Contact your insurer as soon as possible. Your insurer will ask you to describe precisely the circumstances of the loss to determine which policy covers the damages suffered, and will then walk you through the steps to take. Working together with your insurer throughout the claims settlement will facilitate the process.
Contact your syndicate right away, if you suffered damage that affects the immovable portions of your unit. The syndicate is responsible for managing the loss that affects every portion of the building, including the portion in your unit.
Did you know that the co-ownership syndicate is legally obliged to declare any loss to its insurer, whether to the common portions or private portions of the building?
If the syndicate does not do so, the Civil Code of Quebec provides that any interested person can file a claim with the syndicate’s insurer. This is the case when a loss to the building could impact the value of his unit.
The syndicate, like you, is obliged to limit the damage. For example, protect the property not affected and carry out emergency repairs. However, do not make permanent repairs before you speak to your syndicate and your insurer.
For emergency repairs or other expenses, keep receipts and invoices for expenses incurred following a loss. What if you are unable to reintegrate the premises and your unit? Speak to your insurer to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for additional living expenses.
In the case of a loss that causes major damage, such as fire or earthquake, do not go back into the building before you are authorized to do so by the competent authorities.
List the items damaged and do not throw them out right away, unless they constitute a danger to your health. If you do have to throw them out, make sure you take photos or a video.
For some losses, you and the syndicate will need a report from the police or fire department to file a claim with your respective insurers, i.e., fire, theft or vandalism.