Frequently Asked Questions
Condo and Townhouse insurance is important – you know this. But finding the right coverage can be overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with a policy’s terms and conditions.
Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions, so you can better understand what you’re covered for.
Your condominium corporation has insurance for the building itself and its common areas. But it doesn’t cover your things inside your unit or any condo improvements you’ve made or acquired. This is why, as a condo owner, it’s important to have condo and townhouse insurance that covers your stuff if something happens.
What does condo and townhouse insurance cover?
Although condo and townhouse insurance policies can differ, it primarily covers your belongings inside the unit. In the event of any damage due to fire, smoke, break-in, burst water pipe, dishwasher flooding, windstorm, hail, and more, your condo insurance policy will cover you to repair or replace any damaged items. Also, if your home is unfit to live in due to an insured loss, it will cover the extra costs of temporarily living elsewhere, such as hotel costs, food, transportation, laundry, etc.
You also get coverage for your condo building’s shared spaces if you’re obligated to help cover part of the damage to them. Any building improvements you may have made to your unit will also be covered under your condo and townhouse insurance.
In addition, it provides personal liability protection if you’re sued.
Firstly, you’ll need condo and townhouse insurance if you’re taking out a mortgage to buy your unit. Banks and mortgage lenders in Canada require that you have insurance before approving a mortgage loan. Also, your condo association may require you to have proof of condo coverage before moving in.
Even though your condominium corporation has insurance, this policy won’t protect you and your belongings. For example:
- Although the building is insured by your condominium/strata corporation’s policy, it will not cover your personal belongings in the unit or storage locker. Your furniture, entertainment equipment, electronics, and other valuable belongings will not be protected.
- Your condominium corporation’s policy only covers items that are part of the building. You need your own insurance to protect the upgrades you have made or acquired inside your unit, such as better carpets and built-in cupboards.
- Your condominium/strata corporation can make an assessment against you for any damage caused to your condo building, common areas, or other units, whether the damages were your fault or not. For example, water damage to a neighbouring condo after your plumbing pipe burst; or damage to the lobby due to a fire that started in the utility room. Your condo insurance will cover you for the assessment levied on you by the condo/strata corporation in these examples.
- Finally, you need to protect yourself against personal liability for injuries any of your visitors may sustain in your home, or for damage you accidentally cause to a neighbour’s property. Liability also protects you against lawsuits for events that may occur on or away from your home.
The cost of condo and townhouse insurance in Canada is based on information about you and your unit. This includes things like the location of your condo, how much coverage you need and your personal claims history.
- Our minimum cost per policy: $400
- Average cost per policy: $650
- Considering additional frill coverages and your location, costs could go as high as $2,000 per year.
Yes, APOLLO offers a minimum of $5,000 coverage for your stuff in your storage locker, whether it be in the building or outside of the building in another storage facility. You can increase this coverage up to $15,000 if you need to.
Your condo/strata corporation’s contract outlines the common areas of your condo complex. These include areas outside the unit you live in, like the lobby, parking lot, pool, elevators, and recreational facilities. Refer to your condo corporation contract or call them for further details.
APOLLO offers Replacement Cost coverage for owner-occupied condo units. Replacement Cost means that in the event of a claim, items would be repaired to their original condition or replaced with new items of like kind and quality, with no deduction for depreciation. For example, if your couch is ruined when your kitchen plumbing pipe bursts, you will get a new couch.
APOLLO offers Comprehensive coverage, also known as All-Risk coverage, under its owner-occupied condo insurance policy.
Comprehensive coverage is for your belongings in your unit, along with improvements and betterments made to your unit. This coverage protects you against losses from all events or risks, unless specifically excluded from your policy. For example, if your upstairs neighbor’s pipes burst and flood your living room, your insurance will cover the damage.
Examples of events that are excluded are: Nuclear Incident, War, Terrorism, Contamination, Earthquake, Wear and Tear, etc.
Liability insurance protects you if you are held responsible for causing property damage or bodily injuries to others while at home or away anywhere in the world.
For example: If you hit a baseball out of a park onto the street, and it hits a child, or breaks a window. Or one of your guests slips and falls and has to take time off work due to injuries. Or, while on vacation, a bonfire gets out of control and damages someone’s property.
Personal Liability would cover you in all these and similar events.
Often called Contents insurance, this protects the property you own that you could pack in a bag or put in a moving truck. Things like your clothing, electronics, furniture, etc. are covered while they’re on your property or in transit during a move.
APOLLO offers Personal Property limits from $25,000 to $250,000. You should choose an amount that will be sufficient to replace all of your belongings with the new items. If your residence is ever burglarized or there is a fire, this policy will help replace the lost or damaged items with the new ones. Over the years we tend to accumulate a lot of little and big things. Majority of our clients in a two-bedroom condo choose the $50,000 coverage limit.
This coverage protects against increased living expenses you may incur because your condo or townhouse can’t be lived in. This could be a result of damage to your home from an insured loss or an order to evacuate your home as a result of a sudden, accidental event.
For example, it can help cover expenses like a hotel room, storage costs, meals, laundry, transportation, and more if you can’t live in your condo while repairs are being made after an insured loss.
This covers your share of any liability, should a liability claim be made against the condominium/strata corporation that is not covered under their own policy or exceeds the condominium corporation liability coverage limits.
Property Loss Assessment coverage is an important feature of condo and townhouse insurance because you share the responsibility of the building and common areas with the other unit owners. That means that if there is a special assessment (an added fee that is on top of your monthly condo fees) levied on your condominium building, all the owners must split the cost of the assessment. For example, if a common area, such as the lobby, was damaged due to fire and the resulting cost of repair is $100,000, part of it could be assessed against you and the other unit owners to make up for the loss.
APOLLO provides this coverage under the Special Condominium Protection Package up to the limit purchased. This coverage will apply only if the property damage is caused by an insured loss.
The amount of insurance may be limited for any additional perils added by an endorsement to the policy, such as Sewer Backup, Overland Water, Earthquake, etc.
This packages the essential coverages unique to condo owners, as follows:
- Unit Improvements and Betterments, which protects any building enhancements you may have made or acquired like flooring, countertops, and fixtures upgrades.
- Contingent Unit coverage, which protects your unit itself in the event that the condo corporation policy fails to protect you or is insufficient.
- Property Loss Assessment, which protects against amounts assessed for your unit by your condominium corporation for accidental damage to the common elements of the building or complex.
This provides coverage for the part of a loss assessment made necessary by a deductible in the insurance policy of the condominium/strata corporation.
For example, the building lobby is damaged due to a fire and costs $100,000 in repairs. The condo corporation files a claim for the damages under its insurance policy. However, their insurance policy has a deductible of $50,000. In this case, the corporation will need to collect this amount from all the unit owners in order to get the damage repaired. If there are 100 unit owners in your building, you may be assessed approximately $1,000 to make up for the deductible.
A sewer backup occurs when the pipe servicing your home becomes blocked, collapses, or if the sewer main/watermain becomes overloaded due to heavy rain or flooding. Sewer backup results in sewage or dirty water coming up through a sink, toilet, or a drain.
Sewer backup can result in hefty damages to your belongings or unit improvements, as well as expensive clean up costs.
Do you need Sewer Backup coverage if you live on the higher floor of a building?
Let’s say your unit is on a higher floor in your building. Could you still have the sewer back up? Yes, it is common in condo buildings for the sewer pipes to get blocked, resulting in water backing up.
Overland Water Flooding insurance offers protection for loss or damage related to water entering your home through windows and doors at the ground level due to sudden accumulation of water from heavy rains, spring run-off, or overflow from lakes or rivers.
Do you need Overland Water coverage if you live on the higher floor of a building?
Let’s say you live in a high-rise condo and the lower part of your building is badly damaged – so much so that you need to relocate. In this case, Overland Water coverage would help cover extra living expenses, such as needing to stay at a hotel and eating out for a few weeks. It’s also a coverage to consider if you have items stored on a lower level. Any items stored in a basement locker that are damaged by this type of flooding would only be protected if you have Overland Water Damage coverage.
Also known as Identity Theft coverage, this covers you and anyone else on your policy in case your identity is stolen or compromised. We’ll reimburse you for legal fees, as well as certain other costs that could happen, up to the limit you purchase. These could include lost wages if you have to take time off work to sort it out, and payment for services that help you get back to where you need to be.
APOLLO’s Condo and Townhouse policy includes this coverage for $10,000 and provides the option to increase it up to $25,000 for an additional premium.
Yes, APOLLO offers a Short-term Rental coverage should you rent your entire unit or part of it on a daily/weekly basis through Airbnb, Vrbo, or another third-party platform.
This coverage protects your property in case it is stolen or vandalized by your tenants, up to the limit you purchased, subject to a $2,500 deductible.
This coverage also provides $1,500 for any damage to your tenant’s property due to an insured loss, such as Fire, Smoke, Explosion, etc., at your unit during their stay.
Effortless Claims Process
Our advisors are with you throughout your insurance journey, including making a claim.
Details about the loss, including the time it occurred, what was damaged, the cause, and how to prevent further damage.
Event documentation is then shared with our Agency Team by telephone or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
APOLLO will submit this information over to our insurance company adjusters to open the claim notice, and will remain involved.