Two insurance policies are in effect for condominiums: one that covers each co-owner and one that covers the condo’s corporation. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, it’s likely you’ll be indemnified under one or other policy, or both. Here are their features.

As a co-owner, you’re responsible for insuring your personal property, improvements, distribution and liability.

  •    Personal property
  •    Distribution
  •     Improvements, namely anything that is not mentioned in the standard unit description provided by the co-ownership syndicate.
  •    Civil liability covering damage you could cause to others, including damage to your own unit that affects the “building” portion covered by the co-ownership syndicate’s insurance (i.e., your floor). 

You must inform your insurer or broker of any improvements you make to your unit. This way your insurer can evaluate whether the coverage amount for the improvements is enough.

Consult your insurer or your broker to know the protections offered by your contract.

 

What is distribution?

The amount your co-ownership syndicate charges all co-owners of the building based on their share for the payment of the deductible and repair of its damage. The co-owner-occupants’ insurance policies can cover all or a portion of the distribution.

 

Improvements

 Since December 13, 2018, when the Civil Code of Quebec was amended, your co-ownership syndicate is obliged to have a description of the private portions of a reference unit to identify what is an improvement*.

Anything not included in the description is deemed to be an improvement.

Examples of improvements

  •     Changing the kitchen cupboards
  •     Changing the floor covering
  •     Adding a heat pump

 

* If your co-ownership syndicate was constituted on or after June 13, 2018, this obligation is already in effect. If your co-ownership syndicate was constituted before June 13, 2018, it has until June 13, 2020 to provide this description.

 

Tool to help co-ownership syndicate establishing reference units descriptions:

Your building’s condo corporation is required by law (Quebec Civil Code) to have insurance against the usual perils (theft, fire, etc.). It must hold insurance for an amount that corresponds to the replacement cost of the building.

The condo corporation’s policy is a business insurance policy.

The condo corporation’s insurance must also cover:

  • The building itself, which includes the common portions, such as lobbies, corridors, stairs, elevators or the roof
  •     The building portion of the private portions (units of each co-owner), such as walls, floors or windows
  •     The installations included in the standard unit description, such as  kitchen cupboards or the bathtub, (excluding improvements)
  •     Property which belongs to it, such as furniture in the common portions
  •     Liability of the syndicate (mandatory)
  •     Liability of the members of its board of directors and of the manager, the chair and secretary of the meeting of the co-owners, and other individuals responsible for ensuring the meeting proceeds smoothly.

The corporation's insurance covers all damage to the building, taking into account the plans and specifications of the general contractor that built the building, for both the common and private portions.

After a loss, the condo corporation’s insurance will restore your unit to the state it was in at the time of construction.

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