Get condo insurance quotes, cost & coverage fast. Condo insurance protects your personal property and any parts of your unit that aren't covered by your condo association's policy.
Okay, you own a condo, that's similar to owning a home, right? In some ways yes. However, when it comes to determining how much coverage you need, and what you actually have to insure, there is a difference. So, what should you consider when choosing a condo insurance policy as a new owner? Let's go through a condominium insurance policy and what is included - before you get a quote.
When it comes to owning a home, you are responsible for everything. You have to insure the property, interior, the exterior, and liability. With a condo, you aren't responsible for all of this. In fact, your HOA (home owners association) is usually going to cover the exterior (building, parking lot, sidewalks, exterior, etc.). Yes, you do pay an HOA fee, but when choosing a condo insurance policy, you usually don't have to purchase protection for halls in the hallway, carpeting, or the light fixtures. So, you are simply insuring the interior (your dwelling) and the belongings in it.
Condominium or cooperative unit owners own the inside of their units, with the outside owned by the condominium association or the cooperative. The unit may be owner-occupied, leased, or rented to others. The condominium or cooperative bylaws define ownership and identify which party (unit owner or association) is responsible for purchasing property insurance for particular property items, such as built-in cabinetry, interior doors, or wall coverings.
The bylaws also determine the unit-owner's liability exposure. This type of shared ownership is expanding to include "landominiums" where the structures are entirely owned by the unit owners but all land is owned and maintained by the association and "dockominiums" where watercraft are owned by the unit owners but the docks and piers are under association ownership.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
A condo policy has a few major parts including:
Building Property: This type of condo insurance coverage typically helps protect the interior of your condo unit, out to the walls, which could include additions, built-in shelving and fixtures.
Personal Property: Protects your belongings in your unit like computers, clothes or furniture. Personal property is typically not covered by a condo association's master policy, your condo insurance policy should include this type of coverage.
Loss of Use: If a fire or other insured loss damages your condo, you might need somewhere else to stay. Loss of use can cover the increase in cost to live until you can move back in.
Loss Assessment: Uniquely to owners in condominiums and HOA associations, this condo insurance coverage protects owners to be charged for certain kinds of loss. Following are examples that might require the condominium association to assess unit owners:
- A visitor drowns in the community swimming pool, and following lawsuit and subsequent judgment exceeds the liability coverage provided by the condominium/association policy.
- Massive damage occurs to commonly buildings and it is not fully covered by the HOA's insurance policy.
Personal Liability: This condo insurance covers you if a third party makes a claim against you for bodily injury or property damage in your unit. In addition to award or settlement costs, this coverage can pay for your defense and court costs- even if the suit brought against you is frivolous.
Medical Payments To Others: This can medical expenses for people who are injured on your premises accidentally. Like a guest trips over a cord and fall and is hurt.
What Condo Insurance Doesn't Cover
Condo insurance typically does not cover:
- Intentional damage to property (like arson) or harm to another person (like punching your neighbor in the face because they won't turn down their music).
- Business activities or professional services offered in your place (you will need commercial insurance for those situations).
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?
How much does condo insurance cost? The average price of condo insurance is usually very affordable. The premiums vary depending on the company and their underwriting rules, and it depends on the coverages and deductible selected. Following are some of the main factors that go into the price of a policy:
- Location - The more dangerous your location is, for both natural and human risks, the higher premiums you will pay as there is a higher probability for claims.
- Building Size - The larger the building you rent in and the more units in that building, the lower your premium cost will be.
- Credit - The better credit you have, the lower your rates. Most insurers look at credit and weight it heavily.
- Deductible - The deductible is your out of pocket cost before your policy kick in. Lower deductible = higher premium, and higher deductible = lower premium.
- Your Belongings - The more of your things you insure the higher your premium will be.
- Security Precautions - Having a security system, or a deadbolt lock can lower your premiums.
- Fire Protection - If the place you're renting has smoke detectors and overhead sprinklers you may pay less for your condo insurance.
Condominium Risks & Exposures
Property exposure is primarily limited to the personal property of the unit owner with additional property exposures as defined by the applicable association bylaws. The unit-owner'''s responsibility determines the amount of insurance necessary. The unit owner is always responsible for carpeting and wall paint, but may also be responsible for the dry wall plus the plumbing and wiring within the walls.
The responsibility for insuring cabinets, chimneys, countertops, doors, interior electrical, windows, and other structural items are also defined in the bylaws. The insured is also responsible for assessments brought by the condominium association or cooperative for damage to common property as defined by the bylaws.
Personal liability exposure arises from conditions at the premises and the actions of the members of the household. The age of any children, the social and civic organizations, and sports the family participates in can all impact the loss potential. In addition, the type and breed of family pets can increase the exposure.
The unit owner's premises liability is limited to the owned unit as explained in the bylaws, and the condominium association or cooperative has the premises liability for the common areas. If a member of the household becomes an officer or board member of the association or cooperative, there is added exposure for decisions made by the board.
Inland marine exposure includes the antiques, collectibles, electronics, fine arts, firearms, furs, jewelry, silverware, and other types of property subject to sublimits and exclusions within the homeowners policy. As these items are often attractive theft targets, security features such as locks, alarms, off-premise/transit exposures and storage arrangements should be reviewed.
Auto exposures are from household members driving owned, rented, or borrowed vehicles or from loaning their vehicles to others outside the household. All drivers must be identified, licensed, and have acceptable MVRs. The type of vehicle, ownership, the principle driver, garaging location, miles driven, and type of driving must be considered when evaluating the exposure. Age and experience of each driver must be evaluated. Driving courses can assist drivers of any age.
The exposure of household residents temporarily living away from the household exposures such as students away at college is important to explore because of potential vehicle ownership, state compliance, garaging, and usage changes.
Get A Condo Insurance Quote
If you own or are buying a new condo, let one of our expert agents take a look at your current policy or quotes. In most cases we can save you money and offer you better policy options than you currently may have.
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