Condo Insurance in Toronto

Property insurance isn’t just for multi-story houses; it’s also for condos. Insurance for condos is a special type of home insurance that protects condominium units against all kinds of risks, from property damage to liability claims. Below, we explain what you need to know about condo insurance and how it covers you.

Is condo insurance required in Toronto?

Home insurance in Toronto, including condo insurance, is not a legal requirement. That said, if you took out a mortgage to buy your condo, then your mortgage lender may require you to have it. While it varies between mortgage contracts, most lenders stipulate that the borrower holds certain types of coverage and specific amounts of those types of coverage.

You will need to show proof of your insurance to your lender before they will issue your mortgage. If you recently signed a mortgage agreement that requires you to buy condo insurance, reach out to an insurance broker in Toronto who can review your contract and help you find the types of coverage you need.

On the other hand, if you do not have a mortgage - whether you bought your condo with cash or you already paid off your mortgage - you will not be obligated to purchase condo insurance. That said, given that condo insurance covers fire damage, liability claims, and more, it’s a wise choice to purchase it.

Am I covered by my condo corporation’s insurance?

No. This is a common misconception, and we want to set the record straight due to the importance of insurance. Many condo owners assume that the condo and maintenance fees they pay every month cover insurance for their personal units.

The reality is that the insurance policy carried by your condo corporation only covers damage to the building and common areas shared by all residents, such as hallways, elevators, the lobby, the fitness room, etc. Thus, if a fire breaks out and damages the gym, the condo association’s insurance will cover the cost of the damage. However, if a fire breaks out in your specific unit, you would be on the hook for the cost of the damage.

Your condo association’s property insurance would not cover the cost of repairing the damage or replacing any personal items of yours that were lost in the fire. Thus, you should always purchase your own condo insurance policy rather than relying on the insurance coverage of your condominium association.

What types of risks does condo insurance cover?

When you purchase condo insurance, you are purchasing financial protection should something go wrong. There are many risks that you face as the owner of a condo, from fire damage to water damage, and condo insurance can help mitigate them. A few of the specific ways that condo insurance can cover you include:

Condo insurance can replace your personal belongings

First, condo insurance can help replace the personal belongings inside your condo if they are damaged. Every condo insurance policy has a section that pertains to personal property. If the items inside your home are damaged or stolen due to a covered peril, you can file a claim, and your insurance company will pay to repair or replace the lost items.

Some policies will also cover you even while the items are temporarily removed from your condo, such as if they are in a storage unit. Just make sure that you choose a coverage limit that reflects the value of all the items inside your home in case you suffer a total loss.

In addition, not all basic condo insurance policies protect high-value items, such as jewellery or musical instruments, so be sure to check with your insurance broker if you have specialty items that you wish to be insured.

Condo insurance can pay for your living expenses after a loss

If your condo is severely damaged in a fire, flood, or by another covered peril, and you are forced to relocate temporarily, your condo insurance might pay for your living expenses during this time. This would be through the loss of use coverage portion of your policy, which could pay for the cost of renting a hotel, buying meals, and purchasing clothing or other necessary personal items.

Your condo insurance may also cover any maintenance or condo fees that you are required to pay during this time frame.

Condo insurance may cover improvements and renovations

Another thing that your Toronto condo insurance policy might cover is renovations. Believe it or not, when you add improvements and betterment coverage to your policy, any changes or updates you make to your condo unit can be covered by your insurance.

In the event of a loss, your condo policy will take into consideration the cost of your renovations and reimburse you accordingly.

Condo insurance will protect you against liability claims

All condo insurance policies include third-party liability insurance. In other words, all policies protect the policyholder against liability claims. While your condo corporation’s policy likely protects against liability claims that arise from incidents that occur in the building’s common areas, if an incident occurs inside your unit, you will be on the hook for it. For example, if you’re having a dinner party and a guest falls and injures themselves while standing in your kitchen, they could sue you.

Without condo insurance, the cost of the lawsuit could be incredibly expensive. Thankfully, if you have condo insurance, the third-party liability portion of the policy would cover the associated costs, including defence and settlement fees. Most policyholders in Toronto choose to add between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 in liability coverage to their condo insurance policies.

Protect your Toronto condo unit with a condo insurance policy

If you choose to buy a Toronto condo insurance policy, you can expect it to contain no less than the following three types of coverage:

Dwelling coverage

Dwelling coverage is a type of property insurance coverage that can be found in nearly every home insurance contract. It protects you if your physical condo unit, such as the walls or windows, is damaged. However, it only protects policyholders against damage if the damage was caused by an insured peril. Most dwelling coverage plans include coverage for the following perils:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Wind
  • Car / aircraft impact
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects

You can also purchase all perils insurance for even broader protection.

Content(s) coverage

Contents coverage is the second type of coverage that you will find in your condo insurance policy. Remember when we were talking about how condo insurance can pay to repair or replace the personal property inside your unit if it is damaged? Contents coverage is the specific coverage type that does this. Similar to dwelling coverage, so long as the damage to the belongings inside your home is caused by a covered peril listed in your policy, your insurer will issue a payout to cover the cost of the loss.

Personal liability coverage

Lastly, practically all Toronto condo insurance policies include personal liability coverage, also known as third-party liability coverage. This coverage type protects policyholders against third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and more. In other words, if a guest visits your home and injures themselves or their property is damaged while inside your unit, they could sue you.

If this worst-case scenario occurred, you could file a personal liability claim with your condo insurance provider and receive compensation to help fight and settle the claim. This type of coverage can also pay for medical bills if someone is injured or repair bills if their property is damaged.

Extra condo insurance coverage for Toronto homeowners

The three types of condo insurance coverage listed above are not the only types of coverage available to you. As a policyholder, your insurance company likely has a wide range of enhanced coverages that you can choose to add to your policy if you wish. An insurance broker at BrokerLink can recommend the types that might be most worthwhile for your needs and explain how each of them can protect you. For a brief overview of some of the most important types of extra condo insurance coverage in Toronto, keep reading:

Home business coverage

Home-based business coverage is a type of protection you should seriously consider if you regularly work from home or run a business out of your home. Basic condo insurance does not protect against business-related damage, so if inventory or business equipment is damaged or if a client visits your home and injures themselves, your policy will not cover you. You would need to add a home business coverage endorsement to your plan to be covered for business-related risks.

Equipment breakdown coverage

Equipment breakdown coverage is another type of enhanced protection. It is designed to cover household equipment and appliances if they break down. For example, if your oven or washing machine suffered a mechanical failure, you could file an equipment breakdown claim with your insurance provider and receive a payout to help you repair or replace it.

Please note that while equipment breakdown coverage can cover a wide range of appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, furnaces, air conditioners, and more, it will only cover you if the damage or breakdown was caused by an internal failure. Wear and tear are not covered.

Sewer backup coverage

Sewer backup coverage is a type of water damage coverage that can protect you if a sewage backup occurs and comes out of the drains in your home, causing water damage.

Overland water coverage

Overland want coverage is another type of water damage coverage. However, this type protects you against the cost of water damage or flooding that occurs due to a nearby lake or river, overflow, heavy rain, or rapid snow melt.

Factors that may impact your condo insurance premium in Toronto

Many factors can impact your Toronto condo insurance premium. For instance, when an insurance agent is calculating your rates, they will likely ask about the following:

  • How valuable your Toronto condo is
  • How safe and desirable your neighbourhood is
  • How close your condo is located to emergency services
  • The type, age, and condition of the heating system that your Toronto condo uses, older systems like oil tanks or wood stoves may lead to higher premiums
  • The type, age, and condition of the electrical system in your Toronto condo
  • The type, age, and condition of the plumbing system in your Toronto condo
  • Whether your Toronto condo is equipped with a home security system, and if so, what type of system it has
  • The coverages, limits, and deductibles you choose to add to your policy you can learn more about premiums and deductibles here
  • Your insurance claims history

To find out how much your Toronto condo insurance policy will cost you, reach out to BrokerLink and request a free insurance quote.

Tips to find cheap condo insurance in Toronto

Finding cheap condo insurance might seem like an impossible task, but not when you work with an insurance broker. Here at BrokerLink, we aim to make condo insurance as affordable as possible. Continue reading to discover some of our top tips for minimizing how much you pay for condo insurance:

Get rid of coverage you no longer need

Our first tip to find cheap condo insurance in Toronto is to get rid of coverage you no longer need. Policyholders often forget to update their condo insurance policies as time goes on, but this is important. The reality is that your insurance needs and risk tolerance can change over time. Your policy coverage should change with it. Otherwise, you could end up paying for additional coverage that no longer serves you. Ask a BrokerLink insurance broker to review your policy the next time that it is up for renewal. They can give you an expert opinion on what types of coverage should remain on your policy and which can be removed to save money.

Install a security system in your Toronto condo

Did you know that installing a security system inside your Toronto condo could make you eligible for an insurance discount? Insurance companies like to reward policyholders who take extra steps to avoid certain risks, such as theft. Since burglar alarm systems are known to deter thieves, installing one in your condo could lower your premium. Please note that the type of system you choose to install will impact exactly how much money you save on your policy.

Bundle condo and auto policies in Toronto

If you drive a car in Toronto, then you might want to consider bundling your home and auto policies. If you purchase both policies from the same insurance provider, they might give a discount that could allow you to pay less for both plans.

Choose a high home insurance deductible for your Toronto condo coverage

The higher your deductibles, the lower your premium is likely to be. So if you can afford a higher deductible for the different types of coverage included in your Toronto condo insurance policy, you will likely end up paying less money for your policy upfront. That said, in the event of a claim, you will need to be prepared to pay a larger amount of money out of pocket because you will need to pay your deductible amount before the insurance company will pay the rest.

Practice fire safety to avoid a fire claim

Avoiding insurance claims is a great way to keep costs down, especially since your claims history is one factor that will be considered when an insurance agent assigns you a premium. Thankfully, you can avoid a fire by practicing fire safety. This means having a fire extinguisher in your home, regularly testing the smoke detectors in your home and replacing the batteries as necessary, never overcrowding electrical outlets, and never leaving open flames unattended.

We’re in your community

BrokerLink takes a customer-first approach to insurance. We get to know our customers first so that we can recommend the best possible coverage for their needs. Whether you’re looking for condo insurance, car insurance, or pet insurance, reach out to BrokerLink today and speak with a licensed insurance advisor if you want a tailor-made policy recommendation.

Contact BrokerLink to learn more about Toronto condo insurance

At Toronto 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 of our Ontario locations. 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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Toronto condo insurance FAQs

Where can I buy condo insurance in Toronto?

You can purchase condo insurance from an insurance broker or an insurance company. Both types of insurance professionals offer high-quality condo insurance solutions for all customers. Do your due diligence and shop around before committing to a specific insurer. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting the best possible coverage for the most affordable price.

Is it safe to buy Toronto condo insurance online?

Yes, purchasing condo insurance online is not only perfectly safe but is now one of the most common ways of buying this type of coverage. Visit your insurance company or broker’s website to find out more about how you can select a policy and purchase it online.

What isn’t covered by Toronto condo insurance?

Toronto condo insurance does not cover every risk, so it’s important to understand what you are and are not covered for. Generally speaking, condo insurance policies do not cover damage caused by wear and tear or damage caused by neglect. For example, if you fail to maintain your condo and it falls into a state of disrepair, your insurance provider will not pay for the damage.

In addition, if you leave your condo unit vacant for a period of 30 consecutive days or more, your condo insurance plan also may not cover you if damage, such as theft, occurs during this time. If you regularly go on long vacations, reach out to your insurer about additional coverage in the form of a vacant insurance rider.

Further, if you rent out your condo on a home-sharing website like Airbnb, you also will not be covered for any damage that occurs while it’s rented unless you add an endorsement to your policy. The same goes for damage during renovations or water damage. Unless you specifically add renovations insurance, sewer backup insurance, or overland water insurance to your Toronto condo policy, you will not be covered for any damage caused by these risks.

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