Condo Insurance 101: What’s covered and what’s not

Your condo is your home, so why does it need different insurance? When it comes to a home you own the property, the buildings and everything inside. In a condo building, you only own your unit and the things inside – the rest is communal. So, while a home would have a single policy to cover everything, your condo has two different policies that provide different types of coverage. Confused already? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you.

Policy 1: Condominium Association Insurance

This is a building insurance policy (also called a master policy). As a unit owner, you’re automatically included as a policyholder along with all of the other unit owners within the Condominium Association.

What it covers:

  • Liability coverage. In case someone is injured on a common area maintained by the association this covers the medical and legal costs associated with it.
  • Property damage. If a covered peril, such as fire or theft, causes damage to the common areas like the lobby, elevators, amenities, outdoor spaces, etc. this would pay for the repair or replacement.

What it doesn’t cover:

  • All of the things inside your unit (aka your personal belongings).
  • Improvements you’ve made to your unit.

Deductible:

  • This policy has a deductible, which you could be responsible for paying if necessary in the event of a claim, depending on the by-laws of your condo corporation and who is at fault for the damage. The good news is that your Personal Condo Insurance may help cover this.

What it costs:

  • The Condominium Association Insurance premiums are paid for by the Condo Association using a portion of your annual/monthly condo fees.

Policy 2: Personal Condo Insurance

Condo Insurance isn’t mandatory, but if you carry a mortgage (as most of us do), it’s almost always required by your lender (and if you’re lucky enough to be mortgage-free, even more reason to protect yourself). Essentially, this policy covers what the Condominium Association policy doesn’t…

What it covers:

  • Liability Coverage. This protects you and the people in your condo unit in case you’re sued, whether you’re actually on your property or not. Learn more about liability coverage on and off your property.
  • Personal Belongings. All the things you own within your unit, including stuff in a storage locker are covered if something happens to them no matter where they are (in your condo unit or temporarily elsewhere). Check out our tips for how to protect your most expensive stuff.
  • Condo Special Coverage. If something happens, you’re covered for damage to any improvements that you’ve made to your unit – like that expensive hardwood floor or fancy new kitchen. Bonus: You’re also covered if your Condo Corporation’s insurance isn’t enough to repair damages to your unit. And, should your Condo Corporation enforce a special assessment for damages to the building or common areas, you’re covered for your share. This also includes the deductible assessed to you for any claims under the Condo Association policy.
  • Extra expenses after a loss. In case something happens and you can’t live in your condo unit, you’re covered for moving costs and increases in your normal household expenses until your unit is repaired.
  • Loss assessment. If a claim under the Condo Association Insurance exceeds the policy limits, you and the rest of the condo unit owners could be held financially responsible for the difference. This coverage could help you avoid paying out of pocket.

What it doesn’t cover:

  • If you’re covered with Sonnet and rent out your condo, there’s no need for a separate policy (like most insurers require), but there are some limitations to your coverage. For the most part, the things you keep at your condo are covered, but in the case of theft, you’re only covered for major appliances (fridges, stoves, freezers, dishwashers and laundry machines).

Deductible:

  • This policy also has a deductible. The good news, is that the amount is up to you. Get the 101 on Deductibles.

What it costs:

  • Compared to standard home insurance, condo insurance is very affordable – averaging just $30 per month. Not bad for all that coverage.


Protect your condo and the things you love most.
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