While condo insurance, or HO6 insurance, isn't required by Florida law, your mortgage lender or homeowner's association likely do require it. Condo insurance not only protects your belongings from damage or destruction, it also includes liability coverage that could protect you if you are sued.
Condo insurance usually covers the interior structure of your condo, your belongings and more that your homeowners association insurance may not.
We’ll discuss the ins and outs of HO6 condo insurance in this article, which details:
- How much does HO6 insurance cost?
- What does condominium insurance cover?
- Do I need HO6 insurance in Florida?
- How much condo insurance should I get?
How much does HO6 insurance cost in Florida?
Florida condo insurance costs $942 a year on average, or about $78 a month. This is almost twice the national average of $488 a year.
You might pay more or less than $942 a year for HO6 insurance in Florida due to how companies calculate premiums. Some of the factors they consider in this situation are your condo’s:
Other factors can affect the cost of your HO6 premium as well. If you have previous insurance claims, they may increase your condo insurance rates. Having a pet might raise your rates, too — some insurance providers believe certain dog breeds are an insurance risk.
The good news is there are ways to reduce your HO6 insurance rates. For example:
- Bundling condo insurance with auto or life insurance might lower the price of both premiums.
- Some insurers offer additional discounts, too, such as for new condo buyers and veterans.
- Or you might get a discount from your condo insurer for having wind-resistant features that combat Florida’s high hurricane risk.
What does HO6 insurance cover?
HO6 insurance, the standard insurance policy for condos, covers situations and damages that homeowners association insurance usually does not.
Condo insurance typically provides the following coverage:
The dwelling coverage of an HO6 policy often covers the parts of your condo unit's structure that are excluded from your homeowners association’s insurance policy. Some common examples are your unit’s walls, flooring, bookcases and counters.
Personal property coverage protects belongings like appliances, electronics or furniture from being damaged or destroyed. Also, it protects them when they’re inside as well as away from your condo unit. If you have high-value items like jewelry, art or antiques, you might need additional endorsements to fully protect them.
Personal liability coverage may help cover legal fees and medical bills tied to injuries or property damage of others you’re responsible for within your condo unit.
Guest medical coverage
The guest medical coverage portion of an HO6 insurance policy may cover the medical expenses of someone who is injured in your condo, even if you're not responsible for their injuries.
Additional Living Expenses (ALE)
Additional living expenses coverage can help with extra rent costs, restaurant meals, commuting expenses and more if your condo is damaged and you need to relocate while it is repaired.
Homeowners association insurance typically covers common areas like hallways and pools up to a certain limit, then requires condo owners to help cover the excess costs. Loss assessment is insurance that covers the repair or replacement of your part of the common areas. Florida law requires HO6 insurance policies to include at least $2,000 of loss assessment coverage.
HOA master policies
Your homeowners association should have an insurance master policy to cover the condominium building itself. There are three different types of condo master policies:
- Bare walls: This is the "bare bones" condo master policy. It only covers the structure of the building, including the sheetrock and sub-floor, within the condo’s collectively owned areas.
- All-inclusive: This kind of master policy covers everything the bare walls policy does, but also includes the fixtures in individual condo units as well as any updates or structural improvements made to them.
- Single entity: This insurance type covers everything the all-inclusive master policy type does, except for structural improvements or updates you make to your condo unit.
Florida state law doesn't require your condo association's insurance to cover the following:
- Personal property.
- Flooring and walls.
- Window treatments.
- Water heaters.
- Built-in fixtures and appliances.
While there may be some overlap between your homeowners association insurance and your condo insurance, neither will cover everything you need on their own.
Talk to your homeowners association representative about what their insurance does and does not cover. You can then go to your condo insurance provider with a better idea of what you need to make your coverage as comprehensive as possible.
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Do I need condo insurance?
Florida state law doesn’t require you to have condo insurance, but your mortgage lender may require it to protect its investment. Your condo homeowners association may also require condo insurance as part of your contract with them.
In addition, the homeowners association may require you to prove that your condo insurance policy meets its required coverage limits, and even that you purchased it from a specific condo insurance provider.
Although you're under no obligation to keep your condo insurance if you don't have a mortgage requirement, it's a good idea to have it anyway. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of a bodily injury or property damage claim is $26,085. This is many times the cost of an annual condo insurance premium.
Furthermore, Florida is notorious for hurricanes that cause millions and even billions of dollars of damage. The cost of a condo insurance premium is very little in comparison to the price of replacing your belongings after a natural disaster.
How much condo insurance do I need?
Condo mortgage providers usually require you to have at least 20% of your unit's appraised value in insurance. Your condo association's master policy covers the majority of the structural damage that could occur, hence the lower minimum for your HO6 policy.
However, two of the main factors you should seriously consider when buying condo insurance are personal property and liability. Your homeowners insurance covers neither of these.
In terms of personal property coverage, you should get enough to replace all of your belongings in the event of a total loss. The best way to figure out how much personal property coverage you need is to make a home inventory list. If you're in the process of packing, this is the perfect time to put that list together. It will help your condo insurance provider accurately calculate your claim payout, and it can also help speed up your claim process.
How much liability insurance do you need? Or how much should you buy? Most standard HO6 policies come with a minimum liability limit of $100,000. That may seem like a lot, but an extended hospital stay or a long legal case can burn through $100,000 quickly. We recommend getting at least $300,000 in personal liability coverage — and up to $500,000 if you can afford it.
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