Condo Insurance FAQ
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What is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance provides coverage for the inside of your condominium; the external areas fall under the jurisdiction of your condo association and must be covered under the association’s insurance policy. Depending upon the specifics of your condominium association’s master policy, your condo insurance may include coverage for:
- The interior walls
- Your appliances
- Your personal property and valuables
In addition to covering your belongings in the event of a loss, your condo insurance also protects you against liability claims iif you are responsible for another person’s injury or property damage, or you have legal fees to pay due to a lawsuit.
You can get the insurance you need for your condo and your valuable possessions by contacting an agent in the Trusted Choice® network. Your agent will help you compare rates from multiple insurance companies and choose the most suitable coverage for your needs.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
Condo insurance policies typically cover what the condo association’s master policy doesn’t cover. A condo association master policy can be of two types:
- An “all-in” condo master policy: Also known as a “single-unit” master policy, this type of policy covers the fixtures in your condo such as the appliances, wiring, plumbing, and carpets, but does not cover personal property that you own.
- A “bare walls-in” condo master policy: This policy does not cover anything contained within your walls. It may or may not cover your condo’s plumbing and electrical systems. Be sure to carefully review the association’s master policy to determine what your condo insurance policy needs to cover.
You will need to buy more of your own condominium insurance if your association has a “bare walls-in” condo master policy than if it has “all-in” condo master policy.
Your condo insurance policy will cover you for loss or damage to your personal possessions, and provide coverage for personal liability and medical payments. Additionally, it will often cover loss of use in the event that your condominium becomes badly damaged by a fire or storm and you need to live elsewhere during repairs. Insurance for a particular condo is known as an HO-6 policy. HO-6 policies typically provide you with coverage for a range of causes of loss. You may have to purchase additional coverage for specific items such as artwork, jewelry and other items of value.
How Does Condo Insurance Work?
Your condo association’s master policy, or HOA policy, will cover damage to your condo building, grounds and other external features. Your condominium policy therefore needs to cover your personal possessions, appliances, and sometimes installed fixtures and other attached features in the unit.
In the event of a covered loss, such as a burglary or fire, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company, and/or the condo association’s insurance company. For example, if your condominium was burglarized, most likely you will simply file a claim with your insurance company. However, if the burglary involved breaking and entering that destroyed an external doorway or if the external security experienced a failure that made the burglary possible, the claim may involve both your insurance company and the condo association policy.
When in doubt, be sure to consult with your insurance agent. If you work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network, your agent will advocate for you and assist you with the claims process.
Why Is Condo Insurance Important?
Condo association coverage will only cover the exterior of the condominium. For the interior and for your possessions, condo insurance will cover potential losses, such as theft of or damage from fire.
You also need to protect yourself from liability claims and lawsuits if someone is injured in your condo or you are responsible for damage to someone else’s property. Note that liability often covers your responsibility for libel, slander, and other bodily injury claims. Because liability claims can lead to lawsuits, it is important to evaluate the amount of coverage you need to protect yourself financially.
For complete protection, many people purchase umbrella liability policies. An umbrella policy provides liability protection that will exceed what your condo and auto policies will cover.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?
Condo insurance costs vary. The cost of condo insurance, on average, ranges from $100 to $400 per year, depending on the value of your personal property and the type and amount of coverage you carry. For example, someone with a number of valuables, such as jewelry, fine art, antiques or collectibles, will need to add additional coverage for those items.
Is Condominium Insurance Tax Deductible?
Condo insurance as a rule, like homeowners insurance, cannot be deducted on your taxes. However, if you rent the condo out to another person, you may be able to deduct the cost of your condo or landlord insurance, at least as it applies to depreciation, wear and tear. Also, if you operate a business out of your condo, you can typically deduct a portion of your condominium insurance from your taxes.
How to Buy Condo Insurance
Although there are several ways to buy insurance for your condo, your best bet is to work with an independent agent. A local Trusted Choice member agent in your area can compare condo insurance rates from multiple insurance carriers and help you choose the best policy for your needs. Additionally, your agent will be able to provide consultation on various options and available discounts. For example, you may be able to bundle your auto and condo insurance for a multi-policy discount.
Does Condo Insurance Cover Theft?
Your condominium insurance will cover theft or burglary if your policy includes personal property coverage. Depending on the details of your policy, you may even be covered for items that are stolen from your car. However, you should be aware that certain items may be either excluded or have specified limits, and you may require additional riders or endorsements to get full coverage on such things as jewelry, art, collectibles and other valuable items. You can compare rates through an independent agent.
To ensure that all of your items are covered against theft or damage, you may want to take a full inventory of your personal possessions and estimate their value. Many condo owners are surprised to find out how much they have that is worth protecting. Be sure to compare the amount of coverage you have with your inventory to determine whether you have enough insurance. By taking an inventory of your items you also can create a record of what you own, so that in the event of a loss you are well prepared to file a claim.
Does Condo Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
If you have condo insurance, you will be covered for damage to your possessions and the interior of your condo from major storms such as hurricanes, tornadoes and windstorms. Damages to fixtures, plumbing or wiring may or may not be covered under the condo association’s master policy, as some condo policies cover fixtures while others only cover bare walls. If the master policy is a “bare walls” policy then you may opt to get a condo policy that covers these items. It is always important to understand the coverage your condo association carries so that you avoid coverage gaps.
Does Condo Insurance Cover Special Assessments?
Basic condo insurance does not typically cover special assessments. However, in some policies, special assessment coverage is included for “named perils.” For example, if a fire damaged your condominium, including common areas, the unit owners in the association may receive a special assessment notice to cover some of the costs of the repairs. Depending on the specifics of your condo insurance policy, you may have some coverage that would help you cover your portion of the assessment.
You will have to separately purchase special assessment insurance, also known as “title insurance,” which covers special assessments not contained within your condo property documents.
Does Condo Insurance Cover Mold?
Most home and condo insurance companies specifically exclude mold from their policies. However, you still may be able to successfully file a claim with your condo insurance company under certain circumstances. For example, let’s say you go on vacation and while you are away a pipe bursts. When you return, you find water and mold everywhere. In this scenario, it’s very likely that the insurance company will cover the mold remediation, because it was caused by a covered peril. If the mold was due to a flood, it would not be covered. Flood insurance is a separate policy that you must have in place to receive compensation for flooding damages.
Does Condo Insurance Cover Appliances?
Yes, appliances are typically covered under your condo insurance policy. Be sure to review the specifics of your policy and the limits on appliance coverage, and update it as needed. For example, if you move into your condo and the original policy adequately covers your old appliances but you choose to upgrade your stove and dishwasher a month later, it’s a good idea to make some adjustments to your policy.
How Much Condo Insurance Should I Have?
One of the first questions condominium owners ask after they buy is, “How much condo insurance should I get?” Basically, you can get a rough idea of how much insurance you need by performing an inventory of all your personal items and figuring out how much it would cost to replace your belongings after a burglary or fire. Certain valuable items may need special or additional coverage.
Let’s say, for example, that you have $10,000 worth of jewelry, $20,000 worth of furniture, and another $20,000 worth of electronics, clothing items and other personal items. The important things to check include whether your total coverage limits are set high enough, and whether any one item in your personal property inventory exceeds the “per-item limit.” For example, if you a diamond necklace worth $5,000, but your per-item limit for jewelry is $1,000, your insurance is not adequately covering your items.
To find the most affordable coverage that matches your specific needs, connect with a local independent agent in the Trusted Choice network. Contact a local member agent today and get the right condo insurance policy to protect your condo investment and personal assets.
Condo Insurance Cost
Condo Insurance Rates and Options
Condo and townhouse insurance rates are typically much lower than rates for homeowners insurance for single family dwellings. This is because the condo association’s master policy usually covers damages to the building itself, including outdoor and common areas. For the interior of your condominium, you will need a condo (or HO-6) insurance policy. If you are a first time condo-owner, you may be wondering, “How much is condo insurance?”
An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you determine how much you can expect to pay for an HO-6 policy. Contact a local member agent who can help to determine your coverage needs and provide you with honest and ethical advice about your options. Your agent will get to know you and will provide a variety of quotes so that you can make an informed decision on the best condo insurance for your needs and budget.
Insurance in Minutes.
Your Condo Association’s Policies Can Affect Your Coverage
- Condo association master insurance policies can have deductibles as high as $25,000
- Some condo associations cover window maintenance and replacement, while others place that responsibility on the condo owner
- Not all condo master plans provide coverage for damages caused by sewer or drainage backups
- Some condo associations offer “all-in” master policies that will include coverage for interior walls, floors and ceilings of units
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?
Condo insurance rates can vary greatly depending on the value of the condominium, the geographic area, and the condo association policy. The primary factors that can affect your policy costs include:
- How much condo coverage you need to buy for complete protection
- The condominium coverage options you choose
- Your chosen deductible and whether or not you have master policy deductible coverage
- The location and construction of your condo
- Available deals and discounts
We will cover each of these topics in the following sections.
How Much Condo Coverage Do You Need?
To determine how much coverage you need, first find out how much condo insurance is provided under your condominium association master policy. If you are fortunate enough to live in a place where the condo association has an “all-in” master policy, your interior walls, floors, ceilings and windows may all be covered. You will then need coverage only for your appliances and other contents. If your condo association does not include coverage for windows, walls and floors in their master insurance, you will need this coverage.
Next, determine how much contents coverage you need. Begin by going through every room of your home and creating an inventory of all your belongings. This list should include things you might overlook such as clothing, utensils, personal electronics and jewelry. Use this list to determine the value of your personal property. If you have any extremely expensive valuables, you may need to purchase additional endorsements, or “riders,” to obtain full coverage.
Condo Insurance Coverage Options
Your condo insurance carrier will most likely offer you a choice between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost coverage” for your home and personal items. Actual-value replacement plans are less expensive but will provide reimbursement for your condo and your belongings based on their actual, depreciated value. If you were to lose everything to a disaster such as a fire, having the more expensive replacement-cost plan will provide you with enough compensation to cover the cost of replacing everything you lost.
Your insurance company will also typically offer a choice between named-risk and all-risk coverage. Named-risk insurance policies cost less than all-risk policies, but they will provide coverage for damages that result only from pre-selected disasters. Therefore, if you were to purchase a named-risk policy for fire and theft but your condominium was destroyed by a tornado, you would not be able to receive compensation.
Condo Insurance Deductibles and Deductible Coverage
The amount of your deductible will have an impact on your insurance premiums. Policies with very high deductibles are less expensive than those with low deductibles; however, you must be prepared to pay that high deductible out of pocket in the event of a claim. When choosing your deductible, consider your personal situation and whether you would be able to comfortably handle the out-of-pocket deductible if your property is damaged or lost.
You must also consider the deductible required by your condo association’s master policy. Many HO-6 plans are now adapted to cover the deductible amount required by the condo association’s insurance and thereby provide you better coverage. However, this added coverage does typically raise your condo insurance rates.
Your Condo’s Location and Building Design
The location of your home will also affect your condo insurance costs. If you are in an area that has a high risk for natural disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, or wildfires, your policy rates may be higher. Additionally, condos located in high crime areas may have higher insurance rates.
Condo insurance companies will also take into consideration the structure of your building. Condominiums and townhomes that are constructed in a way that helps them withstand the forces of nature are less expensive to insure. Some newer buildings are equipped with safety features such as sprinkler systems and monitored alarm systems, and these features will typically result in lower insurance rates for you.
Condo Insurance Deals and Discounts
Many insurers offer condo insurance deals and discounts for a variety of reasons. Ways to obtain condo insurance discounts include multi-policy discounts for buying more than one policy from the same carrier, having a non-smoking home and installing deadbolts on exterior doors.
You may also be able to get a senior discount, as well as lower rates for memberships in certain associations or professional groups. Talk to an independent insurance agent to find more ways to receive a lower rate on your policy.
Find the Best Condo Insurance Rates
Member agents in the Trusted Choice network want to help you get a policy that meets all your coverage needs at the best possible price. These agents work for you, not for an insurance company. Your local agent will ensure that you have a policy that provides the important coverage you need, and will help you find ways to save on your premiums.
Find a local Trusted Choice independent agent in your neighborhood today and get free condo insurance quotes and personal assistance.
What Does a Condo Insurance Master Policy Cover?
Condo insurance master policies come in varying coverage levels.
- 1 What Does HOA Condo Insurance Cover?
- 2 Determine Liability in Condo Water Damage
- 3 Condo Association Insurance Vs. Condo Unit Owners Insurance
- 4 What Kind of Condo Insurance Do Lenders Require?
Condominium ownership is different in certain aspects from owning a traditional single-family home. For example, when you own a condominium you’re also part-owner of what are called “limited common elements.” Condominium units are part of larger condo communities, each having limited common elements such as building exteriors and framing, lawns, roads and walkways. Limited common elements in condo communities are communally insured against loss and liability through condo insurance master policies.
When you own a condominium you’re expected to carry homeowners insurance much like any other homeowner. However, because your condominium is also covered by your condo community’s master insurance policy for certain elements, your insurance needs are different. Condo homeowners insurance usually covers loss and liability involving possessions and people within condo units while insurance master policies cover other issues. Condo insurance master policies also come in two varieties, “bare walls-in” and “all-in.”
According to Bankrate.com, bare walls-in condo insurance master policies “cover all real property from the exterior framing inward.” However, bare walls-in condo insurance doesn’t cover fixtures and installations within your condo unit. Under your condo community’s bare walls-in condo insurance policy, your condo’s countertops, kitchen and bathroom fixtures and your flooring probably wouldn’t be covered. Basically, you need a greater level of individual homeowners insurance for your condo interior under bare walls-in condo community insurance policies.
All-in condo insurance master policies provide a greater level of interior coverage for condominium owners. If your condo’s interior is damaged by fire, for instance, your condo community’s all-in insurance policy would cover many of its interior elements. All-in condo insurance covers fixtures, installations and additions to the interior surfaces of your walls, floors and ceilings. You’d only need a limited amount of individual homeowners insurance under a condo community’s all-in insurance master policy.
Most condo communities carry group master insurance policies featuring deductibles that are paid as a group by all owners. If your condo community’s buildings were damaged by wind, the community’s condo association would make a claim against the insurance master policy. The deductible amount attached to your condo community’s master insurance policy is also spread among all owners. A condo community insurance master policy with a $5,000 deductible and 20 owners would cost each owner $250 per deductible payment ($5,000/20 = $250).