Co-ownership

Co-ownership has become an increasingly popular choice of housing. Unfortunately, this fast-growing housing segment includes many condo buildings that are in poor shape. Sometimes badly built and often badly maintained, many co-owners have suffered damage that could have been avoided.

The increase in claims has created a harder insurance market for co-ownership syndicates (more limited coverage, higher premiums, and deductibles).

The legislative amendments adopted by Quebec in recent years have modified condo insurance and some of the rules governing their management. These changes are a step in the right direction to help improve maintenance quality, claims settlement and insurance market conditions.

IBC is actively working to offer consumers information and tools to better understand condo insurance and the recent legislative amendments, so that they can adequately protect their property.

The P&C insurance industry also believes it is essential that the regulations governing the construction of this housing segment be revised to better protect co-owners and their assets.

Getting to know how co-ownership works

Two insurance policies

Two insurance policies are needed to make sure your condo is well protected. As a co-owner, it is important that you check what the two policies cover :

  • The syndicate’s insurance policy covers damage caused to the entire building, including the building portion of your condo unit. 
  • The co-owner’s policy covers damage caused to your personal property and any improvements made in your unit, your civil liability, and any special assessment (apportionment) your syndicate may impose. 

Understanding how condo insurance works

You also need to know how condo insurance work. To learn more, see the different articles available on Infoinsurance.ca (look for them in this page them under "Articles").

IBC survey confirms common co-owner misconceptions

2020 survey – What co-owners told us:

- 19% did not know their condo unit was covered by two insurance policies (co-owner’s policy, and syndicate’s policy).


- One in two co-owners did not know the amount of the syndicate’s insurance deductible.


- Between 30% and 35% of co-owners did not have coverage for water damage, the leading cause of home insurance claims.


- 50% did not know their syndicate was required to provide a description of the private portions.


- 40% of co-owners did not know much about, or barely understood their Declaration of Co-Ownership.

The survey carried out by IBC confirmed the misconceptions of co-owners, a significant number of whom are responsible for managing their condos. They still do not understand some of the basic notions, including the most recent legislative amendments.

For improved quality of construction

IBC has proposed a number of solutions to remedy construction quality issues and improve condo management: 

New construction

  • Adopt stricter standards.
  • Ensure standard compliance at every stage of construction with on-site inspections.
  • Clarify the responsibilities and accountability of builders and contractors.
  • Extend the warranty period for new housing.

Declaration of Co-Ownership

  • Standardize the Declaration of Co-Ownership and make key information easy to find, including insurance requirements, obligations of the parties, etc.

Legislative amendments: a step in the right direction

The amendments made to the Civil Code of Quebec, as of 2018, will help resolve certain issues that directly or indirectly impact condo insurance.  

In the longer term, these amendments will help:

  • Improve the state of the housing stock.
  • Protect consumers.
  • Streamline claims settlement, and
  • Improve the condo insurance market.

IBC‘s expertise at the service of all

Over the years IBC has worked with its members and various stakeholders to improve and find solutions related to divided co-ownership and claims settlement issues.

It has tabled briefs, made representations to, as well as met on numerous occasions with the government. IBC has spared no effort to advance the position of P&C insurers about the need for better construction quality and more responsible management of condo buildings.

IBC has also shared its expertise with consumers and its members, and: 

  • Developed tools to make it easier to understand condo insurance and claims settlement for this housing segment.
  • Revised home insurance forms to meet the needs of both policyholders and insurers.
  • Met with various stakeholders (legislators, regulatory agencies, co-ownership associations, condo managers and co-ownership syndicates, builders, real estate brokers, notaries, etc.).

IBC also provides information to and assists consumers in the insurance underwriting and claims settlement process through its Insurance Information Centre and in its various campaigns.