Changes to condo insurance: what you need to know

Changes were made to the coverage for divided co-ownership insurance following amendments to the legislation that governs divided co-ownership in Quebec. To make sure you are always well protected, here are three new aspects to take into account when purchasing or renewing your co-owner insurance policy. 

1. Improvements: syndicate’s new obligation to help you

Under the legislation, co-ownership syndicates must now make a description of reference units in the building. This will help you more easily determine what improvements have been made. You will know what is covered by the syndicate’s insurance and what needs to be covered by your co-owner insurance.

Note that, as co-owner, you need to insure the improvements made to your unit, while your syndicate must insure what is mentioned in the reference description for your unit. 

Check out: Insuring your condo: 2 policies required

Syndicates have had to provide this description to co-owners since June 13, 2018. For co-ownerships established before June 13, 2018, syndicates have until June 13, 2020 to conform. 

Find out more about improvements

2. Apportionment: All for one

After a loss, your syndicate may claim an amount of money from the co-owners to repair damage caused to the portions it is responsible for insuring. Under the legislation, it is obligated to apportion this amount among all the co-owners according to their share, whether or not they suffered damage to their unit. 

Rest assured: your co-owner insurance policy contains a new coverage to cover the apportionment. However, to benefit from this coverage, you must be insured for the damage claimed by the syndicate (i.e., if the damage was caused by a sewer back-up, you must have this coverage in order for your insurer to cover the apportionment). 

Find out more about apportionment

3. What if someone is at fault?

If you cause damage as a result of your negligence, you may be considered at fault. Your syndicate can then claim from you the cost of the repairs for the portions it is responsible for insuring. However, to do this, it must first prove you were at fault.

Also, if damage is caused by a thing in your custody, it will be up to you to prove that you are not at fault. For example, the water heater in your unit is considered to be in your custody. So if it fails or leaks for no apparent reason, you will need to demonstrate that you were not negligent with respect to its installation or maintenance.

In both of these cases, your insurer will take care of the claim as provided for in your civil liability coverage. If your negligence is proven, your insurer will pay for the damage you caused.

N.B. Further changes will be made to co-ownership insurance in the coming months. The government is expected to table a regulation defining certain aspects of the new legislation. 



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