Protecting your condo investment in Quebec
Congrats on buying your condo! Naturally, you want to make the most of your new lifestyle and enjoy peace of mind. Understanding the insurance side of things will help you do that.
When you buy a condo, you become the owner of your unit (private portion) and a part-owner of the building itself, including the lobby, hallways, roof and so on (common areas). As a condo owner, you need two policies: one that covers the condo unit owner and one that covers the syndicate of co-owners.
Condominium unit owners insurance
When you own a condo, you have certain responsibilities, like protecting your personal property. It’s also a great way to protect your investment.
Your condo home insurance covers:
- Furniture and personal effects
- Civil liability (for any property damage or injury caused to someone, for which you may be held responsible)
- Any improvements that have been made to your private portion
Here are some changes that could increase the value of your condo:
- Replacing kitchen cabinets
- Doing a complete reflooring
- Installing a heat pump
Are you planning any renovations, like replacing your bathroom counters? Make sure you let your insurer know, so that your condo is insured for its proper value.
The syndicate of co-owners (sometimes called a condominium corporation) has a business insurance policy covering the building and common areas. By law, your syndicate is required to take out insurance for common risks (e.g., theft, fire), for an amount corresponding to the building’s replacement cost.
The syndicate’s insurance also covers:
- The building itself, including common areas
- The building portion of each unit, such as walls, floors and windows
- Original installations
- Common property (e.g., garage, gym, roof deck furniture)
- The syndicate’s civil liability (mandatory)
- Administrators’ liability
Find out if your syndicate has enough coverage; if it doesn’t, adjust your coverage accordingly.
In the event of a loss
You’ve barely completed your bathroom renovations when the tub in the condo above you overflows, causing major damage to your unit. Are you covered?
- The syndicate’s insurance will cover the expenses to restore your bathroom to its original condition (walls, ceilings, melamine counters).
- Your condominium unit owners insurance will cover the improvements you made, that is, the difference in price between the original kitchen cupboards and the granite cabinets you replaced them with, for example.
Condo fees, reserve and self-insurance funds
Your condo fees allow the syndicate to carry out regular building upkeep and to establish the funds necessary to undertake major repairs or to pay insurance deductibles for losses affecting both private and common portions of the building. Don’t skimp when it comes to paying your condo fees—they play an essential role in the financial health of the building and preparing for the unexpected.
To review how the latest legislative changes for divided co-ownership in Quebec impact syndicates and unit owners, check out our helpful quick guide.
Ask your insurance broker
To find out more about this subject, or if you have any questions, call your broker—your best source for information and advice.