When getting a condominium insurance policy, you'll only need to get coverage for the interior of your home, your belongings and liability coverage. While condominium insurance providers have different rates, their coverage offerings tend to be the same. This makes it important to understand how condo insurance works in order to lock down the best policy for your needs.
This article will cover
What does condo insurance cover?
A condo insurance policy, also known as an HO-6 policy, covers a wide range of perils. These include:
- Theft and vandalism
- Power surges
- Fire and lightning
- Wind and hail
- Water and steam overflow and discharge
- Falling objects
On a broad level, condo insurance only covers the interior of your condo. Your condo association insurance covers the exterior. A condo insurance policy breaks down into four different categories:
Your policy's dwelling coverage takes care of damage to the floors, walls, appliances and built-in portions of your condo. Some condo associations have extensive master insurance policies that can reduce how much dwelling coverage you need to carry. Be sure to understand what your HOA's master insurance policy coverage is when looking for individual condo insurance.
The personal property coverage portion of your condo insurance protects your belongings from perils listed in your policy. Personal property covered includes:
- Appliances and tools
Personal property insurance is an important part of condo insurance. While your HOA's master policy takes care of the exterior of the building, it does nothing for your belongings.
Personal liability coverage takes care of medical and legal expenses that can arise if you are responsible for injury or property damage to another. This coverage is not limited to injuries to others within your condo.
Loss of use
In the event that you have to temporarily relocate while damages to your condo are fixed, loss of use coverage, also known as additional living expenses, covers extra expenses that can arise from the relocation. This includes:
- Furniture rental
- Extra gas costs
Most loss of use coverage has a set limit, so make sure you're aware of your policy's limit.
How much condo insurance do I need?
How much condo insurance you need depends on a few different factors. The amount of dwelling coverage overlap in your HOA's master policy will give you an idea of what you need to get for individual dwelling coverage. Most HOA master insurance policies can be broken down into three types:
This is the most basic of the master insurance policy types. It only covers the jointly owned structures and systems in the condo building. It does not cover your unit's ceilings, walls, floors, systems or appliances. This will require you to handle all your dwelling coverage.
Single entity master insurance covers the same as bare walls-in insurance, as well as the flooring, wiring, plumbing and appliances. If your condo has a single entity policy, it should save you on dwelling coverage needs.
This is the most extensive of master condo insurance policies. All-in covers all the property and structures contained in the building. The only exclusion in an all-in policy is personal property coverage, which your individual policy needs to cover. A good way to make sure you get the right amount of personal property coverage is to make a home inventory list.
How much does condo insurance cost?
The average cost of condo insurance is $512 a month a year, or $43 a month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Your final quote for condo insurance may be more or less than this. The amount of coverage you purchase and your deductible will play a part in your quote as well. There are other factors that will affect your rate as well. They include:
- Your ZIP code
- The age of the condo unit
- Your insurance claim history
Even without these factors, prices can differ between condo insurance providers. The reason for this is they put different risk weights on the factors like the ones above. One company may think the age of your condo is a bigger risk than another company does, for example.
A great way to find the best condo coverage for your money is to compare quotes between multiple providers. Being able to see what each one offers side by side helps you match your coverage to your budget and needs.
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How do I get condo insurance?
Many homeowners insurance providers also offer condo insurance policies. Insurers with excellent reputations for condo coverage include:
- American Family
- State Farm
When you gather and compare home insurance quotes, have the following information at hand:
- An understanding of what your condo complex's master condo insurance covers
- The replacement value of the structural elements in your unit not covered by the master policy
- The total value of your personal property
Again, remember to look at many policy quotes before you make a choice. The more quotes you consider, the better your chances of finding the best coverage for your needs.
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