When shopping for the best condo insurance, you want to make sure that you are getting the right amount and types of coverage for your unique situation and needs. Owning a condominium is very different from owning a single family home or renting an apartment, so even if you have purchased home insurance coverage in the past, you will have to start at square one to ensure that you are getting an accurate condo insurance quote.
Start at the Beginning
In order to know what you truly need for coverage and not miss out, you will need to start your insurance shopping by reading your condo association’s insurance policy to see exactly what it covers. In addition, it is up to you to double check what your state’s laws are regarding the type of insurance that condo associations or co-ops have to carry.
Commonly, condo associations have policies that cover damage and accidents in areas that are open to all association members, such as a swimming pool, workout rooms, and hallways. In addition, there usually is insurance coverage for the outside of the building such as the roof, siding, and windows. Learn what parts of the building’s interior are not covered by the condo association’s policy. Being armed with the knowledge of what is included in the association’s policy can help you craft a relevant policy for yourself.
Look for the Limitations
When you find limitations in the condo association’s policy make a list of them. These limitations in coverage will be what you have to supplement in your own policy. Condo associations commonly do not provide insurance coverage for your unit’s contents, so you will need insurance for that.
The responsibility for damage inside your unit is probably yours as well. While the association’s policy will cover damages sustained when your guest slips on the wet pavement around the pool, it will not cover if your guest slips in the bathroom in your unit. In the same vein, if the computer room in the commons area gets vandalized or has electronics stolen from it, the association’s policy would cover that loss. If theft or vandalism happened in your individual unit, you will be responsible for covering the loss.
Depending on the laws in your state and your individual condo association’s policies, damage to the interior of your unit and the furnished appliances inside are probably not covered under the association’s policy. You will need to work with an insurance agent that is familiar with the specific details of writing condo insurance policies.
Protect Your Interests
Your personal property inside your unit needs insurance protection so it is covered for example, in the event of a theft or a fire. When you insure the contents of your condo, loss, damage, and destruction of your prized possessions are covered.
Another coverage need that is lesser known is the structure of your condo itself. As mentioned earlier, the condo association’s coverage extends to the exterior walls, but what if a leaky faucet ends up damaging the bathroom floor of your condo? You will need coverage to address that damage or else pay for it out of your own pocket. Acquiring insurance coverage that meets this responsibility is much preferable to shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a repair.
Insurance coverage for property damage and destruction covers any appliances in your unit, your interior walls, and fixtures within your condo. It will cover damage and destruction from adverse events such as lightning, fire, any type of vandalism, theft, high winds, smoke, plumbing malfunction, and theft.
Don’t Forget Liability
Having liability protection that covers both bodily injury and property damage to others can make a difference between continuing life as usual and coping with total financial destruction. For example, if a guest in your unit gets their laptop destroyed in a fire while visiting, you are responsible for covering its replacement. If someone slips and falls in your condo, you could be sued for a sum that you could never afford to pay. This is where liability insurance comes in.
Liability coverage pays medical bills, lawsuit costs, and various property damages from accidents and disasters that make their impact on the interior of your condominium.
Carefully Figure Value
Your coverage might be inadequate if you do not accurately figure out your property’s value. This is why it is so important to take the time to accurately figure the value of your personal property in your condominium. An experienced professional can help you consider the advantages of varying liability insurance values in light of your condo value, square footage, and other factors.
You will have tangible protection as well as peace of mind with your own condo insurance policy that adds to your association’s coverage. With a complete package of property and liability coverage, you will have the best condo insurance that seamlessly addresses any potential situation that may arise.
Additional Coverage Options
Replacement cost coverage is a popular coverage add-on that ensures that your destroyed or stolen property will be covered by the full amount of money it costs to replace it, not its current depreciated value. Personal property riders are often used to increase the coverage limit on especially valuable items such as antiques, jewelry, or art. If you are concerned about coverage for disasters such as floods and earthquakes that frequently damage where you live, you can choose to purchase additional coverages to add to your policy so you are totally covered.