When we talk about condo insurance, we tend to forget that there are two different but related types: the co-owner’s insurance and that of the condominium syndicate. While both types of insurance are equally important when it comes to protecting co-owners, is condo insurance mandatory for the private portion?

Condo insurance for the private portion: mandatory?

Insurance for the private portion is mandatory as it is by the condominium’s syndicate. Indeed, the declarations of co-ownerships require co-owners to take out and show proof of condo their insurance. As a co-owner, you must also provide confirmation that this insurance is still in effect each time you want to renew an insurance contract or change insurers by submitting an insurance certificate to the board of directors.

In order to accurately determine the appropriate amount of insurance, many condominium syndicates have the building assessed every five (5) years by professionals.

It is every co-owner’s responsibility to ensure that their condo is properly insured. This covers:

  • The movable assets on your property;
  • The improvements. That is, anything not mentioned in the standard unit description provided by the syndicate. It is essential to inform your insurer or your broker of any improvement that you may have made or make to your unit. That way, they will be able to assess whether the amount that you have taken out for the improvements is sufficient. In addition, since December 13, 2018, your condominium syndicate is required to complete a description of the private portions of a standard unit to allow for the identification of improvements. For example, an improvement may be: replacing carpeting with new wooden flooring, adding an air-conditioning unit, etc.;
  • Division;
  • Civil liability. This must cover the damages that you could cause to others, including damages to your own property that affects the “building” portion and to items included in the standard unit description, which are covered by the syndicate insurance.

What does the condominium syndicate insurance cover?

Insurance contracts for condominium syndicates cover the entire condo building except for the improvements made by a co-owner to their portion, based on the details mentioned in the standard unit description provided by the syndicate. In short, in the event of a disaster, they cover all the costs that would have to be paid if the building needed to be repaired or completely rebuilt, without taking the state of depreciation at the time of the damages into account.

Understanding your rights and obligations in terms of insurance

As you can see, co-owner insurance and condominium syndicate insurance are complementary and must, therefore, be harmonized to offer the best possible protection to co-owners. To ensure that you have fully understood both insurance contracts and their differences, you can request an insurance certificate from the condominium syndicate. In particular, to verify the amount of civil liability that is required by Law and that may be required in the declaration of co-ownership, such as a rider for sewer backup, for example. In addition, take the time to read your declaration of co-ownership carefully in order to know exactly what insurance covers each part of the building.

You will note that home insurance for co-owners that covers your property, your improvements, and the division, is necessary.