Living in a condo is the perfect solution for many people. Without the pressure of ownership, repairs and maintenance, many people, including individuals, empty nesters and young couples, are finding that living in a condo is the optimal living situation. Many condos are located in areas that are central to activities, downtown areas and even frequent vacation spots. The beautiful Maine coastline has more than 1,000 condos ranging from budget friendly townhomes to lavish luxury condos.
No matter which type you choose, it's important to have condo insurance in place to protect yourself and your ME home. Condo insurance quotes won't be hard to find, necessarily, but understanding what you want your policy to cover might take a little more research.
Maine Property Crime Statistics
- Total property crimes in 2012: 33,457.
- Burglary cases in 2012: 7,429.
- Arson cases in 2012: 226.
- Larceny cases in 2012: 24,812.
- One property crime occurs every 15 minutes, 45 seconds.
What Does a Condominium Master Policy Cover?
While many Maine condo residents believe that when they buy or rent their condo they have protection under the condominium association insurance. That belief couldn't be further from the truth. While their condominium associations carry insurance, the master policies usually only cover the building structure, along with any common areas. If a burglary occurs and you don't have condo insurance, whether you own the unit or not, your damaged possessions could be yours to replace out of pocket.
The condo association's policy may also fail to cover any injuries sustained by you or others on the property, which means that you may have to cover injuries that occur in your condo. Condo insurance can ensure that you will not be financially responsible for accidents that occur in your Maine condo, even if the fault is yours.
Maine Condo Insurance: Renting vs. Owned
Let's say you rent a condo in Maine and you believe that your condominium association's insurance policy covers your building. You decide to have a birthday party at your condo, and someone breaks your ceiling fan while jumping on the bed. Many association insurance policies will not cover this damage, meaning you will pay out of pocket to replace any items. Also, assume that the person also receives major head injuries while jumping on the bed. Unless your friend decides to pay the medical costs, you may be liable for your friend's medical costs as well.
If you rent a condo, it's important to have your own separate insurance policy that covers you for property loss as well as liability.
If you own a condo, you may have taken out a mortgage. Many mortgage companies require condo owners to carry insurance. Whether you pay a mortgage or buy your Maine condo outright, having condo insurance is a very smart idea.
Most condo owners' policies are broken down into two different types:
- Studs-in: Studs-in covers everything from the studs in the walls to the center of the condo, meaning flooring, fixtures, cabinets and personal possessions.
- Fixtures only: Fixtures only covers items attached to the walls such as cabinets, ceiling fans, countertops and any other additions.
Both of these policy types will usually have a liability portion; however, it's important to make sure the coverages are high enough to protect you properly.
What Should Your Basic Condo Insurance Policy Cover?
Your condo insurance policy should provide at least the following coverage:
- Personal property insurance: You will want to be sure to purchase enough coverage to fully cover all your personal belongings. You can opt for actual cost coverage or replacement cost coverage. Replacement cost coverage costs more, but it provides you with better coverage in the event of a total loss due to an event such as a fire.
- Liability insurance: Your condo association’s master policy covers injuries that take place in common areas, but if the accident occurs within your unit and you are responsible, you will need the liability coverage offered by your condo insurance policy to cover medical and legal fees. Your condo insurance may also provide liability protection if someone sues you for libel or slander or if your children or pets cause injuries or property damage to others, even if the incident occurs off your property.
- Loss of use or relocation assistance: This coverage can provide you with a temporary place to live if your condo becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event. It's a good idea to research what is and isn't covered on your policy.
What About Natural Disasters?
Many natural disasters that strike Maine, such as wildfires and floods, can destroy a home, whether it's a freestanding home or a condominium. Your association's insurance may cover the building but not your property, regardless of whether you own the condominium or rent it. It's always a smart idea to check your current insurance policy to see if natural disasters are covered. If not, you can purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program that will cover your personal effects in case of a natural disaster.
As a coastal state, you may have increased risk of flooding, hurricane damage, and other water-related events in Maine. You may also face risk from other severe weather events like snowstorms. Consult with an insurance agent to learn more about your risks and how condominium insurance can cover you.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost in ME?
There is no strict answer to how much condo insurance will cost in Maine, as many factors contribute to the policy's bottom line. Your insurer will take into consideration things like location, value of possessions, crime rate and quality of building materials. A Trusted Choice® agent can help you find a condo policy that's perfect for your individual situation. Your agent can compare quotes from many different companies, making sure you get a policy suited for your individual situation. Contact your local agent to learn more.