Condominium owners have distinctive insurance needs when compared to those of homeowners or renters. Although condo associations have their own insurance policies, these condo insurance policies typically only provide coverage for the building, the property’s common areas, and the association’s liability. Consequently, condo owners should consider a separate insurance policy that protects the inside of their condominium and their personal belongings from losses.
Condo Association Insurance Policy
Your condominium association should carry an insurance policy that provides coverage for injuries and accidents that occur in the condo’s common areas, such as the tennis courts or swimming pool, as well as coverage for the building’s exterior. However, the association’s insurance policy does not provide liability protection for the contents within your unit, property damage that occurs inside your unit, or liability claims from someone injured inside your condo unit. For example, the condo association’s insurance policy won’t cover water damage to your walls or a break-in to your unit. Before purchasing condo insurance, it’s important to learn what parts of the interior that is not covered by the association’s policy, and that you’ll be responsible for. Keep in mind, state law, in conjunction the articles of the condominium association, will determine that exact coverage included in the condo association’s master insurance policy.
Condo Insurance Coverage
Because in most cases the master condo association’s insurance policy stops at the exterior walls, as a condo owner, you’re generally responsible for what’s inside the interior walls – the interior structure and its content. Most personal condo insurance policies cover losses arising from theft, accidental release of water, vandalism, smoke, windstorm, lightening, and fire.
Condo Insurance Additional Coverages
Commonly, flood and earthquake coverage is excluded from a standard personal condo insurance policy. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes or floods, you might want to consider adding flood and earthquake coverage to your policy. In addition, adding replacement cost coverage enables you to recover the full cost of replacing personal belongings as opposed to the depreciated value of items, in the event your belongings are damaged or stolen. If you own valuable items, such as collectibles, furs, or jewelry, you can consider adding a personal property floater to increase your coverage limit on these items. Lastly, you will also have want to have liability insurance for protection against bodily injury or property damage to others.
Condo owners sometimes overlook condo insurance thinking that the condominium association’s master insurance policy has them covered. Unfortunately, that’s only part of the equation. Only condo insurance that is customized to fit you and your unit will provide proper coverage.