It appears that insurance costs for Kitchener Waterloo highrise condominiums are set to increase. With more baby boomers and first time buyers opting for condominiums, it's important to understand the issues that accompany this form of ownership. An excellent article written by Allison Lampert in the Montreal Gazette highlights the need to speak with your insurance broker to make sure you have sufficient coverage.
There are a number of important points in the article. Upon renewal, a 50 unit Montreal condominium had their premium double and were denied water damage coverage after 3 flood claims in the previous year. The building is now forced to self-insure for water damage. It points out some buildings are forced to carry a $100,000 deductible to keep the cost of premiums down. In the event of a claim, this forces unit owners to foot the bill. Other buildings may become uninsurable and no insurance means no mortgage. Remaining cash buyers will want to buy at a discount to allow for the increased risk.
The article points out that, in Ontario, condomium boards can sue individual unit owners deemed responsible. This could create financial hardship, particularly for those living on a fixed income.
As an apartment condominium owner, what can be done to avoid this? Read your condominium insurance policy. Ask your board of directors or insurance broker about things you don't understand. If you have laundry, get in the habit of turning off your taps after running the washer. For those with a dishwasher, it may be prudent to be present when running a load of dishes. Have a home inspector look at your unit to identify any potential causes of damage. Replace aging washers and dishwashers to avoid potential breakdown. If you have tenants, remind them of the same and require a copy of their insurance coverage to try and minimize your liability.
You can read the full article here http://tinyurl.com/a7hfjer.