Get The Best Condo Insurance Coverage
Article 3 of 3 in Insurance for Renters, Landlord, and Condos
Condo insurance coverage provides protection for the unique aspects to living in a condominium that require different home insurance. Condo insurance coverage is tailored to meet the needs specific to condo ownership, so be sure to get the right policy for your condominium.
TIP: Condo HOA associations insure the building and common areas, but any damage to your unit and its contents are your responsibility. Get condo insurance coverage to protect your personal belongings and the inside of your unit!
Coverage Included in Condo Insurance Coverage
To determine your insurance coverage needs, carefully review your condo association's master policy, specifically the section that outlines what is and is not covered. This will tell you what the association will cover and alert you to any gray areas (such as the hallways and balconies) where you are unsure if your condo HOA will provide coverage. Reading the master policy will let you know exactly how to tailor your condo insurance coverage. Typically, insurance for condos provides home contents insurance to cover your belongings inside the unit. It also provides the following:
- Dwelling Improvements, Alterations, and Additions - Condo insurance coverage provides coverage for damage to improvements you make in your unit for which your association's policy does not provide coverage. This could also include items that add value such as new flooring or new appliances.
- Medical Payments to Others - This coverage is provided if there is someone injured in your unit. This is more of a one time payment for medical bills due to injury on your premises.
- Loss assessment - Condominium insurance coverage also provides condo owners with a certain amount of protection against lawsuits against the HOA. If the HOA is forced to pay for damages, they can divide the cost amongst the condo owners in the form of a damage assessment. Typically, the condo insurance coverage protecting you from loss assessments is up to $50,000but this may vary depending on your policy. The best policy includes this coverage for no extra charge. Some policies require that this coverage be added as a rider. Ask your agent if this coverage is included in your policy.
- Personal Liability - Personal liability coverage is included in all condo owner's insurance policies. It gives you protection against liability in and outside your condo. If someone is injured on your property or you damage property that belongs to others, you could be held legally liable for the injury or damage, and personal liability coverage will help by paying for the damages you are responsible for.
TIP: Be certain that your condo owner's insurance policy covers any potential gaps in the master policy. You should review the condo association's master policy to be sure you understand your responsibility versus the responsibility of the condo association. If you have any questions,
Condo Home Insurance and Personal Property
Your personal property coverage is included in your condo home insurance and is designed to cover all the personal property inside your unit. This includes stereos, TV's, furniture, clothes, wall art, washer/dryer and all other appliances. Make sure the limit found in this section of coverage is adequate to cover ALL your personal possessions. If you should suffer a total loss (say due to a fire) you need to make sure that this amount restores you back to your original condition.
Your condo home insurance policy protects your personal property against loss or damage from a number of specified causes, such as:
- Fire or lightning
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet
- Windstorm or hail
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water
- Riot or civil commotion
- Accidental eruption of hot water heating system
- Vehicle damage
- Smoke damage
- Artificially generated electrical current
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Falling objects
TIP: Your personal property is covered both at your residence and any other location worldwide with some limitations. Before you go on vacation, check your condo policy to see if your belongings are sufficiently covered while you travel.
Other Condo Insurance Coverage to Consider
There is other coverage you should consider adding to your condo owner's insurance policy. Talk to your agent about adding these riders to your policy. It may cost you a few extra bucks, but the extra coverage could potentially save you thousands.
- Inflation Protection- As inflation rises, so does the cost to replace items if they are damaged or stolen. Adding this rider will mean that your coverage on the unit itself will keep up with inflation.
- Sewer and Drain Back Up- If the sewers or drains back up, will you be covered? Some policies protect against water damage while others do not. Make sure to check who would be responsible for sewer and drain problems, and insure yourself if necessary.
- Jewelry and other Valuable Item Rider- Most condo insurance coverage limits your expensive possessions to $2,500. If you own a diamond ring, furs or a gun collection, this may not be enough. You can insure them for their appraised value with a home insurance valuable items rider. The coverage also not only pays for theft, but mysterious disappearance (if the item is lost). The added bonus is there is no deductible.
- Flood or Earthquake Insurance- If you live in an area prone to these types of natural disasters, you should spring for earthquake or flood Standard condo owner's insurance policies do not cover floods or earthquakes.
Talk to your insurer and get the specifics before you spend money on these extras, and shop condo insurance quotes to find the best deal on these coverage extras.
Save Money on Your Condo Owner's Insurance
There are several home insurance discounts you can receive that will save you money on your condo insurance quote. Once you get your condo insurance quote, make sure you ask your agent about these discounts.
- Multi Policy Discount- Do you already have auto, motorcycle, disability or life insurance? Check with your insurance company first as they may offer you a discount for buying your condo insurance coverage with them.
- Deductibles- Increase your deductible amount and pay less on your premium. Your deductible is the amount you need to pay before your insurance kicks in, so if you choose a higher deductible you self insure for the smaller claims by leaving the company out of it. This makes you less of a risk, and can lower your condo insurance rates.
- Burglar Alarm, dead bolt locks, automatic sprinklers- A lot of newly built condos have these theft devices built into them . Make sure you advise your agent or insurance company that you have these theft and fire deterrent devices in order to get more discounts on your condo insurance quote
- Comparison Shop- Condo insurance quotes vary widely among insurance companies. Make sure you comparison shop to get the best price on a condo owner's insurance policy.
Make sure you review your condo insurance policy every year with your agent to ensure that your coverage limits are adequate. An annual insurance analysis review will give you the opportunity to discuss your coverage and any changes that may have occurred to your bylaws or master policy that could require you to change your condo insurance coverage. If you're shopping for condo owner's insurance and would like to get a free condo insurance quote today, click here and get started at the Free Advice quote center.