If you want to protect your property and be a good neighbour at the same time, it’s important to get the right condo insurance coverages. BC properties have some unique coverage requirements you want to be sure to consider.
Check out the sections below or chat with us to find out more.
Personal Property / Replacement Cost
This covers all of your contents that are on your property, including furniture and electronics, but also a whole lot more things you may not have thought of.
Personal Property Insurance can include things such as:
- Furniture, clothes, plates, pots and pans, electronics, jewellery, bikes, plants, garden tools
- Appliances that are not built-in, including the BBQ if permitted
- Some items such as jewellery, bicycles or wine have maximum coverage limits, but they usually can be scheduled to the full replacement value for additional premium
- Clean up and removal of contents after a covered loss
Your policy will indicate the amount of coverage on the declaration page. The limit is usually determined by you estimating the amount of contents you have that would need to be replaced in a total loss. The contents amount you choose is important as it directly impacts Additional Living Expense coverage.
Betterments and Improvements
Your condominium corporation’s insurance does not cover upgrades that you or a prior owner have made to your condominium unit.
Betterments and Improvements are any change made to the inside of your unit. This would include flooring, kitchen, bathrooms and any other similar types of changes.
Your condominium insurance policy provides Betterments and Improvements coverage for your unit. This covers the replacement value of the improvements made by you or the prior owner which include labour, materials and supplies.
Have you made upgrades to your condominium or townhome?
If so, you should speak with your Allwest broker to confirm if you need to make any changes to your current policy.
Additional Living Expenses
In the event of a claim that requires you to leave your premise while the repairs are being made, this coverage will provide assistance for increased costs of living during your claim.
You will continue to pay your normal monthly living costs; Additional Living Expenses will add the difference to those normal everyday costs.
- Typical costs covered include moving expenses, additional rent, damage deposits, and in certain cases meals and costs to set up your new temporary living situation
- Coverage can be short or long term depending on the loss
- Coverage limit provided is a percentage of the personal property coverage outlined on your insurance policy
Additional Living Expenses do not cover your normal ongoing day-to-day expenses. You would continue to pay your mortgage and associated costs. Additional Living Expenses would pay for new and unforeseen incurred expenses resulting from your loss if you are required to move out of your residence while the repair or rebuild is completed.
While you are responsible for the condition of your property and safety of those that come on to it, Liability coverage pays damages for personal injury or property damage that you are legally obligated to pay.
Coverage provides defense and settlement costs if you are deemed legally responsible for the loss.
- Your liability coverage includes property damage and personal liability protection
- Personal liability will provide you and the covered residents financial protection for claims of bodily injury and personal property damage against others
- For example, if someone slips on the stairs, or driveway, you could be deemed legally responsible for their injuries
- Or, if you are riding a bike and accidentally hit someone or something and you could be sued for damages – your personal liability would respond
- Or, a water or fire loss that originates from your suite as a result of your negligence
- Liability claims are complicated and can be lengthy, but the insurer will help you through the process
If you ever need it, this is one insurance policy you’ll be glad you have.
Sewer Back-Up coverage will clean up and fix resulting damage including:
- Clean up of grey and black water damaged areas
- Removal and disposal of damaged materials
- Repair and rebuild costs to make you whole again
There’s a lot of water in BC. This coverage will provide protection against a variety of water damage threats.
Coverage will usually include damage from:
- Rising waters from fresh water sources that enter at ground level through windows or doors
- Rain water, runoff and melting snow or ice
- Rivers/lakes that overflow their banks
- Coverage can vary from insurer to insurer so it is important to speak with your broker about your coverage needs
This coverage for Condominium or Townhome would provide protection for:
- Damage to contents stored in a storage lockers located on the condominium premises
- Building that is non-inhabitable
- Damage to your property or unit when water enters your unit from a deck
- Can provide coverage for valid strata deductible assessments
Note, there is no coverage for salt water flooding including tsunamis, waves or tidal waves. This is not available on a condo or townhome policy.
*This is optional coverage, but Allwest always recommends it be included in your policy.
Earthquake – Personal Property*
When it comes to condo insurance, Vancouver owners should always consider earthquake coverage, so your contents can be protected.
Earthquake insurance protects you for:
- Personal Property – Your Personal Property is protected when damaged by an earthquake
Earthquake coverage is subject to percentage deductibles that range from 5-25%. This deductible is calculated on the coverage limit of your contents. These deductibles will vary depending on where you live in BC.
*This is optional coverage, but Allwest always recommends it be included in your policy. This coverage is sometimes not offered by the insurer for various reasons.
Strata Deductible Assessment Coverage
Condominium claims and losses are a big issue affecting condominium owners. Your strata building insurance policy may have large deductibles that you could be responsible for. Knowing these strata deductibles will help you select the right coverage.
In most cases a strata policy deductible will be assessed against the unit owner who is responsible for the loss to strata common property. The condominium’s strata building insurance policy will often have varying deductibles for different types of losses. The most common deductible assessments are due to losses from Water, Sewer Back up, Sprinkler Discharge, Fire and Earthquake.
Condominium owners can be personally responsible for damages to Strata Common Property that originate from your unit.
Your strata building insurance policy may not cover an insured loss when it is under the strata policy deductible. In situations like this, your Loss Assessment coverage will pay for the repairs. This coverage helps close gaps between the strata building insurance policy and your condominium insurance policy.
This applies in situations when a Strata Building Insurance Policy has insufficient or no coverage. In cases like this, your Contingent Liability coverage will respond to pay for losses from covered claims for which you are responsible.
The BC Strata Act requires that a building be rebuilt or replaced after a loss. In cases where there is insufficient or no insurance, each owner will be assessed their share of the shortfall. If valid, your Condominium Insurance Contingent Liability coverage will respond to this assessment.
If your identity is compromised, then you will receive coverage for reimbursement of expenses associated with restoring your identity such as legal, notary, government fees and charges subject to policy limits.
Condominium / Townhome Insurance FAQs
Where is the common area in my condominium or townhome?
This would be commonly shared spaces such as your lobby, hallways, parkade, elevators and outside garden spaces.
Is my assigned storage locker insured by my condominium policy?
Yes, this assigned storage locker is insured if on the same premises as your condominium unit.
How do I get a copy of the strata building policy?
Your Strata Property Manager or your Strata Council should be able to provide you with this information.
Why are strata rates rising?
Strata insurance rates are rising most likely because of claims frequency, reinsurance costs for your insurer, and rising claim costs.
Terms and conditions apply and rates, coverage, underwriting guidelines and product availability are provided by the insurance companies represented by Allwest Insurance. They are subject to change without notice.
*Indicates coverage may be optional or increased for additional premium