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Tell your insurance broker in Ontario about the improvements made to your condo

It is important to inform your Western Financial Group insurance broker of any improvements you make to your condo so they can upgrade your condo insurance policy.

How do renovations affect your condo insurance policy?

Condo improvements are a great way to personalize and upgrade your living space and increase your condo’s resale value. Renovating your condo is rewarding but affects your condo insurance in ways you may not realize.

The replacement cost of your condo goes up

Making improvements to your condo can be expensive and you should protect your investment. A large-scale renovation will increase your condo’s rebuilding cost. Find out if your dwelling insurance limits need to be higher. If your condo was destroyed, you would want it to be rebuilt to the way it was after your renovations, not before.

You should increase your liability coverage during renovations

Things can go wrong during construction so you should update your insurance before you renovate, not after. Adding extra liability coverage to your condo insurance while you renovate is a good idea, in case you’re found legally at fault for bodily injury to others or their property.

Your contractor should have their own insurance and liability insurance or workers’ compensation for their subcontractors. You should verify this with your contractor. If the subcontractors are not covered by their insurance, this is another reason why you should increase your liability coverage.

One more reason to increase your liability coverage is that you could accidentally damage another unit while renovating.

Upgrading your condo insurance policy before you start protects your renovations

Accidents can happen. For example, you might have a flood while installing a new appliance and ruin the new floor you just installed. If you have already upgraded your condo insurance to include your renovations, your floor will be covered.

You may need more contents insurance

If you are planning a large renovation, you might buy new electronics, furniture or other items to make your improvements complete. If you buy a lot of new items to complement your improvements, you might need to raise the limit on your contents coverage or schedule new, high-value items.

Also consider whether your contents insurance is enough to cover your current belongings. If you are starting a large-scale renovation, you will probably need to put them in storage so you should make sure they are covered.

Does your condo corporation’s master policy cover renovations?

Your building’s master insurance policy covers the building and common areas and assets. It does not cover betterments and improvements in your unit. Some, but not all, policies cover some structures in your unit but if you made a claim, the damaged components would be replaced with items of the same quality as what the developer installed. Your renovations would not be covered.

You need to make sure your condo insurance policy includes coverage for betterments and improvements. If your condo has never been upgraded you probably do not have this type of coverage. If you already have betterments and improvements coverage you should adjust the limit to reflect your renovations.

How can you get a better rate on your condo insurance policy?

Adding more coverage to your condo insurance policy will raise your premiums but you can save money by raising your deductible, adding sprinklers and a security system to your condo to lower your rate, or bundling your condo insurance with one of your other policies.

Upgrade your condo insurance policy before you renovate

If you are planning on renovating your condo, talk to your Western insurance broker before you start so you have the coverage you need during and after your renovations. Your broker’s knowledge and experience will help you determine what kind of updates your condo insurance policy needs.