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How Much Insurance Coverage Do I Need For My Condo?

Condominium owners are responsible for insuring the interior of the condo on their own, rather than the exterior. That's because the community areas of a condominium are a shared responsibility between everyone living there and the cost of insuring those areas is typically included in the Home Owners Association (HOA) fees for the neighborhood.

What does condo insurance cover?

Condo insurance is separate from homeowners insurance and only covers the interior of your condominium. Complete coverage varies in each case, but typically only protects the following:

  • Personal property
  • Interior walls and appliances
  • Liability claims from persons injured in your condo

The liability coverage on condo insurance will cover you if a person is injured in your home, or their property is damaged, and they decide to sue. Insurance will cover their medical bills and legal fees if you are found liable.

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What is The Master Policy?

Your condominium will have a master policy covering the exterior portions of the unit and sometimes the interior structures of each condo. It’s similar to an HOA and is often called such.

There are two types of condominium master policies:

  • All-in Policy: This policy will cover basic appliances, fixtures, carpet, wiring, and plumbing in the building and your condominium unit, but will not cover your personal possessions.
  • Bare Walls-in Policy: This policy covers absolutely nothing within the interior unit of your condominium. It only covers exterior and communal portions of the building, like hallways, lobby areas, elevators and external walls. A bare walls-in policy may cover electrical and plumbing issues in your unit if connected to the utilities throughout the building, but not always.

It’s important to review your condominium association’s master policy rules before purchasing your condo insurance. Associations with a bare walls-in policy will require you to purchase the most insurance for your new condo while an all-in policy will cover nearly everything but your personal property. Be sure to get a copy of your condominium association’s policy and read it over thoroughly before purchasing insurance.

Your condo insurance should include personal property damage and damage from weather-related disasters, along with theft. You might consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy for added liability coverage in case of an accident.

Remember, failing to purchase condo insurance to cover your personal possessions could cost you thousands of dollars if something were to happen to them while you’re uninsured. Getting quotes from the best condo insurance companies to protect you and your home is the best way to protect you and your home.

What should you keep in mind?

You’ll need to take inventory of your possessions before purchasing insurance for your new condo and assign a dollar amount to each of your items. This will help determine the amount of insurance coverage you need.

Condo insurance costs vary based on the amount and value of the personal possessions you own. The average cost of insuring a new condo is between $100 and $400 a year. When totaling the cost of your personal possessions don’t forget to take into account some condo insurance policies will contain a “per-item limit.” This means each personal item covered by the insurance cannot exceed a certain dollar amount or it won’t be covered.

For instance, if you have a per-item limit of $2,000 and lose a $5,000 watch due to theft, it’ll exceed your per-item limit amount and won’t be covered. Choose a policy with a high enough per-limit and total coverage amount to protect everything in your condominium.

Condominium owners are responsible for insuring the interior of the condo on their own, rather than the exterior.

What is cash value vs. replacement cost?

Many homeowners forget to consider depreciation when using their coverage. Purchasing a cash value coverage means you’ll only be reimbursed for the original costs of your lost items. If you own a necklace or television that was purchased ten years ago, you’ll receive the value of the item at the time it was purchased. Replacement cost coverage, however, will reimburse you for the amount it’ll cost to get a totally new model of that item. This is often the better option.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

If you are in the market for condo insurance, let us help you find the policy that gives you the right amount of coverage at the best price. Give us a call at [mapi-phone-link /] today so we can help you get started.

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