From an insurance perspective, condominium ownership differs from other types of home ownership in a few key ways. So, if you just bought a new condo, you may have a few condo insurance FAQs about how the coverage works. Read on to find the answers that can help you decide the best way to protect yourself.
What to Know About Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance provides similar protections to homeowners’ policies. You’ll need it to cover the interior of the condo unit and your personal belongings. If the interior components of your unit are damaged by perils like fire or vandalism, the policy can pay for the required repair work. It can also reimburse you for personal items stolen from or damaged inside your condo.
What Are the Responsibilities of Condo Owners?
You’re responsible for the following items when you own a condo:
- Building’s interior coverage: It’s your responsibility to maintain and protect the interior structures of your condo unit. Once there’s been damage to the walls, fixtures, or built-in furniture, you’re responsible for the necessary repairs. You can cover this risk with a condo policy.
- Personal property coverage: You’re responsible for the protection of your personal belongings, such as appliances, furniture, and clothing. Your condo’s personal property coverage can pay to repair or replace these items after theft or damage in a covered event.
- Guest medical coverage: This coverage may cover minor medical expenses for a guest injured at your home even if you’re not liable for the accident.
What Does the Homeowners Association (HOA) Cover?
Your HOA insurance (a master policy) complements your condo insurance. But it covers exterior structures of the property, shared spaces, and the surrounding compound. Covered properties may include:
- Boiler room
- Common rooms
- Swimming pool
Some master policies may cover repairs to the structure of the condo units, such as walls and floors. To be sure what’s covered or excluded, review your condo association’s master policy before purchasing your condo insurance.
Do Condo Owners Need Liability Coverage?
Condo owners may be liable for bodily injury that their guests sustain while visiting them at home. In such incidents, liability insurance can cover the resulting legal expenses or medical claims.
How Much Coverage do I Need?
Coverage needs can vary depending on factors like your location and condo’s size. For example, you may need condo insurance worth 20% of your unit’s value. Another way to estimate your coverage requirement is by allocating $100 per square foot (for standard interior finishes).
Sometimes, you may need more protection than available within your standard condo insurance limits. You can address this with additional coverages such as:
- Loss assessment: This policy may cover your share of any special assessment issued by your HOA.
- Flood insurance: A standard condo insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage. You can add this coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Umbrella Insurance: This policy extends your liability protection and can cover you for defamation and wrongful detention claims. It can expand coverage for guests injured in your home and neighbors bitten by your dog.
- Endorsements: Options include scheduled personal property for high-end belongings like fine art.
Get the Right Condo Coverage
As a new condominium owner, you may be wondering about choosing the right coverage for your needs. For help with that (or other condo insurance FAQs), contact us at Jack Stone Insurance Agency. Our experts will help you find a personalized solution for maximum property and personal liability protection.