Although condominiums make up only about 1% of all housing in Arkansas, they serve as homes to around 9,000 households in this state, and more are being built every year. If you are among the proud condominium owners in Arkansas, you will need to cover your property with condo insurance.
Local independent agents can help you find the best policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs. These agents can work with some of the best condo insurance companies in Arkansas to ensure that you are getting a good policy at a competitive price. Find an insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance is a form of homeowners insurance that is designed to meet the specific coverage needs of condominium owners. It can provide you with a relatively low-cost policy for your personal property.
When you own a condominium, you will be required to pay monthly dues to a homeowners association (HOA). Your HOA uses these funds to pay for the following.
- Management of upkeep and safety in common-use amenities like club houses, gyms, and tennis courts that may be found in your condominium community
- Keeping the community livable and safe
- Funding the condo association’s master insurance policy
The master insurance policy held by your HOA will cover damage to the structure of your building and common areas but in most cases, coverage for everything walls-in in your unit is your responsibility.
A good condo insurance policy will work in conjunction with your HOA’s master insurance to provide you with all the home coverage you need.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost in Arkansas?
Condo insurance is more affordable than traditional homeowners insurance because your policy does not need to cover the structure of the building you live in or any of the common areas you may use.
Let’s compare the average cost of homeowners insurance vs. condo insurance in this state:
- Arkansas average home insurance cost: $1,373 per year
- Arkansas average condo insurance cost: $518 per year
The best way to ensure that you are getting your condominium coverage at a reasonable price is by comparing a few customized quotes before making a selection. Independent insurance agents make comparison shopping easy.
How Does Arkansas Condo Insurance Cover Your Personal Property?
Condo insurance is designed to cover the property inside your condominium. The outside structure, including the roof, siding, foundation, and often even the windows, is covered by your HOA master policy.
The contents coverage portion of your condo insurance policy can pay for the cost of replacing or repairing your personal belongings if they are lost or damaged by a covered event. Here are examples of covered events that are likely to affect Arkansas condo owners.
- Property crimes, like theft and vandalism
- Fires, whether they started in your own home or a neighboring unit
- Severe weather events, like thunderstorms, windstorms, and tornadoes.
You will want to be certain that your coverage limits are high enough to enable you to fully replace all your belongings if they are destroyed in a major disaster like a tornado. If you own a particularly valuable property, you might need to purchase special endorsements for it to be fully covered.
How Does Arkansas Condo Insurance Shield You from Liability Lawsuits?
All condo insurance policies include personal liability coverage. This is designed to provide coverage if you or anyone in your household (including your pets) unintentionally causes another person to experience an injury, property damage, or financial loss.
Examples of covered incidents include:
- A guest is injured in your home after tripping over a loose carpet.
- Your dog gets off his leash and bites a neighbor.
- You accidentally injure someone while away from home, such as while playing disc golf.
- You are accused of libel or slander.
If you are sued, your condo liability insurance can cover your associated expenses including things like legal fees, court costs, mediation costs, settlement, and judgements.
What Is Loss of Use Insurance?
All condo insurance policies also include loss of use insurance.
If your condominium building sustains significant damage due to a covered event like a windstorm or a fire, your home may be rendered uninhabitable until the building can be repaired or rebuilt.
If this happens, your loss of use coverage can help by covering the miscellaneous expenses you may accrue while acquiring temporary housing. It can include coverage for things like:
- The cost of accommodations like a hotel or a temporary rental home
- Moving costs and storage fees
- Pet boarding fees, if applicable
- Extra mileage if you must drive further to get to and from work
- A meal allowance if your accommodations do not include a kitchen
Your coverage can continue until your building is brought back up to code or you have found new permanent housing.
What Is Not Covered by Condo Insurance?
As with any insurance policy, condo insurance has some exclusions. For instance, you should not expect it to cover the following.
- Flood damage
- Earthquake damage
- Anything that is already covered by your HOA’s master policy
Floods pose a risk in many parts of Arkansas. If your condo is on the second floor or higher, you probably don’t have to worry about losing personal property to flood damage.
If you have a ground floor condo, however, you may benefit from supplementing your condo insurance with a contents-only flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Earthquakes do not happen often in Arkansas, but they do occur. Chances are good that if an earthquake strikes in your area, the only damage would be to the structure of your building, which is the responsibility of the HOA's master insurance policy.
Earthquake insurance policies are available, but with their high deductibles and costs, they are probably not worth the money for owners of condominiums.
Damage covered by your HOA
Your condo association’s HOA master policy is designed to cover the following.
- Damage to your building’s structure including its roof, walls, stairwells, and elevator
- Damage to all common areas and facilities, like gyms and swimming pools
- Liability lawsuits related to injuries or property damage sustained in common areas, parking lots, garages, walkways and the lawn.
Not all HOA master policies are the same, so it is important that you are aware of just how much of your unit is covered by it. You can then purchase a condo insurance policy that will complement the HOA master policy coverage.
Why Work with a Local Independent Insurance Agent?
When you are shopping for a suitable condo insurance, you can start contacting a local independent insurance agent. These agents live and work in your community, so they understand the risks you face as a resident of Arkansas.
Independent agents are free to request customized quotes from a variety of competing providers. This makes it possible for you to compare coverage and rates and select the policy that offers the best value for your money. Find an experienced insurance agent near you to learn more about condo insurance.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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