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Pennsylvania Condo Insurance
Whether you’ve had a condominium for a number of years or are just purchasing your first one, there are a few things that will make selecting your Pennsylvania condo insurance easier and your life living in the condominium less stressful.
When you own a condominium, you and not your condominium association, are responsible for your belongings inside your home. That’s why having a personal Pennsylvania condo insurance policy is so important. Condo associations typically have master policies that cover the property, common areas and structure of your building.
These master policies do not cover your personal property or your legal liability and they may or may not cover improvements to your unit. There are few provisions in the Pennsylvania state law that you need to be aware of so you aren’t caught off guard – here are 4 of them:
- Know your Building (and neighbors) – With any unit that is attached to other units, you have a certain level of dependency on the people living near you and the governing Home Owners Association (HOA). While you are free to get your own Pennsylvania condo insurance for your unit, Pennsylvania law dictates an HOA carry a certain level of insurance for the entire building and common areas depending on size and year built.
This is not the same in other surrounding states so if you have moved from out of state, make sure you have read up on Pennsylvania Condominium insurance law. You also need to make sure you are aware of all positives and especially negative issues of your building to properly budget for any possible assessments on the building. This can include things like the shared roof, common grounds and possibly shared utilities(boiler) for the complex like a parking garage or lot.
You should be aware of any changes to insurance requirements for condominium associations in the works, particularly the requirements regarding owner-installed improvements or customization. This is one area that Pennsylvania law also dictates more closely that other states do not.
- Plan Ahead With Your Policy – This may seem like a no-brainer but it is very commonly overlooked. This applies especially if you are just purchasing a condominium and just spent a large amount of money and are still relatively unaware of the potential problems down the road the condominium could have.
Choose a Pennsylvania condo insurance policy that will protect you from incurring a huge claim down the road that you may not have money for should they arise. Be aware that HOA fees will most likely over time. If a large issue should come up (i.e. elevator broken, parking lot resurfacing, etc.), the HOA can assess each owner a percentage of the cost and if you are unable to pay a judgment can be made against your name.
- Do Your Homework And Get Involved – As we all know, insurance companies, polices and the whole process of buying Pennsylvania condo insurance can be overwhelming, confusing and sometimes a pain. On top of that, you have the HOA with specific rules, policies and meetings. You need to know what types of actions that can make your policy void, what deductions are “reasonable” and what you are and are not allowed to do to your own unit.
Pennsylvania insurance rules for multi-unit buildings vary based on the number of units and also based on when they were built. Most of this is covered in the Common Interest Ownership Act (CIOA) for Pennsylvania Insurance. Personal unit betterment by the owner is covered PA 09-225 but none of the surrounding states have requirements regarding owner-installed improvements that are at all similar to the requirements in PA.
Don’t be afraid to speak up at HOA meetings and ensure the right decisions are being made for everyone, not just the active members that attend the meetings most frequently or may own more than one unit.
- Be the Boss – Even if you’re buying Pennsylvania condo insurance because it is a requirement, you should always remember that you are the customer and you are a property owner. With any insurance policy you’re looking at with any company, it is important to remember that within limits, you are in control. The agent is there to assist you to get the right policy for you, not for them.
Don’t be shy about asking your insurance agentquestions, including the hard ones, about what exactly makes them better and how they can serve your exact needs beyond a generic Pennsylvania condo insurance policy.
As you move through the process of buying insurance in Pennsylvania, remember that early due diligence in insurance is your key to a stress-free, enjoyable and happy long livelihood in your condo.
Pennsylvania Condo Insurance
If you own a condominium in PA, let one of our expert agents take a look at your current condo insurance policy. In most cases we can save you money and offer you better policy options than you currently may have. Call us today at (800) 821-2436 x1, or fill out the form on this page for more information and a no-obligation quote.