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Condo insurance: Key changes to the Civil Code of Québec (Bill 141)

In December 2018, several changes were made to the Civil Code of Québec affecting divided co-ownerships—i.e., condo buildings. Keep reading to find out more about the main changes for condo owners.

Your condo insurance policy

Your policy includes coverage for:

Your legal liability if you accidentally injure another person or damage their property


For example: Your bathtub overflows, causing water damage in your downstairs neighbour’s unit.

The contents of your unit (your personal belongings)1


For example: Your belongings are damaged in a fire.

Improvements and betterments made to your original unit


For example: You replace the original melamine kitchen cupboards with hardwood.

As a condo owner, you’re responsible for any damage to your personal property and to improvements and betterments made to your unit. So having your own insurance is crucial.

The condo association’s insurance policy

The condo association (called a syndicate in Bill 141) insures the common portions of the building and each owner’s original unit.2 The condo association is also responsible for creating a self-insurance fund (or reserve fund) to cover emergencies and repairs.

If a loss occurs, the condo association is now responsible for repairing all damage to the building, including damage to individual units.

However, when the condo association files a claim with its insurance company, some expenses may not be covered—meaning unit owners could be asked to cover the difference:

Application of the condo association’s deductible


For example: The main electrical panel breaks, causing damage to the building. The condo association’s insurance company takes care of the repairs, but a $10,000 deductible applies.

Insufficient coverage under the condo association’s policy


For example: A sewer backup causes damage to all ground level units. The condo association’s insurance company takes care of the repairs, but the maximum amount payable is $100,000 and the repairs cost $125,000.

No coverage under the condo association’s policy


For example: The building is damaged in an earthquake, and the condo association’s insurance policy excludes earthquake coverage.

Here’s how condo associations can recover these amounts:

If the loss was caused by a unit owner
The condo association can require the owner responsible to pay all amounts not covered by the condo association’s insurance. Other unit owners won’t be asked to contribute. The unit owner who was at fault will be covered under the liability portion of their own condo insurance policy.

If the loss was not caused by a unit owner
The condo association can use its self-insurance fund, or it can charge a special assessment to all unit owners, even those whose units weren’t damaged. To be covered for this type of special assessment, your insurance policy needs to include sufficient standard protection or optional protection.

Impact on Desjardins Insurance clients

If the condo association decides to charge a special assessment to all unit owners, here’s what your insurance policy covers and excludes (assuming you have the required coverage, and subject to the maximum amount payable for the coverage):

Not covered

Application of the condo association’s deductible

Covered

Insufficient coverage under the condo association’s policy

Covered

No coverage under the condo association’s policy

So basically, if the condo association charges a special assessment because it has insufficient coverage (or no coverage) for the loss—and if the type of loss is covered under your condo insurance policy—you will be covered.

However, your insurance policy does not cover special assessments charged by the condo association to cover a deductible payable under the condo association’s insurance policy.

Count on your insurer for the right advice

The introduction of Bill 141 could change your insurance needs. If you want to make sure you still have the coverage you need, talk to one of our insurance agents.

Looking for more information about your insurance coverage? Learn more about insurance for condo owners from Desjardins Insurance.

Impacts for condo associations

Condo associations must now meet new requirements with regard to insurance policies for condo buildings.

Learn more

Additional information

Copropriété : modifications législatives en vigueur le 13 décembre 2018, Chambre de l’assurance de dommages (French only)

Copropriété, Bureau d’assurance du Canada (French only)

Changements législatifs : le BAC fait le point sur l’assurance copropriété, Bureau d’assurance du Canada (French only)

1. Product descriptions on this page are for information only. Full details regarding coverage and exclusions can be found in the insurance policy, which always prevails. Conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply.

2. Condo associations have until June 13, 2020, to provide unit owners with a detailed description of private portions.

See how easy it is to protect your condo with our condominium insurance!

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