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What happens in your specific condo corporation depends on the corporation's insurance; a copy of the insurance certificate should be given to you each year, and you should also be able to examine the policy in detail in the property management office. It also should form part of the status certificate.

Because each condo corporation may have different insurance coverage, each unit owner needs a policy that will cover the things the corporation's policy does not.

The Condominium Act says that a corporation should maintain a "reasonable" deductible, adding that the normal minimum standard is $1,000 but could range up towards $5,000.

It's not (just) the unit you're buying - you're buying the building.

Since the corporation insures not only the common elements, but the units, without improvements, you should look at the status certificate for direction.

The Status Certificate will list such things as the "standard unit bylaw", which defines what the corporation must insure. In absence of a bylaw, one looks to a schedule prepared by the developer. It will describe the units as-built.

Simply put, if you add hardwood floors, expensive window coverings or upgrade light fixtures, you need to insure them under your own policy.

  • Take photos of what's in the unit.
  • Keep all bills for upgrades off-site (e.g. in a safety deposit box) in case of fire.
  • Each time you install an upgrade, inform your insurance agent.
  • If you have items of particular value, such as jewellery or a special collection, they need to be separately scheduled.
  • "Become your insurance agent's best friend".


Safety Tips for condo dwellers:

Turn off washing machine taps when not in use.   

Never go out while a toilet, washing machine or dishwasher is running. Ditto for dryers.

Clean your dryer's lint trap after each use. Lint buildup means it takes more energy to dry your clothes and is a huge risk for fire! 

Know where your shut-off valves are: if you can't find them, notify the management office (if you have one). If you haven't moved in yet but are doing your predelivery inspection, ask to be shown their location. Are they buried behind the drywall?

If your washing machine has rubber hoses, have a professional replace them with good-quality stainless steel braided hoses

Check the condensate pan on your fan coil unit (if you have one) to prevent buildup of dust and rust, which prevents drainage

Check your toilet tank for leaks. Put food colouring in the tank and if it seeps into the toilet, you have a leak

 If you are an investor, make sure your tenants have insurance. Have a non-resident's package for yourself. Know what you are covered for.

What if you move into a building under occupancy, which is not yet registered?


If a flood is caused by a builder's negligence, his responsibility and liability during occupancy would be covered by his insurance, or the contractors' or subcontractors' policy, depending on the case.

The builder must put occupants back in the same position they were in before the flood for example.

*Occupants should have tenants insurance for their contents until the building is registered. Builders will require proof of the occupants Insurance.

*Once a building is registered, owners should get an Owner's Package and investors renting out their units should also obtain proof of insurance from their tenants.


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