These residents might need different coverage
Insurance Business Canada
by Bethan Moorcraft
18 August 2017

Getting condo insurance right is no easy task – and one recent trend has thrown an extra spanner into the works, which is causing some insurers and brokers a bit of a headache.

The condo market is booming in Canada alongside a high demand for quick, affordable homes. People are buying condo units before the building construction is complete and some are being allowed to move in early.

This premature move-in trend is creating a bit of a pickle for some insurance companies, according to Ann Marie Coombe, VIP Client Account Manager CIP, Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers.

“A recent trend we’re coming up against at the moment is builders letting owners occupy a condo unit before the building is finished,” Coombe told Insurance Business. “People who choose to move in at this point need to make sure they have liability insurance to live in the building because it might not yet be registered as a condo.

“Condo boards need to have a certain percentage of residency before the building is registered as a condo. Owners who occupy their unit before the condo is registered might be technically renting from the builder and so we need to set them up with a tenant insurance policy.”

Many clients are “completely unaware” of this complex insurance framework. In the hustle and bustle of moving, lots of people get their condo insurance wrong, according to Coombe. This is where brokers need to step up. 

“It can be quite a challenge because we have to get tenant insurance at the onset, which then has to be converted into a condo policy when the client’s needs change,” said Coombe. “Some insurance companies are struggling a bit with that because it’s all so new to them.

“So, on top of all the other complicated condo insurance issues, brokers also have this occupancy issue that needs to be addressed with the client at the onset of proceedings. It’s really important for the brokers and lawyers to work with the clients to make sure they have the coverages they need.”

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