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Majority of condo owners, buyers unclear on insurance requirements


August 15, 2013   by Canadian Underwriter


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More than half of condominium owners are unaware of or unclear on the insurance needed to protect themselves when water or fire originating in their unit damages another, according to recent survey findings.

Majority of condo owners, buyers unclear on insurance requirements

Based on a survey of 518 condo owners and buyers, conducted in May, Allstate Canada and Abacus Data suggest that 61% of such people either are unaware of what their building’s insurance will cover, or assume damage caused from their unit will be covered.

At the time of purchase, only 34% of owners asked the condo corporation if they had recently increased their requirement for what should be covered by the owner’s personal insurance, the survey results also suggest.

Only 32% of condo owners asked whether the condo corporation had ever raised the deductible on their insurance, and just 22% asked if the cost of the condo corporation’s insurance premiums had ever gone down, Allstate noted.

“Getting answers to important insurance questions can help condo owners and condo residents ensure they will have the proper personal insurance coverage to protect them from a loss or damage in their unit, other affected units, or from unforeseen costs in the event that a condo corporation’s insurance policies change,” Saskia Matheson, a spokesperson for Allstate Canada, noted in a statement.

“For example, more and more condo corporations are expecting their unit owners to cover a portion of a large deductible when there is a building-wide claim.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 74% of Canadians looking to purchase a condo in the next few years don’t know what their personal insurance should cover versus what the condo corporation’s insurance would cover.

  • Only 39% of condo owners and 26% of condo buyers know that the belongings of a roommate or boarder are not covered under their personal condo insurance policies.

  • 21% are not aware that the condo corporation’s insurance is responsible for incidents like falling concrete and shattering glass from condominiums.