The Importance of Condo Insurance
Condo (condominium) insurance has several important distinctions from that of regular homeowners insurance, just like the condo dwellings themselves are different from a typical stand-alone home. The condo association or HOA will normally carry insurance that protects its members’ interests. With HOA coverage, protection usually ends at the exterior walls. The owner is responsible for any interior walls, appliances, cabinetry, fixtures and any personal property. The HOA basically protects the association from accident liability and injuries but will do little to nothing for the individual owners’ protection. This is where condominium insurance steps in. If the condo has a mortgage, the mortgage lender will probably require a policy.
What Is It
Condominium owner insurance is designed to protect condo owners from losses not covered by HOA insurance, so it is important to know the extent of coverage you have on your HOA’s policy when shopping for the added protection of condo insurance. Personal property is what is mainly covered with this type of policy. If a condo homeowner is found liable for damages, this is the policy that can help. For instance, should a fire start in your dwelling and also damage any neighboring units, this insurance will help you by covering damages.
How It Works
Good condo insurance protects the homeowner from a myriad of perils, such as wind, fire, theft, water damage and other potential losses. Should you face a loss, you will first need to file a claim with both your condo insurance company and, most likely, with the HOA’s company too, as some claims will likely intersect due to shared damages to both interior and exterior areas. Remember that these policies, like so many, will not cover floods and earthquakes; owners need to purchase separate policies to enjoy these protections.
Kinds of Policies
There is the ‘all-in’ policy for individual homeowners, which will often cover everything within the unit, including personal belongings and as well as liability for any injury or death that might happen inside. A ‘bare walls’ policy covers that which is outside of the unit, including the exterior walls, but not within the condo walls. This is the coverage that the HOA will normally have and does not usually apply to condo owners.
It’s not hard to see how important good condo insurance can be. As a condo owner, the property is likely one of the biggest, if not the biggest, investments you have. Properly protecting it is essential to your financial and emotional well-being.