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What type of insurance do you need?
Condo insurance isn’t required by law exactly, but nearly every lender will require a policy in order to give you a loan. At a minimum, they’ll want your policy to cover the amount you owe on the loan. It’s just their way to protect their investment in you.
Your condo association has existing coverage to protect you, but that only covers the exterior and the shared spaces of your condo. When it comes to property and liability concerns inside of your condo unit, you will need your own separate protection.
As you can imagine, because the nature of a condo is different from a home, the insurance coverages needed to protect each are different. With condos, you'll typically only need to insure the area within your owned walls, and not all the shared space, though this does vary. The condo insurance form reflects that limited coverage area. It doesn’t include things such as Coverage B - Other Structures that are located on your home’s property, such as a detached garage or utility shed.
An HO6 insurance form is the type of insurance that covers condos, so they are the same thing. Each type of property insurance that applies to individuals (and not businesses) has its own insurance form with different coverage sections and contractual language, such as HO1, HO2, HO3, HO4, HO5, and HO6.
Your condo insurance policy will come with some automatic coverage options, but you’ll need to work with your independent insurance agent to determine the appropriate values based on your specific needs. Typically all condo insurance policies come with personal property and liability coverages, but you can always add on additional protections like water backup or personal cyber insurance.
The condo association’s insurance policy will typically cover the structure of the building, like the roof and walls. It typically covers any shared common areas as well, such as the lobby, pool, or exercise area. This will include both property coverage and liability coverage. It won’t, however, cover what’s located inside each condominium unit.
It's best to have your independent agent review your condo association's policy to make sure you don't overlap coverages or leave any dangerous gaps.
No, your own personal condo insurance policy will only apply to the property and space within the walls of your own condo. Other units will be covered under their owners’ insurance policies, while the common areas and base structure of the building will be covered by the condo association’s insurance policy. However, if you’re responsible for causing damage to another person’s condo unit, your liability coverage would likely pay for the other person’s damage.
No, condo insurance is treated the same as homeowners insurance by the IRS and isn’t tax deductible. There are other tax deductions that are similar, like mortgage insurance through the VA, FHA, or RHA, but condo insurance is not a deductible item on your taxes.
When it comes to renting your condo through Airbnb, or any other service, condo insurance protects you essentially the same way a homeowners insurance policy would while you’re away. For example, if there was a fire at the Airbnb and your stuff got damaged or destroyed, you’d be covered under your personal property coverage the same way as you would under a homeowners insurance policy, even though you’re away from home.
Condos are a popular urban and rural housing option with a number of benefits over homeownership or perpetual renting. But that doesn't mean they don't come without risk. Protecting a condo is just as important as protecting a stand-alone home, but with a few differences. But doesn't the condo association provide insurance? Yes, and no.
Understanding how much coverage you need on your condo and making sure there are no gaps in coverage between your policy and the condo association’s policy is critical in making sure you’re properly covered if you have a claim. Speaking with a trusted independent insurance agent should be your first step in securing the right type of condo insurance.
Condo insurance is essentially an agreement between the condo owner/renter and an insurance company, where the insurer agrees to cover financial losses for damage and liabilities in exchange for the premiums you pay. Condo insurance is designed to help protect owners from losing their home should disaster strike, as long as they are within the boundaries of the covered perils laid out in your policy.
Condo insurance operates very similarly to homeowners insurance, but it’s customized to work specifically for the unique needs of condominiums. While the building itself is owned and insured by the condo association, your personal space needs insurance coverage in order to adequately protect you from the unexpected.
The term “condo” is a legal distinction for the type of property, and certain declarations are added to owners’ contracts to dictate what percentage of the “common elements” they’re responsible for (e.g., AC units, pools, etc.). As a condo owner, you're responsible not only for your own personal property, but also a few select elements of the main building and its common elements.
Obviously, since a condo owner has unique responsibilities that other homeowners don’t, the insurance policy is designed to cater more specifically to their needs. An independent insurance agent is exactly who you need to walk through your condo's contract and clear up any remaining questions you may have.
Beyond your personal spaces and any shared spaces you're responsible for, condo owners also need protection for friends, family, and other guests who may visit their home, which means having legal or liability coverage.
The more complex your condo and your individual responsibilities are, the more coverage you may need. But here are the three major coverage areas included in standard condo insurance policies available.
These three components make up the core of condo insurance packages. Working together with an independent insurance agent is a great way to get the right amount of coverage in each category for your unique home.
|Dwelling, walls in|
|Personal property actual cash value|
|Loss of use|
|Association loss assessment|
|Fire dept service charge|
|Medical payments to others|
|Ordinance or law|
|Scheduled personal property|
|Personal property replacement value|
Like every other kind of insurance out there, condo insurance comes with a list of specified covered perils as well as non-covered perils. Becoming familiar with what your condo insurance policy doesn’t cover can save you the hassle of filing claims that are bound to get denied, and in the event of certain non-covered natural disasters, help you find the right kind of policy to protect your home.
Condo insurance does not cover the following
Also, if you run a business out of your condo, your insurance won’t cover any liability-related mishaps.
And as far as natural disasters go, to protect your unit against flood or earthquake damage, you’ll need a flood insurance or earth movement policy. Flood insurance policies are only available through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a part of FEMA. Condo owners located in areas prone to flooding may want to seriously consider getting a policy.
Many factors influence the cost of a condo insurance policy, including the size and location of your condo, the value of the structure and its contents, as well as any upgrades you’ve made. Condos located in areas prone to severe weather or other risks like crime will come with more expensive insurance policies than those who live in calmer, safer areas.
While it’s hard to offer an exact figure without knowing your unique living situation, a general range for condo insurance usually falls between $200 and $2,000 annually ($488/year being the average). Unless you’re buying a particularly expensive unit in a major city, though, you can typically expect to pay towards the lower end of the spectrum for coverage. An independent insurance agent can help find more exact quotes for you.
|State||Monthly Insurance Rate||Annual Condo Insurance Rate||% Difference vs. Average|
Whatever you need, your agent has your back. With a brief intro into the terms, discounts, and process of your condo insurance, you know the kinds of questions to be asking. Your agent will ask you all about your condo, its use and your future goals to help find the perfect blend of coverage at the right cost for your budget.
Our independent insurance agents work for you, not the insurance companies. That means you always get the best coverage options to choose from.
When you have options from multiple companies, it's easier to find the best coverage at the right price, at no extra cost to you.
There's an independent agent in every city who always understands the insurance coverage you need most based on local laws and needs that apply to you.
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