Condominium or Strata Coverage

Coverage is available under two separate policies: one for a unit owner and another for the condominium or strata corporation.

How Does Condominium Insurance Work?

Condominiums are also known as strata in British Columbia and some parts of Alberta. The definition of what is owned by the unit owner depends on the condominium or strata declaration.

As a unit owner, you have title to your unit as well as a share in common property such as a lobby, rooftop patio, swimming pool, parking garage and other amenities. A bare land strata or condominium may have only a few common areas such as streets or roadways that provide access to the units.

What Is Common Property?

Any area that is available for use by all unit owners is considered common property or a common element. Some examples may include the lobby, elevators, gardens, swimming pool and other recreational facilities. Unit owners share the expense of maintaining common property by paying monthly maintenance fees. Limited access common property – such as a balcony or storage locker – maybe common property or a common element even though a unit owner has exclusive use.

Typical Coverages for a Unit Owner

You can expect that your condominium or strata policy may include coverage for:

  • Your personal property such as clothing, appliances and furniture, as well as items stored in your locker
  • Additional living expenses, in case you can't live in your unit in the event of an insured loss in certain circumstances
  • Your personal liability for any bodily injury or property damage unintentionally caused to others.

4 Optional Coverages to Consider

  • Owner's increased improvement coverage for upgrades to your unit that may exceed standard condominium corporation insurance limits may be of value if you've added custom counters or upgraded flooring or plumbing fixtures.
  • Contingency coverage insures your unit itself so that you are protected in the event that your condominium or strata corporation's insurance is insufficient.
  • Loss assessment coverage is unique to condominium and strata insurance. Since unit owners share responsibility for common property or elements, this coverage pays your share (up to a stated limit) for a major property or liability loss on common property that may exceed the corporation's policy limits.
  • Directors' and officers' liability coverage provides protection to unit owners who are elected members of the condominium or strata board of directors.

Speak with your insurance representative regarding how additional coverages may be of benefit.

What Insurance for Condo/Strata Corporations Generally Covers

  • The buildings and structures shown on the condominium or strata plan and declaration
  • Common property or elements such as hallways, stairs, roof, pools, garages, driveways, etc.
  • Fixtures built or installed as part of the original or standard construction such as floor and wall coverings, and electrical and plumbing fixtures – some corporations have specific definitions for what is considered an "original" or "standard" unit
  • Assets such as lobby furniture, building maintenance equipment, etc.
  • Liability of the condominium or strata corporation for claims of property damage and bodily injury suffered by others.
Water Damage Prevention Tips for Condo/Strata Dwellers