Choosing the right insurance for your condo means knowing your specific condo type and how your insurance relates to your condo corporation setup. Here are the common types of condo ownership or rental agreements to be aware of as you look to find the right insurance:
Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Fear not! A life lease is just the right to occupy a specific unit, which includes the use of common areas, in exchange for an initial lump sum payment and monthly payments to cover management fees, maintenance and operating expenses. This agreement is typically for life or until you are no longer capable of living there and you move on to your next grand adventure!
This topic can get confusing. Is it the land? Is it the condo? Who is responsible for what? By definition, a bare land condominium is a “privately owned property defined by the size of the lot on which the building sits, including structure, landscaping and outbuildings. Areas outside the lot can be owned and used by all unit owners, with these common areas being the responsibility of all unit owners.”
Here are a few other key points regarding Bare Land Condos:
This is a privately owned unit inside a building or structure. Each of these units is defined by the walls, floor and ceiling. All of the areas outside of the defined area are considered common property owned by all unit owners.
A co-operative is an association of people who, through a jointly owned and controlled business model, share an infrastructure to meet common economic, social and cultural needs. The difference between co-op housing and rental units is that they are democratic communities where the residents of the co-op make decisions on how it operates.
There are two main types of housing co-ops: for-profit and non-profit. Many provinces require that housing co-ops operate as non-profit. If the co-op is non-profit, members cannot sell their shares in the co-op. In for-profit housing co-op’s, members own a share of the co-op, but not the individual unit they live in.
Landlord/Tenants have rights and obligations, including the right of the tenant to occupy and use a building space.
In addition to the usual coverage such as property, personal liability, additional living expenses and valuable articles, here are some additional coverage considerations:
Improvements and Betterments
This includes improvements to the standard unit and common elements to which you have exclusive use. Since you have been the owner, have you improved upon the unit at all? What would it cost to replace the work you have done?
Are spaces shared among the owners? This can be anything from a party room to the gym in your condo building.
Life leaseholders or condominium unit owners may be held responsible for a share of the condo corporation deductible which may be $50,000 or more.
You may be responsible for replacing damaged windows and doors.
Sewer Back-up and Water Escape
Are you exposed to this type of loss? Just because you are sitting pretty on the top floor doesn’t mean you are free and clear; sewer back-up losses can even wreak havoc on the top floor of a building.
Is the building located in a floodplain? Do you have a storage locker on the main floor or underground that could be affected?
Condominium Unit Owners Contingent Insurance
This insures your unit, minus any improvements made by you, in the case that the Condominium Corporation insurance is not effective or is inadequate.
This covers your share in the instance that the corporation/association policy does not cover the total damage, excludes the loss, or where there are insufficient funds in the case of a lawsuit against the corporation/association.
Owner-occupied or Investment Property
Do you rent out your unit? Is it sitting vacant? This may affect your coverage. Keep us informed and keep your policy up to date.
Whatever your situation may be, we are here to match you with the coverage that you need.