Many condo owners mistakenly take out “Tenant” insurance policies because, though they own their condominium, it is within a shared space, similar to typical renters or, they are unfortunately dealing with an inexperienced agent.
As a condo owner, you actually own a portion of the corporation, which means you have a responsibility to that corporation to be properly insured. That’s why you need to have a “Condo Unit Owner” insurance policy, and not simply a “Tenant” insurance policy.
Part of your condo insurance needs to cover you for liability in the event of damage caused by negligence on your behalf.
An example of negligence would be, if you were to leave a pot on the stove then fall asleep, causing a fire in addition to smoke damage to both your unit, your neighbours, or common areas. Another example of negligence would be letting the bathtub overflow and causing water damage.
If the damage originates from your property - even if you are not negligent - you will want to be covered for that damage and deductible as well. When common property damage occurs, the condo corporation can levy its own deductible (upwards of $50,000) back to the owner.
We can safely say that most people don’t have an extra $50,000 to throw away in a situation like that.
An example of not being negligent would be, if your toilet started to leak and no one took notice until it started to drip through your neighbours ceiling or light fixtures.
Note, we have had 3 claims in the last year where water dispenser lines from refrigerators let go, causing significant damage. Be sure to check yours regularly!
Keep in mind that even if a condo is rented out, the condo owner is still the one responsible for the liability. Your renters should have their own “Tenant” policy to cover themselves, however you still need your own, separate insurance as the condo owner.
Typical “Tenant” insurance will cover the tenant for contents, liability and loss of use, but will not protect other condo dwellings, shared common areas, and most importantly does not comply with requirements as a condo owner. That means you could be held liable for simply having the wrong policy.
Not sure if you're properly covered? Give us a call. At Crystal Metz Insurance, we provide insurance education for everyone, even if you’re not a client. We can help make sure you have the right policy for your specific needs because that’s what we do best!
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