The insurance premiums are the amount paid by the insured monthly or annually to benefit in the event of a claim from the guarantees in the insurance policy. It is an expense towards the preservation, maintenance and administration of the immovable. Although the syndicate assumes this cost, it is charged back to the co-owners as a portion of their common expenses (condo fees).
The additional premium is a premium that is added to the existing premium. It results from a worsening of the risk or from the assumption of a new risk. This additional premium may be imposed during the course of a contract or upon its renewal. Risks are analyzed according to scales that are specific to each insurer. Ultimately, the syndicate will pay this additional premium, which will be charged to all of the co-owners through the common expenses (condo fees) or, at times, some of them.
Water damage is the leading cause of loss in co-ownership. It is more and more costly, for syndicates and their insurers. In the last ten years, occurrences of water damages have more than doubled.
Lack of maintenance, sub-standard construction and climate changes are the main culprits. In most cases water damage affects equally common and private portions, thus it is one of the most complex loss to adjust.
Effective management of a loss (e.g. water damage and fire) requires the implementation of prompt and effective actions so that your building is repaired in the best delays. This article is a summary, of the precautions to be taken and a check list of things to do once you become aware of a loss, whether in a private or common portion of your immovable.
If your co-ownership suffers a "substantial loss" as a result of an incident, you must use the services of an insurance trustee in accordance with article 1075 of the Civil Code of Québec. This section stipulates that "the indemnity owing to the syndicate following a substantial loss is, notwithstanding article 2494, paid to the trustee appointed in the Constituting Act of the co-ownership or, when none has been appointed, designated by the syndicate".
The insurance trustee is a key person. His role is to manage the indemnities paid by the insurer. It ensures that the money available is in fact used to "repair or rebuild the immovable". All in all, the interest of the co-owners and their hypothecary creditors is protected. Indeed, it is in their best interest that the immovable is repaired or even rebuilt.
The Law states that your syndicate's object, therefore its mission is "[...] the preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and administration of the common portions [...]." This implies that it has a duty to have carried out, over time, the work required to prevent the deterioration of the common portions of the immovable. The maintenance and conservation of its built up patrimony are therefore a must for any self-respecting co-ownership.
Legal fees may hold back those co-owners wishing to assert their rights. Legal expenses insurance overcomes this obstacle.
What is legal expense insurance?
This insurance allows the reimbursement, in part or in full, of lawyers' or notaries' fees to prevent or resolve a dispute. However, this guarantee is subject to pre-established conditions, deductibles and caps.
Insurance companies offering legal fees insurance can propose a lawyer, although it cannot impose him to you. You remain free to retain the lawyer of your choice.
You move into your new condo. A few weeks later, a bailiff knocks on your door and serves upon you a notice of preservation of a legal hypothec of construction. He also served all your neighbors. Reading this document, you learn that a dispute remains unresolved between the contractor and a supplier (or subcontractor), concerning work performed or materials furnished that have not been paid by the contractor.