What you should know before you select condo insurance coverage.
A condominium is different to a house or an apartment. As a condo owner, you own part of a building but not all of it. For this reason, those who live in condos don’t need homeowners or renter’s insurance – they need condo insurance. This will typically be covered by two separate insurance policies that protect against different incidents.
The first policy, the master policy, is often held by your condo association. It covers the structures and areas owned in common by all the unit owners. This usually covers the roof, exterior walls, stairways, recreation rooms, elevators, swimming pool, and ground. The second policy is your individual coverage. Here’s what it should cover.
Your policy needs to protect your personal property and the portion of the building that belongs to you. This area will differ depending on the state where you live and the particular condo that you live in. You may own everything from the bare walls, floor, and ceiling of your unit. Again, this could include carpeting, floor tile, bathroom fixtures, cabinets, appliances, countertops, and interior walls.
You may also be responsible for insuring:
- The unit’s original fixtures and internal plumbing and wiring
- The patio or balcony
- The garage and garden areas
One feature of condo insurance, as with homeowners insurance, is coverage for the structure of your unit. A standard policy often provides protection for:
- Loss assessments when a covered peril damages the community’s common property.
- Personal property, such as TVs, furniture, clothing, and computers that are stolen or damaged in a covered peril.
- Damage to another’s property for which you’re held responsible.
- Medical payments, if a guest gets injured on your property.
- Temporary housing costs if you’re unable to live in your unit due to a covered loss.