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Written by Katie Rook

Toronto condo insurance 101

Insurance coverage for condo/strata corporations in Toronto offers only minimal coverage for individual units. Condo owners’ insurance is necessary so that personal belongings and any upgrades to a unit are protected in the event of damage or theft. Condo insurance also provides personal liability protection as well as additional living expenses if the condo owner 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. In other words, any condo owner with a mortgage is likely to have an insurance policy that protects their unit.

Toronto condo owners looking for coverage will find the following protection included in most condo policies:

  • Additional living expenses: Also known as ALE, this covers costs the policyholder may have to assume if they’re forced to live elsewhere following an insured loss. For example, if the condo unit is damaged in a fire, costs associated with having to temporarily live outside the unit will be covered.
  • Additional protection: Offers protection for parts of the unit that are not protected by the building’s insurance such as a glass door that opens onto a balcony.
  • Personal liability: Covers damages if someone is accidentally injured in the unit.
  • Personal property: Protects the contents of the unit, including clothing, furniture and entertainment equipment.
  • Unit Betterments: Covers costs in the event of damage to upgrades to the unit – whether made by the current homeowner or the previous unit owner. This includes coverage for damage to hardwood floors, built-in shelves as well as upgraded light fixtures and faucets.
  • Unit loss: Covers any difference in cost for damage to a unit that is not covered by the building’s insurance or that of another unit holder. 

So that the condo owner has the greatest protection available, we encourage them to consider adding optional coverage to their policy. Add-ons worth considering include protection against all forms of flood damage, particularly as incidents of severe weather become increasingly common in Toronto.

  • Additional contents: Condo owners who would like protection for personal property that’s so valuable the standard coverage limit for contents is inadequate can add a rider to their policy for additional contents. This approach is useful for any condo owner in Toronto who owns specialty sport equipment, a fine art or wine collection and/or pricey jewelry.
  • Condo board liability: Condo 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.
  • Loss assessment: Covers a condo owner in Toronto financially when a liability claim is made against their condo corporation that is greater than its coverage limit.
  • Overland water: This coverage protects against damage from water that has overflowed from a nearby waterway. Many condo owners incorrectly assume that damage from overland water is unlikely to affect their unit. However, damage from a flood can affect individual units which are not protected by the building’s policy. For example, without overland water protection the contents of a storage locker may not be covered in the event of a flood.
  • Sewer backup: This coverage protects against damage from water that enters a unit through an overflowing drain or toilet. Sewer backup is common when sewers overflow following an intense rainstorm.

Securing the cheapest condo insurance rate in Toronto is easy for condo owners willing to compare premiums from a range of condo insurance companies.

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.

How much is condo insurance in Toronto

Most condo owners in Toronto pay $20-30/month for insurance coverage. The price will be greater for those who add to their policies. In general, more coverage costs more.

According to data collected by RATESDOTCA’s Insuramap tool, in 2021, the average annual cost of condo insurance in Toronto was $299. This is about 7% more expensive than the provincial average in the same year: $279.

Condo owners in cities surrounding the GTA enjoy lower insurance premiums that in the city; rates in Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa are about 4.68-9.25% lower.

Top 10 cheapest condo insurance cities
Postal Code Premium % Difference to Toronto premiums
TORONTO $299 0%
AJAX $271.33 -9.25%
CAMBRIDGE $275.50 -7.86%
KITCHENER $281.40 -5.89%
HANOVER $282 -5.69%
WATERLOO $282 -5.69%
WASAGA BEACH $283 -5.35%
WHITBY $283.50 -5.18%
NEWMARKET $284.40 -4.88%
OSHAWA $285 -4.68%
COURTLAND $286 -4.35%
ONTARIO $297 -.67%

Factors that determine your Toronto condo insurance

Insurance providers look at many details when determining a rate for condo insurance coverage. Factors which have a significant impact include:

  • Claims history: A condo owner who has made a home insurance claim in the last 10 years is likely to pay more for coverage. Insurance providers consider past behaviour to be an indication of future behaviour.
  • Dwelling type: A condo owner’s rate may differ for a condo building versus a townhouse. The latter will have more exposure to outdoor elements which could result in a higher premium.
  • Location: Any risk associated with a neighbourhood can drive up a condo insurance rate. Areas known to be at high risk of flood or crime tend to have more expensive coverage. Another factor that can significantly increase a condo insurance premium is the condo building distance from a fire hydrant. If its location means it’s likely to take fire services a longer to put out a fire, an insurance provider considers the building to be higher risk and will charge more.
  • Pets: Condo owners who also have pets may pay more for coverage – particularly if the pet is considered exotic or is banned. Owners of dogs that are illegal or known to be aggressive are likely to pay more.
  • Rentals: Condo owners who rent out their unit may pay more for coverage. We recommend always disclosing a rental to the insurance provider to avoid having a future claim denied. Owners who rent may need specialized landlord insurance, depending on the provider.
  • Upgrades to the unit: Condo owners who have upgraded the unit may pay more for condo insurance because the cost of replacing the upgrades will have increased.

How to get cheap condo insurance in Toronto

Condo owners in Toronto seeking lower premiums can manage their costs with some (or all) of the below-mentioned savings tactics:

  • Age: Condo owners in Toronto who are 65 or older may be able to secure a lower premium and/or secure age-related discounts.
  • Bundling: Those who bundle their policies so that each is held by a single provider are likely to save. When a provider holds more of the condo owner’s business (such as their condo and auto policies), they may come down on the premium.
  • Claims history: A condo owner with no claims history may be able to secure a lower rate.
  • Credit score: A condo owner in Toronto who allows their credit score to checked may be able to secure a lower rate. This practice is legal for home insurance in Ontario, though it is not allowed for car insurance premiums.
  • No debt: Those with no mortgage may be able to secure a lower condo insurance premium. Similarly, if a condo owner can pay upfront for the full-year term, they may get a lower rate.
  • No smoking: Condo insurance providers consider non-smokers less likely to experience a unit fire. They may respond by decreasing the premium.
  • Loyalty to a provider: Some insurance providers will offer discounts to policyholders who have kept their business with the provider over many years.
  • New dwelling: Coverage for a newly built condo unit may be less expensive than for a unit in an older building.
  • Safety: Condo owners in Toronto who install burglar and smoke alarms as well as carbon monoxide monitors may be eligible for discounts.

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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.

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 provides. 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?

Condo owners in Toronto can expect to pay about $20-$30 per month for coverage.

According to RATESDOTCA's 2021 Home Insuramap tool, the average cost of condo insurance in Toronto in 2021 was $299 which is about .67% more expensive than the provincial average: $299.

It’s difficult to be more specific about the exact cost of insurance for a specific 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 an 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 too. 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, condo owners should 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: Condo owners with expensive belongings such as an art or jewelry collection, should consider getting additional coverage so they’re protected beyond any limit to the 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.
  • 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. Without overland flooding protection, the contents of a tenant’s storage locker may be vulnerable.
  • 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.

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 the risk of their making a claim is low.

  • 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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