condo corporations will require you to have condo insurance in Ontario. It’s a smart idea to have it anyway because it protects your personal belongings and interior upgrades and covers you for liability.

What is the difference between a ho3 and ho6 policy?

HO3 policies are tailored to the specific needs of homeowners, while HO6 policies are tailored to the specific needs of condo living. An HO3 policy is for homeowners and covers the house itself, personal belongings, and liability. It typically offers open perils coverage for the home structure and named perils coverage for personal belongings. An HO6 policy is for condo owners and covers personal belongings, interior fixtures, and liability, but not the exterior or structure of the building, which is covered by the condo association’s policy.

Is condo insurance the same as property insurance?

No, condo insurance is not the same as property insurance. Property insurance usually refers to coverage for a standalone house, covering the building, belongings inside, and liability. Condo insurance, on the other hand, is tailored for condo owners, focusing on the inside of the unit (like your personal belongings and interior finishes), personal liability, and specific aspects of condo living that property insurance for standalone houses doesn’t cover.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.