Skip to main content
Home Insurance

What Is Condo Insurance, and How Does It Protect You?

By RBC Insurance • Published February 14, 2024 • 7 Min Read

One of the most important things you can do is get condo insurance, so your home and your belongings are protected. Here’s what you need to know.

While there are many perks to condo living (such as never having to replace the roof, repave the driveway, or worry about raccoons taking up residence under the back deck), things can still happen. So, if you’re a condo owner, it’s important to ensure you’re protected with condo insurance if an unfavourable scenario occurs (for example, a leaky dishwasher causing damage to the unit below you can bear a big financial consequence!). It will ensure your space and everything in it are protected. A little less extensive (and usually a little less expensive) than typical home owner’s insurance, condo owner’s insurance is vital. Read on for a simple breakdown of how condo insurance works.

Key takeaways

  • Condo insurance isn’t required by law, but many mortgage lenders and condo corporations will insist on it as part of your agreement or contract.

  • It’s wise to have condo insurance, because your condo corporation’s coverage won’t extend to your personal belongings, unit improvements/upgrades, and personal liability.

  • This type of policy could also protect you in the event that someone is injured in your home, or you have to temporarily move out after an insured loss (such as fire or water damage).

  • The cost of condo insurance will depend on a variety of things, including the size of your unit, whether you’ve done improvements/upgrades, and the location and age of your building. It generally costs less than home insurance.

What is condo insurance?

A “condo” refers to an individually owned unit in a complex or building of units. A condo owner owns the space inside their condo and shares ownership interest in the community property, such as the floor, stairwells, and exterior areas. Condo insurance—also known as “condominium insurance” or “condo unit insurance”—is a type of insurance for people who own a condominium unit.

Condo insurance covers things such as the unit owner’s personal belongings, improvements/upgrades they’ve made to their unit, liabilities, and living expenses should they need to temporarily move out of the unit while repairs are being done after an insured loss.

While your condo corporation will have its own insurance, that coverage only extends to the building’s main structure and common areas, such as the lobby, elevators, hallways, gym, pool, hot tub, and other community rooms.

What does condo insurance cover?

Here’s a general outline of what your personal condo insurance can cover, but there are some conditions, so be sure to speak to an advisor (and understand your coverage) for all the need-to-know details.

Personal property

Condo insurance covers your personal belongings—everything from sofas to laptops to your jewelry and even the microwave. If any are damaged or lost due to covered events (such as fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters), your policy may reimburse you for all or some of the cost of replacing them.

Unit improvements and upgrades

If you installed a gorgeous new marble countertop with a waterfall edge, or replaced the bedroom carpet with hardwood flooring, these upgrades would be covered by your personal condo insurance. A condo corporation is generally only responsible for replacing or repairing things that were part of the original construction of your unit.

Additional living expenses

If an event, such as a fire or a flood, makes your unit temporarily unliveable, condo insurance can cover some or all of the cost of things, such as a hotel, food, and other expenses you wouldn’t regularly incur, until you’re back in your own space.

Liability protection

Let’s say someone is visiting your condo and hurts themselves (they slip and fall in your kitchen, for example), or your washing machine overflows and causes damage to the unit below. Personal liability protection will help cover things such as medical expenses, repair costs, legal fees, and potential settlement costs.

Loss assessment coverage

Sometimes, hefty costs are associated with damages (such as a burst pipe that causes water leakage in several units), or liabilities (someone is injured on the condo property and sues the condo corporation) that aren’t entirely covered by your condo corporation’s insurance. This is where loss assessment coverage comes in: It can help cover your portion of this expense, including deductibles (up to a predetermined limit).

Is condo insurance mandatory?

It’s not technically required by law, but most mortgage lenders and condo corporations insist on it as part of your contract or agreement. Even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to have condo insurance. Otherwise, a merely annoying situation could become a very expensive one. It is important to also understand the condo corporation’s insurance policy. Don’t be caught off guard when you are levied with an assessment, or find out you are financially responsible for their deductible in the event of a claim. As a condo owner, you’re also vulnerable to the risks of your neighbours. And extreme weather events are becoming more common, and natural disasters do happen. A modest monthly expense is well worth it to ensure you’re covered if you do face such a situation.

Who should get condo insurance?

Condo owners

If you are the owner of a condominium unit, you will want to protect your investment with condo insurance.

Co-op owners

You may also be eligible for condo insurance if you own a co-operative (co-op) unit. Co-op ownership is different from traditional condo ownership in that you technically own shares in a co-operative corporation, rather than the unit itself. But condo insurance can still provide coverage for your personal property and liability.


If you own a condo unit and rent it out, you might need a type of condo insurance known as “landlord condo insurance” or “rental dwelling insurance.” It provides coverage for the physical structure of the unit and the interior should the tenant cause damage, as well as any liabilities associated with being a landlord. It can also provide coverage for missed rental income if the tenants are forced to move out after an insured loss. It doesn’t cover the possessions of the renter, who can protect their personal belongings via renter’s insurance.

How much does condo insurance cost?

The cost will depend on a variety of things, including the size of your unit, whether you’ve done improvements/upgrades, and the location and age of your building. Condo insurance generally costs less than home insurance, because it covers additional risks associated with renting. And it only takes a few minutes to get a condo insurance quote online.

Condo insurance usually costs more in larger cities, because it reflects property values. Rates for condo insurance in Vancouver or Toronto, for example, will likely be a little higher.

Consider these costs when determining how much condo insurance coverage you need:

  • The replacement of your personal property.

  • The amount for any improvements/upgrades you made.

  • Accommodation and food should you need to temporarily relocate.

  • Your civil liability in the event that you or someone in your household causes damage to someone else’s property or injury to another person.

Get a condo insurance quote by speaking to one of our RBC Advisors, or get a quote online.

Great Rates and Expert Advice on Home Insurance

Get a free online quote* for coverage to protect you, your property, and your belongings from the unexpected.

Learn More

*Home and auto insurance products are distributed by RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. and underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company. In Quebec, RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. Is registered as a damage insurance agency. As a result of government-run auto insurance plans, auto insurance is not available through RBC Insurance in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

Share This Article


Home Insurance