- Insurance : Civil liability insurance of the co-owner
Definition : Insurance - Civil liability insurance of the co-owner
Insurance covering a co-owner from the consequences of its liability (or a member of his family), more particularly on account of moral or material damage or bodily injury caused to third parties. This protection is generally included in home insurance.
Les copropriétés qui perdent leur assureur ne sont plus des cas isolés. Si la plupart d'entre elles parviennent à en trouver un autre pour recadrer le risque, les primes et les franchises n'en demeurent pas moins substantielles.
A bathtub or a washing machine that overflows into the apartment below, a hot water tank that conks out and spills down six floors: losses involving the civil liability of a co-owner are many co-ownerships. And they are expensive! This is why the amount of insurance premiums and deductibles have increased significantly in recent years.
Worse still, some insurers no longer want to insure co-ownerships, because of a loss ratio that has become out of control. This situation is directly related to the insurer of the syndicate, which is almost always called upon to cover a loss, when damage has been caused to the common and private portions. Thus the question of who is responsible arises. It is also necessary to know the applicable law to the owner at fault. Other considerations affect both the insurer of the syndicate and those of the co-owners concerned, to determine who will pay what?
When you own an apartment in a co-ownership, you share the common portions, such as the roof, the lobby and the elevators in undivided ownership with the other owners. By the same token, you also share a portion of the liabilities attached to them.
Almost every insurance policy includes deductibles, in varying amounts according to the insured risk (e.g. fire and water damage). In co-ownerships, deductibles are a factor in the Building insurance, and in the third party liability insurance of the syndicate, directors, general meeting officers, co-ownership manager (gérant) and of the condo manager (gestionnaire). Regarding co-owner’s insurance, generally each home insurance policy contains one or more deductibles for various amounts according with the nature of the loss.
Un copropriétaire doit s'assurer pour sa responsabilité civile, ses biens meubles et les améliorations qu'il a apportées à sa partie privative.
In co-ownerships, most water heaters (electric or gas) are installed within the apartments. In such a case, this device is an integral part of the private portions of the building. Each co-owners therefore has the responsibility to ensure the proper functioning, by checking (notably) any signs of dilapidation, and, if necessary, by replacing it at its own expense. Failing to do so, in the event of a breach, a co-owner could be held liable for any damages to the common areas of the building, as well as to the private portions owned by other co-owners, up to the amount of the deductible provided for the syndicate's insurance coverage.
Even though some short-term residential rental websites offer insurance for that type of leasing, the fact that you are renting your apartment to tourists, remains essential information to be communicated to both your home insurer and your syndicate insurer. Remember that the insured must declare to his insurer any circumstance resulting from events within his control, which aggravates the risks stipulated in the insurance policy. This will avoid horror stories on the occasion of a loss.
Question: I am a co-owner. Can the syndicate of co-owners claim the amount of the deductible for the insurance if I am responsible for the water damage?
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A co-owner may be liable to the syndicate, the other co-owners and the occupants of the immovable. As stated in Article 1457 of the Civil Code of Québec, every person has a duty not to harm others. As a co-owner, you must be careful and abide to the appropriate rules of conduct in accordance with the context and circumstances. Otherwise, you engage your civil liability and are required to remedy (financially third parties for moral or property damage and personal injury.