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Most Condo Owners Unaware of what Home Insurance Covers

6 October 2013

Home insurance is pretty easy when you live in a single-family home. You need insurance for any disaster that could strike your home, for major repairs such as roofing that you may need to cover, and you need to protect your home from things like theft. But what about when you live in a condo? When the surrounding units could cause damage to your home? Or when there’s a governing board that also has their own insurance to protect against the building? What insurance then, do you need for your own unit? Surprisingly, most condo owners don’t know what kind or how much they need.

According to Real Estate Magazine, two-third of condos don’t know how much their building’s insurance will cover should their unit be damaged from water or fire coming from another unit. And while the building will have some kind of insurance to cover such instances, it likely won’t be enough if that’s all the homeowner is relying on. And if they should ever need insurance, they will find out too late that they don’t have enough. Because the fire, flood, or other damage will have already occurred.

“It’s just an assumption by most condo owners that their board insurance covers it all. It’s only when something arises, like a fire, that it comes to light and then it’s too late,” says Brian Persaud of ReMax Realtron Realty.

They may also not know just how susceptible their unit is to certain disasters, especially when it comes to fires. People often assume that just because their home comes with all the modern amenities, or because it’s recently been updated for things like wiring and plumbing that they’ll be okay. But that’s just not the case. In fact, Windsor Fire and Rescue states that newer homes that are equipped with modern technology – including many things oil-based products, burn eight times faster than older homes. This was the case a couple of weekends ago when a fire at a condo construction building in Edmonton caused over $20 million worth of damage.

“It does happen a lot, where condo owners believe their management company has taken care of it all in respect to checking renters’ insurance. They trust that it will be enforced, but it can often go unchecked,” says Persaud.

These findings are also backed by research done by Allstate. They found that 74 per cent of Canadians currently wanting to buy a condo don’t know what their own personal insurance will cover, or even what the insurance of the condo corporation will cover.

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