We recently visited with Neesja at Waypoint Insurance in Courtenay to discuss the differences between strata and condo insurance policies. During our visit, we found out why it’s necessary to carry condo insurance in addition to strata insurance. Strata insurance and condo insurance policies each cover separate things, so you actually need both to be covered in an emergency. There’s also a few things you should be aware of if you are renting in a strata building or if you own a duplex.
Strata insurance policies are half of the equation. By law, strata corporations are required to maintain a minimum level of insurance. However, there are several conditions that aren’t part of the minimum coverage requirements, like earthquakes or overland flooding. Check your strata’s insurance information to find out what’s in their individual policy. Overall, strata insurance policies cover the exterior of the building, as well as the interior of your condo with its original finishes. This includes anything physically attached to the building, such as countertops and toilets, but excludes things like stoves and dishwashers. It also means that any upgrades, such as adding hardwood flooring or installing new countertops, will not be covered. Additionally, strata insurance policies do not cover your belongings, so you’ll need separate coverage to handle this, in the form of a condo insurance policy.
Seeing that there are many gaps in coverage without it, the condo insurance policy is worth adding in. Condo insurance covers what strata insurance does not. Holding a condo insurance policy means that betterments and improvements made to your property are covered in an emergency. This policy also covers the contents of your unit, as well as liability. The condo insurance policy actually has a lot of customization available to it, as well. You can talk to your insurance broker about additional coverage above the strata’s policy or adding insurance for significant upgrades beyond betterments. You can also be eligible for coverage regarding situations where you may be responsible for damage to another unit or earthquake coverage. Before you discuss condo insurance or earthquake coverage, be sure to check the cost of the deductible for your strata corporation and what’s in the strata’s policy, so you can get the right coverage for your unit.
Did you know? Duplexes are treated the same way as condos for insurance purposes. Duplexes require a separate insurance policy for the building, as well as a condo insurance policy for the contents, just like a strata unit. Another good thing to know about condo insurance is that insurance carried by a landlord or a strata does not cover renters. This means that tenants renting in a strata building need to carry their own insurance as well to be compensated in the event of an emergency.
Insurance in a strata is different than a regular house and you should definitely purchase condo insurance to make sure you’re properly covered in an emergency. Be sure to bring your questions, as well as information about your strata’s coverage, to meetings with your insurance broker. This will help to prevent you from missing important details and get you the right coverage. If you’re thinking of buying a strata unit, or if you’re curious about what your home might be worth in this market, give us a call!