Condo and townhouse insurance rates are typically much lower than rates for homeowners insurance for single family dwellings. This is because the condo association’s master policy usually covers damages to the building itself, including outdoor and common areas. For the interior of your condominium, you will need a condo (or HO-6) insurance policy. If you are a first time condo-owner, you may be wondering, “How much is condo insurance?”
An independent insurance agent can help you determine how much you can expect to pay for an HO-6 policy. Contact a local member agent who can help to determine your coverage needs and provide you with honest and ethical advice about your options. Your agent will get to know you and will provide a variety of quotes so that you can make an informed decision on the best condo insurance for your needs and budget.
Condo insurance rates can vary greatly depending on the value of the condominium, the geographic area, and the condo association policy. The primary factors that can affect your policy costs include:
We will cover each of these topics in the following sections.
To determine how much coverage you need, first find out how much condo insurance is provided under your condominium association master policy. If you are fortunate enough to live in a place where the condo association has an “all-in” master policy, your interior walls, floors, ceilings and windows may all be covered. You will then need coverage only for your appliances and other contents. If your condo association does not include coverage for windows, walls and floors in their master insurance, you will need this coverage.
Next, determine how much contents coverage you need. Begin by going through every room of your home and creating an inventory of all your belongings. This list should include things you might overlook such as clothing, utensils, personal electronics and jewelry. Use this list to determine the value of your personal property. If you have any extremely expensive valuables, you may need to purchase additional endorsements, or “riders,” to obtain full coverage.
Your condo insurance carrier will most likely offer you a choice between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost coverage” for your home and personal items. Actual-value replacement plans are less expensive but will provide reimbursement for your condo and your belongings based on their actual, depreciated value. If you were to lose everything to a disaster such as a fire, having the more expensive replacement-cost plan will provide you with enough compensation to cover the cost of replacing everything you lost.
Your insurance company will also typically offer a choice between named-risk and all-risk coverage. Named-risk insurance policies cost less than all-risk policies, but they will provide coverage for damages that result only from pre-selected disasters. Therefore, if you were to purchase a named-risk policy for fire and theft but your condominium was destroyed by a tornado, you would not be able to receive compensation.
The amount of your deductible will have an impact on your insurance premiums. Policies with very high deductibles are less expensive than those with low deductibles; however, you must be prepared to pay that high deductible out of pocket in the event of a claim. When choosing your deductible, consider your personal situation and whether you would be able to comfortably handle the out-of-pocket deductible if your property is damaged or lost.
You must also consider the deductible required by your condo association’s master policy. Many HO-6 plans are now adapted to cover the deductible amount required by the condo association’s insurance and thereby provide you better coverage. However, this added coverage does typically raise your condo insurance rates.
The location of your home will also affect your condo insurance costs. If you are in an area that has a high risk for natural disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, or wildfires, your policy rates may be higher. Additionally, condos located in high crime areas may have higher insurance rates.
Condo insurance companies will also take into consideration the structure of your building. Condominiums and townhomes that are constructed in a way that helps them withstand the forces of nature are less expensive to insure. Some newer buildings are equipped with safety features such as sprinkler systems and monitored alarm systems, and these features will typically result in lower insurance rates for you.
Many insurers offer condo insurance deals and discounts for a variety of reasons. Ways to obtain condo insurance discounts include multi-policy discounts for buying more than one policy from the same carrier, having a non-smoking home and installing deadbolts on exterior doors.
You may also be able to get a senior discount, as well as lower rates for memberships in certain associations or professional groups. Talk to an independent insurance agent to find more ways to receive a lower rate on your policy.
Independent insurance agents want to help you get a policy that meets all your coverage needs at the best possible price. These agents work for you, not for an insurance company. Your local agent will ensure that you have a policy that provides the important coverage you need, and will help you find ways to save on your premiums.
Find a local Trusted Choice independent agent in your neighborhood today and get free condo insurance quotes and personal assistance.