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Overview

Condominiums come in many different shapes and sizes. From 100 square foot bachelor pads to large houses classified as bareland condos. Condos are the most misunderstood insurance product out there. It’s important to deal with a broker that asks the right questions and has the expertise to align you with the right product.

Coverage Options

  • Jewellery
  • Business property
  • $1,000,000 condo specific protection
  • Overland water
  • Seepage
  • Sewer backup
  • Service line
  • Umbrella liability
  • Home business
  • Identity theft
  • Parent in a nursing home
  • Watercrafts
  • Seasonal Residences

Common Questions You May Have

Q: Are there coverages that are only for Condos?
A:

Condos are very complicated and are often incorrectly insured. Many folks are lulled into thinking that the policy that insures the entire building is sufficient for them. This is not true. There are some major gaps in coverage that can only be addressed by a personally held condo policy.

Loss Assessment

If the condo corporation has a large claim for which they must pay their deductible a “loss assessment” can be imposed. This means the cost of the deductible is divided between the unit owners. Condo corporations often have very high deductibles so these assessments can be a nasty surprise. Luckily this is covered by most (but not all!) personally held condo policies.

 

Unit Improvements and Betterments

Any improvements that were made to your unit since the condo was built are not covered by the condo corporation’s master policy. This includes improvements made by the previous owners of your unit.

 

Contingent Liability

Sometimes the condo corporation’s policy is simply insufficient. This could be due to expiry, inadequate coverage or maybe a loss just isn’t covered. Contingent liability will step in to assist you with your portion of a loss if the condo corporation’s policy doesn’t respond.

Q: How do you determine how much coverage I need?
A:

Assuming you don’t have a bareland condo, you will need to provide us with the amount of contents coverage you require. The best way to calculate this is to go through your residence and take note of all of the contents you own (handy info on keeping an inventory can be found here. Once you have taken stock of the contents you own you will need to calculate the replacement cost to replace everything you own. Tip: clothes are usually a lot more expensive than you would think.

Q: What’s a bareland condo?
A:

If you own a bareland condo it means that the condominium corporation doesn’t actually own the building you live in. This is a fancy way of saying that if your condo is classified as “bareland” you will need to buy a special type of home insurance policy. We recommend that you look carefully at the insurance portion of your condominium declarations that outline what type of insurance you must purchase.

Q: What do I need to do when I’m traveling?
A:

If it looks like you aren’t home the likelihood for a break-in or malicious damage is a lot higher. If you leave your property unattended it is always a good idea to have someone pick up your mail, ensure your yard is tended and inspect the interior on a regular basis.

Special note for travelling during the colder months:

Water damage from frozen pipes is not covered if the home is left unsupervised. So if you are away during the regular heating season you should have a trusted person check your residence daily. We also recommend turning off your water and draining the pipes if possible.

Q: Is my home business covered under my policy?
A:

If there is a business or office in your home, the insurance company must be made aware of it. Coverage usually needs to be added separately and is subject to different guidelines than homeowners insurance. Just a heads-up: failure to notify your insurance company of a home business can result in a denied claim.

Q: What is the difference between broad and comprehensive coverage?
A:

Without getting too technical, the major difference between broad and comprehensive coverage is that comprehensive will provide enhanced coverage for your contents. The most commonly denied claims under a broad form policy are mysterious disappearance (missing luggage) and accidental damage (a ring falls down the drain). If you had a comprehensive policy these losses would be covered.

Q: Am I covered for sewer back-up or overland flooding?
A:

Not necessarily. These two coverages need to be purchased additionally and are not automatically included in your policy. The availability and pricing is based on preventative measures you have taken (sump pump, back water valve) and the “risk zone” in which your property is located. Not all companies offer overland flooding coverage because it is brand new to the market.

Q: What are Special Limits?
A:

Special limits are categories of property that have a unique limit of insurance. Examples of property with special limits are cash, jewelry, furs, bicycles and business property. Limits of insurance on such items vary by company and, in some cases, by policy.

Coverage can usually be extended for an additional premium. Each company’s wording booklet details the items and limits that apply. Contact us for more information.

Q: I no longer require my policy. How do I cancel it, and do I get any money back?
A:

If you no longer require your policy, we can cancel it by written request only. All individuals named on the policy must sign for cancellation. If your policy is up for renewal, sign the back of the policy for cancellation and return it to us. On renewal only the policy is returned for flat cancellation, meaning no cancellation charge or refund applies. If you wish to cancel your policy midterm, a cancellation fee proportionate to the number of days remaining on the policy will be applied against any refund.

Q: I am doing or planning to do renovations to my home. What do you need to know?
A:

We will need to know when you plan on starting, the nature of your renovation and if you plan on staying in your residence throughout the renovations. Major renovations that result in vacancy should be discussed prior to their start, as a vacancy or construction permit may be required. You should also let us know once the work is completed so we can update your insurance.

Q: I have a roommate/renter/boarder. Are they covered under my policy?
A:

No. Coverage is only provided for the named insured, their spouse and any dependents. Tenants and other individuals should obtain their own contents policy. While coverage may be extended to include other persons, it is usually at an additional cost and is not recommended. Failure to notify your insurance company of tenants will void your coverage.

Q: Why has my premium increased?
A:

We understand that no one enjoys watching their bills increase. However, just like the cost of groceries, insurance prices don’t stay the same. While an inflationary increase is very common (just like your groceries) we ensure that any substantial increases will be addressed by our renewal advisors. Remember, we work for you primarily, not the insurance companies. If you are not a Crossroads Insurance client yet, we would love the opportunity to quote you. Feel free to use our online