If you rent or own a condo it is important to understand what your responsibility is when it comes to insurance on your property and there is a difference between your condo rental insurance and insurance you purchase for your own home.
Unfortunately, many renters believe that their homes are covered by the owner or the landlord. Anyone who rents a property is responsible to insure their personal property, since this is not an obligation of the property owner. Personal property includes any personal item such as clothing, furniture and/or miscellaneous items deemed to be of value. A “tenant’s policy” ensures personal property will be replaced should there be loss or damage, either in cash value or in replacement cost, usually up to a specified limit. This policy will also cover liability for people injured in the home or elsewhere, as well as injury to others by a pet in the home. Should you as a tenant be the one causing the damage, perhaps by a fire or flood, the tenant policy provides this protection. A rider’s policy can be purchased to include jewellery, silver, furs and other items of value.
The condo owner also requires insurance. It is standard policy that the condominium association will have insurance for the building, commonly owned property as well as liability coverage for personal injury. The condo owner is responsible for anything inside the unit beginning at the interior walls. The owner is responsible for bodily injury or property damage to others occurring inside the unit. The condo insurance policy will include the unit as well as loss or damage to personal property. A rider can be included to insure jewellery, furs and other high value items. It is important to check with the condominium owner’s association in which you have a unit to verify what they are responsible for and what the individual owner’s responsibility is.
In both tenant and owner insurance policies there are usually three types of policies available. They are Standard (basic), Broad, and Comprehensive. A Standard policy provides protection against a number of named perils and could include, fire, lightening, windstorm theft, and specific types of water damage. The Broad policy may not name a specific “peril” but include “all risks”, while the contents coverage remains on a named peril basis. A Comprehensive coverage includes all risks on both the dwelling and the contents and may even include loss of property away from the home. The cost of insurance can be reduced by not smoking, having a fire extinguisher in the home, providing smoke detectors and extra door locking devices.
Before purchasing insurance, either as a tenant or as a condo owner, it is important to have an itemized list of property with real and/or approximate values. In the case of jewellery or other high value items, professional appraisals may be beneficial and even required by the insurer. It is equally important to make sure you understand what your policy provides and that you discuss your needs with a qualified insurance agent.
Buying insurance, whether you are a tenant or a condo owner, protects you and your home, and INSURES your future.