Florida is filled with condominiums. This state has among the highest numbers of condos per capita, second only to Hawaii. In fact, more than 1 million condo units make up around 15.5% of all Florida homes. If you are among the many condominium owners in the Sunshine State, you will need condo insurance.
Independent insurance agents in Florida can help you find the best condo insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs. These agents can work with several different insurance providers to ensure that you are getting your policy at a good price. Find an insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance is a specific type of homeowners insurance that is designed to meet the unique needs of condominium and townhouse owners. It provides you with a low-cost policy for your personal property.
As the owner of a condominium, you will need to pay monthly dues to a homeowners association, or “HOA.” Your HOA uses these funds to take care of the following.
- Manage the upkeep and safety of common areas
- Maintain amenities like a swimming pool and tennis courts
- Keep the community livable
- Fund the condo association’s master insurance policy
Your HOA’s master insurance policy covers damage to the structure of your building and common areas. A good condo insurance policy can work in conjunction with your HOA’s master insurance to provide you with wide-ranging coverage for your home.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost in Florida?
Condo insurance is more affordable than traditional homeowners insurance. This is 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.
- FL average home insurance cost: $1,951 per year
- FL average condo insurance cost: $942 per year
You can be certain that you are getting the best rate for your condominium or townhouse insurance coverage by comparing a few quotes before selecting a policy. Independent insurance agents make comparison shopping easy.
How Does Florida Condo Insurance Cover Your Personal Property?
Condo insurance basically provides walls-in coverage for the property in your condominium. The outside structure, including the roof, siding, and often even the windows, is covered by your HOA master policy.
The contents coverage in your condo insurance policy is designed to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings if they are lost or damaged due to a covered event. Examples of covered events include:
- Property crimes, like theft and vandalism
- Fires, whether they started in your own home or a neighboring unit
- Severe weather, like hurricanes, tropical storms, thunderstorms, windstorms, and tornadoes.
You will want to be certain that the coverage limits in your contents insurance are high enough to enable you to fully replace your belongings if they are destroyed in a disaster like a fire. If you own any particularly expensive property, you may need additional endorsements to get full coverage.
How Does Florida Condo Insurance Shield You from Liability Lawsuits?
Your condo insurance will include liability coverage. This is designed to cover you, you children, and anyone else in your household if you or they accidently cause someone else to suffer an injury, property damage, or financial loss.
Examples of covered incidents include if someone is injured in your home and it can be attributed to negligence on your part, if your dog bites a neighbor, and if you are accused of libel or slander.
Your condo liability insurance can cover your legal fees, court costs, settlements, judgements, and other expenses related to the incident.
What Is Loss of Use Insurance?
If the condominium you are living in is rendered uninhabitable because of a covered event like a tornado or windstorm, or if you are forced to evacuate the building due to an identified structural flaw, the loss of use insurance included in your condo insurance policy can help.
Loss of use insurance is designed to cover the miscellaneous expenses related to acquiring temporary housing. This can include coverage for the following costs.
- The cost of accommodations like a hotel or a temporary rental home
- Moving costs
- Storage fees
- Pet boarding fees
- Extra mileage if you must drive further to get to and from work
- Meals, if your accommodations do not include a kitchen
Your coverage can continue until your building is brought back up to code or, if necessary, until you have found new housing.
What Is Not Covered by Condo Insurance?
Your condo insurance policy will not cover anything that is already covered by your HOA’s master policy. That should not be a problem though since you will have both policies protecting you.
Also, as with any home insurance policy, condo insurance excludes coverage for damage caused by floods. Floods pose a very real risk in many parts of Florida, so it is a good idea to ensure that you have all the coverage you need.
If your condo is a unit on the second floor or higher, you are probably safe from losing personal property to flood damage. If you have a ground floor condo or townhouse, however, you can get coverage by supplementing your condo insurance with a flood insurance policy.
What Does My Homeowners Association Master Policy Cover?
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 such as the swimming pool, gym, and clubhouse if your condo community includes them
- Liability lawsuits related to injuries or property damage that occur 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.
Here are the three types of HOA master policies that you should be aware of.
- Bare walls coverage: This covers everything from the walls of your unit out. This means you are responsible for covering everything inside your condo, including wallpaper, light fixtures, furniture, appliances, and your personal property.
- Single entity coverage: This is similar to bare walls coverage but also covers light fixtures, built-in appliances, and sometimes other property as specified by the policy.
- All-in coverage: This is the most comprehensive master policy available. In addition to the structure of the building, it also covers damage to your unit’s interior walls, floors, windows, light fixtures, built-in appliances, and anything else that was included with the unit.
A local independent insurance agent can help you review your master policy so that that you can be sure you are buying an appropriate condo insurance policy to go along with it.
Why Work with a Local Independent Insurance Agent?
If you are looking for the right condo insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs, you can start contacting a local independent insurance agent.
Because these agents aren't captive to just one insurance company, they can obtain quotes from a variety of competing providers. That way you can compare coverage and rates and select the policy that offers the best value for your money.
There are nearly 1,600 independent insurance agencies located throughout Florida. Find an experienced insurance agent near you start comparing customized condo insurance quotes.
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