Many residents of Maryland find cooperative living to be an ideal housing alternative. Most condominium and townhouse communities are conveniently located and offer residents the benefits of shared amenities like swimming pools and fitness centers. Those who live in this type of home must cover their investments with condo insurance. Whether you own a luxury condo in downtown Bethesda or have chosen to spend your retirement years in a townhouse in Pasadena, comparing condo insurance quotes can help you find a policy that is both inclusive and affordable.
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Recent Fire Disasters in Maryland Condominiums
- A fire in an Ocean City bayside condo led to the destruction of 3 units and caused approximately $100,000 in damages.
- A lamp fell over and started a fire in one Beltsville, MD condo that spread to 8 neighboring units, leaving two dozen people displaced and causing more than $100,000 in property damage.
- A condo fire in Bel Air, MD caused more than $1 million in damages, destroyed 8 units, and displaced more than 20 people.
Condominium fires, though not very common, are a concern that many residents of these units have because they are in close proximity to one another. Because condominium and townhouse units share walls with other units, fire damage frequently spreads and affects more than just the home where the fire originated. If a fire affects your condominium, the most important first step is to get yourself and your family to safety. You can then turn to your condo insurance company for help getting compensated for the damages.
What Is an H-06 Policy?
When you own a condo, you pay dues to a condo association that will have a master insurance policy that covers the physical structure of your building, as well as the common areas of your condominium complex. However, these master policies do not provide coverage for damages that occur within the walls of your unit. For this coverage, Maryland residents need to have a specialized form of homeowners insurance known as an H-06 policy or, more commonly, condo insurance.
Condo insurance policies are designed specifically to meet the unique coverage needs of condominium and townhome owners. They provide walls-in contents coverage for your personal belongings and protect you against many of the different kinds of liability charges you may face. For those who use their condos as rental properties, coverage should be obtained not through a condo insurance policy, but through a renters or a landlord insurance policy, depending on whether you are the renter or lessor.
Shield Yourself from Liability Expenses with Condo Insurance
As a condo owner, you have decreased liability risks since you cannot be held responsible for third-party injuries that may occur due to negligence in common areas. However, injuries or property damage that occurs within the walls of your unit may lead to liability lawsuits. Similarly, you may also find yourself held liable for injuries or property damage caused by your pets or children. Your condo insurance may provide coverage for these damages. Additionally, your policy can protect you from charges of slander or libel. If a claim against you leads to you needing legal defense, condo insurance in Maryland will also include coverage for any related court costs and legal fees, up to your coverage limit.
Cover Your Personal Property with Condo Insurance
Before you purchase your condominium, be sure to read the by-laws and trust agreements as declared by your condo administration. Typically, you will be responsible for covering everything within your unit, including permanent fixtures and home improvements. Some master policies will actually provide coverage to include interior walls, floors, and ceilings, but most do not. The same holds true for windows, plumbing and certain appliances such as hot water heaters. Knowing what is and is not already covered by your master policy can help you be sure that your condo insurance policy is appropriate for your particular condo.
A condominium insurance policy can provide you with compensation for property lost in disasters such as fire and severe weather, as well as loss caused by theft. You will need to be sure to purchase enough coverage to sufficiently cover all your personal belongings. Some policies will have limits to how much coverage is included under certain categories such as electronics, furniture, and jewelry. If the value of your property greatly exceeds these limits, you will need to purchase additional riders, also called endorsements, in order to be fully covered.
It is important that you are aware that condo insurance will not cover you against flood damage. If your unit is on the ground or below-ground floor, you may want to strongly consider purchasing a flood insurance policy to supplement your coverage. Maryland residents, particularly those who live in specified flood zones, qualify for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Recent Maryland Property Crime Statistics
- The per capita property crime rate in MD is lower than the U.S. average
- On average, 5.73 out of every 1,000 Maryland residences are burglarized each year
- By comparison, 6.70 out of 1,000 U.S. residences are burglarized each year
- There are nearly 34,000 reported burglaries in MD each year
Condo owners have a fairly strong measure of security against burglary because most complexes are gated or include other types of secure-entry systems. However, whenever you have a lot of people living in close proximity, burglars can sometimes find a way in. The lower-than-average burglary rate in Maryland can lead to overall lower condo insurance rate quotes. However, if you live in a city like Ocean City or Salisbury where property crime risks are high, your rates may be quite a bit higher. The only way to know for sure how much a policy will cost is to request a variety of condo insurance quotes.
Compare Insurance Quotes to Cover Your Maryland Condo
When shopping for the right condo insurance policy, a Maryland-based independent agent in our network may be able to help. These agents may review your master policy to ensure that the condo policy you select is right for you. They can also use their relationships with several different insurance providers to provide you with a choice of competitively-priced policies.
Find an agent with an office near you to start comparing condo insurance quotes in Maryland.