Condo owners, especially those in California, have often been at a loss when it comes to finding and purchasing earthquake insurance for their homes. For many years, purchasing earthquake insurance coverage was impossible for condo owners. You had to rely on your HOA or other management organization that had control over the property where your condo was located. Now with these rules being relaxed, condo owners have more options and are better educated when trying to find the right type of insurance coverage.
Reliance on an HOA
Reliance on a Homeowners’ Association for earthquake insurance put many condo owners on edge. These insurance policies rarely covered the contents of a condo and, in most cases, left the owner of the unit more confused than ever when they tried to get answers to their questions. Most HOA policies were designed to protect only the building and not what was inside. Due to this confusion, many HOAs didn’t even bother purchasing an earthquake policy leaving condo owners with no other option. In some cases, condo owners were forced to pay for damages even when their own property was intact.
An Opt-in Master Earthquake Policy
When you start asking around, find out if your HOA has an earthquake policy in place. If they do, find out how much value it holds, what the deductible is, and what exactly is covered. If you don’t understand something, continue to ask until you get the answers you are satisfied with. It’s also important to ask if an opt-in master earthquake policy is available. This type of insurance opens the door for your insurance company to learn more so that they can fill in any gaps that the HOA policy may have missed.
Purchasing Your Own Earthquake Coverage
Now, condo owners can purchase earthquake policies on their own to cover the possessions inside their condo. This coverage includes damage to the interior of the unit, the loss of use if they have to vacate, and the cost of covering their possessions as well. The cost of these policies will vary. It’s important to look for both a Master policy as well as one that supplements the coverage you have in place through your HOA. This will offer you both peace of mind and financial security that you can count on if and when an earthquake hits.
When you live in a condo, much of the exterior of your building is cared for or managed by someone else. This can make it difficult for you to protect your investment fully. It’s up to you to ask questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision. When it comes to your condo insurance, get your answers in writing so that there are no misunderstandings when the time comes to file a claim. Stay up to date on all of the happenings with your HOA to ensure you always have all of the latest information.
Don’t wait until you experience an earthquake to get the answers you need. Contact our agents at Jack Stone Insurance Agency today. Each agent has the experience and knowledge to help you find the answers you are looking for. Call today and set up a policy review for your condo insurance. Bring your current HOA coverage so that we can go over it thoroughly and see what can be done to fill in any gaps that may exist.