A condominium corporation is required to maintain insurance to protect common property, condominium units (in conventional condominiums), board members and itself from liabilities.
Tip for owners: You are entitled to request a copy of the corporation’s insurance policy and an insurance certificate. If you make a written request for a copy of the insurance policy, the condo corporation must provide it to you within 30 days of receiving your request. If you make a written request for an insurance certificate, the condo corporation must provide it to you within 10 days of receiving your request. Click here to learn more about information requests.
Tip for owners and board members: Insurance is a complex topic. To learn more, go to the Insurance Bureau of Canada for further information.
The condominium corporation must place and maintain insurance in the amount of the replacement value of the insured property. A corporation is required to maintain insurance to protect common property against loss resulting from destruction or damage caused by:
- Fire and/or leakage from fire protective equipment;
- Explosion of natural, coal or manufactured gas;
- Water damage caused by flood;
- Water damage caused by sewer back-up or the sudden and accidental escape of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, sprinkler or air conditioning system or a domestic appliance that is located within an insured building;
- Impact by aircraft, spacecraft, watercraft and land vehicles;
- Riot, vandalism or malicious acts; and
- Any other causes as required by the condominium by-laws.
Tip for condo boards: Condominium corporations can maintain insurance on units and/or common property against additional perils other than the ones required by law. Check with your insurance representative and/or lawyer to determine the appropriate amount of insurance coverage for you.
In a conventional condominium, a corporation is also required to maintain insurance on the condominium units, except for any improvements made to the units by the owners. Improvements may include:
- renovations that have been done by owners after the unit was built
- builder upgrades that were included in the original unit
- anything defined as an improvement by the condominium’s bylaws.
If required by the bylaws, the corporation must also maintain insurance on improvements.
A corporation also has to maintain insurance to protect itself from any liabilities incurred by board members and the corporation itself when they are carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
Tip for condo boards: Check the condo corporation’s bylaws regarding insurance and ensure you obtain the advice of an insurance representative and/or lawyer to determine the appropriate amount of insurance coverage for you.
Personal Home Insurance
The corporation’s insurance does not protect your personal possessions or liability. You should always buy homeowner’s insurance to cover your personal possessions and liability. Unless the bylaws say otherwise, your condominium corporation’s insurance will not cover improvements made to your unit. An insurance broker will be able to review the condominium corporation’s insurance policy and advise you about what type of condominium homeowner’s insurance is best for your situation.
For more information, read Ask Maria: Betting on Insurance.
An insurance deductible is money that must be paid to the insurer before the insurer will pay out any expenses for a claim. Some condominium corporations will have bylaws stating who will be responsible for paying the deductible for damage caused to the common property.
Tip for condo boards: Some insurance companies offer owners deductible coverage that will help pay for the corporation’s deductible if the owner is responsible for paying it. Check with your insurance representative to discuss this type of coverage.
The Condominium Property Amendment Act will bring in new condominium insurance rules. This website will be updated when the new rules come into force.
Last updated: November 2016