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Written by Katie Rook

Toronto condo insurance 101 

Insurance coverage on condo buildings in Toronto offers only minimal protection to individual units. Condo owners’ insurance is necessary so personal belongings and any upgrades to a unit are protected in the event of damage or theft. These policies also provide personal liability protection as well as additional living expenses if the policyholder is unable to live in their unit following an insured loss.

While condo insurance in Toronto is not mandatory, many lenders will only issue mortgages for insured properties.

Get the cheapest rate by shopping around, comparing premiums from a range of condo insurance companies serving Toronto. At RATESDOTCA, our free online tool produces condo insurance quotes in less than three minutes from dozens of the best insurance providers in the country.

Frequently asked questions about Toronto condo insurance 

Looking for condo insurance in Toronto? Condo insurance coverage is explained below.

What is condo insurance?

Condo insurance is homeowner’s insurance by another name. It protects an individual condo unit beyond whatever the building’s coverage offers.

With a condo insurance policy, the personal belongings in a unit and upgrades to it will be protected. The policyholder will also receive liability protection as well as additional living expenses if they must leave the unit due to damage.

While condo insurance is not required by law in Toronto, most owners are comforted knowing that one of their largest assets and their personal belongings are protected.

What does condo insurance protect against?

Condo insurance coverage offers protection beyond what the condo building’s policy offers.

This includes the policyholder’s personal belongings and upgrades to the unit. They’ll also receive liability protection as well as additional living expenses if they’re forced to live elsewhere due to damage from an insured loss.

In contrast, the condo corporation’s policy will cover aspects of the building that are a part of its standard construction, including: the floor, wall coverings as well as lighting and plumbing fixtures.

Common assets including furniture and equipment are also likely to be protected.  The building’s policy will also offer liability protection for property damage claims and bodily injury suffered by others.

In other words, if a unit is damaged and/or someone is injured in it, the condo owner’s policy will cover costs. If a common area is damaged and/or someone is injured in a shared space, the building’s policy will be responsible.

Is condo insurance mandatory in Toronto?

No. Condo owners in Toronto are not required by law to have condo insurance. However, most lenders will only offer a mortgage to condos or homes that are insured.

While condo corporations in Toronto and elsewhere have insurance that will protect the building itself and offer some liability protection, their policy will not extend to a specific, individual unit.

How much is condo insurance in Toronto?

It’s difficult to zero in on the exact cost of insurance for any condo unit in Toronto because of how many variables go into calculating a premium.

In general, insurance providers are always trying to gauge what type of risk they’re assuming by issuing a policy.

When determining the price of a insurance policy for a condo in Toronto, they’ll also look closely at any variables having to do with the policyholder and the building itself.

  • Policyholder: Insurance providers are interested in details about the policyholder, including claims history, whether the unit will be rented out and, in some instances, if there’s a pet living in the unit.
  • Building: Other factors that they’ll also consider have to do with the building and unit. They’ll want to know the building’s location, dwelling type and any upgrades to the unit from original construction.

If a condo is in fact a townhouse with more exposure to outside elements than a small unit in a high-rise building, the owner is likely to pay more.

If the unit is at a distance from fire services or in a Toronto neighbourhood with a high crime rate, the condo insurance premium could be higher.

When a unit has been upgraded, condo insurance premiums can go up. This is, in part, because higher quality fixtures will increase the replacement cost of a condo — how much it costs to rebuild the unit to its current state.

How much condo insurance coverage do I need?

The amount of condominium insurance required in Toronto depends on the extent of coverage sought. In general, a condo owner is going to end up paying more for additional coverage.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint an average cost for condo insurance, in most cities in Canada, expect to pay at least $20-30/month for condo insurance.

Over and above basic coverage, condo owners in Toronto can opt for additional protection for:

  • Contents: If you have belongings such as an art or jewelry collection, consider getting additional coverage so that you’re protected beyond any limit to your contents coverage.
  • Condo board liability: Owners who have been elected to their condo board can also get additional liability coverage.
  • Identity theft: Protection for policyholders whose identity is stolen and used unlawfully.
  • Sewer backup: Additional protection will cover the cost of damage to any part of the condo that the building’s policy does not cover in the event of sewer backup. For example, if a condo’s floors have been upgraded from the original construction, additional coverage will pay for their repair or replacement following a sewer backup.
  • Overland flooding: Flooding is increasingly a risk in many parts of Canada. Though most condo home insurance policies include protection against some forms of water damage, this does not typically extend to overland flooding protection.

    Insurance providers distinguish between different forms of flooding — from sewer backup to overland and tidal flooding. Overland flooding refers to water that overflows from a nearby body of water such as a lake or river. Without overland flooding protection, the contents of a tenant’s storage locker may be vulnerable.

How can I reduce the cost of my condo insurance?

To get the best condo insurance rate there are a few steps a condo owner in Toronto can take to show an insurance provider they’re a low risk.

  • Bundling: Bring down the cost of condo insurance by bundling policies so that each is held by a single provider.
  • Comparison shopping: The crucial step to finding the best condo insurance rate in Toronto is comparison shopping. It’s fast and free to check out what’s available from providers across the country. Plug in a few details to RATESDOTCA’s condo insurance online quote tool to discover savings. 
  • Credit score: In every province except Newfoundland and Labrador, home insurance providers may pull a credit score when determining a premium. Those with good credit can end up saving. Condo owners in Toronto who would rather not have their credit score considered are under no obligation to grant permission for it to be pulled.
  • Discounts: Policyholders over the age of 65 may be eligible for a condo insurance discount.
  • Limited or no claims history: It helps if a policyholder has no history of home insurance claims. In some instances, insurance providers will offer discounts to those who have had their condo insurance policy with the company for many years and/or have not made a claim. Any claim within the last decade is likely to affect a condo insurance premium.
  • Safety precautions: Condo owners in Toronto may also be able to secure a lower insurance premium when they’ve installed fire, burglar and carbon monoxide alarms, and, if they’re a non-smoker.

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*Based on the difference between the average lowest home insurance premium and overall average home insurance premium from our site in 2019. Excludes tenant and condo insurance.

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