As the demand for housing increases in North Dakota urban centers like Fargo, Bismarck and even Williston, forward thinking landlords and would-be tenants are turning more and more to the convenience and affordability of condo living. But, just like any homeowner, condo residents are wise to invest in insurance policies that can help protect them from devastating losses. Before you search for condo insurance, however, there are several factors to consider.
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What Is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance differs from homeowners insurance in that most condominium communities share walls, exterior features and the responsibility of maintaining them. Therefore, North Dakota insurance companies offer a product that is more suited for those unique circumstances in the form of condo insurance, which can cover what you own without overstepping into the realm of the condo association's responsibilities.
How Much Condo Insurance Is Enough?
The type of coverage you need depends on your ND condo association's master policy. That coverage typically fall into one of two camps, but it is important to carefully review your association's insurance policy to determine which:
- An “all-in” master policy: Also known as a “single-unit” master policy, this type of policy covers the fixtures in your condo such as the appliances, wiring, plumbing and carpets but does not cover personal property that you own.
- A “bare walls-in” master policy: This policy does not cover anything contained within your walls. It may or may not cover your condo’s plumbing and electrical systems. Be sure to carefully review the association’s master policy to determine what your condo insurance policy needs to cover.
You will need to buy more of your own condo insurance if your association has a “bare walls-in” condo master policy rather than an “all-in” condo master policy.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
As your North Dakota condo association is responsible for covering the structure itself and any property it owns, your condo insurance policy will provide the following:
- Liability coverage: This can help pay for costs associated with injuries or property damage a third party, such as a guest or delivery person, may experience while in your condo. It can also help pay your costs if you face a lawsuit as a result of those injuries or that property damage.
- Contents coverage: Also called personal property coverage, this can help pay to repair or replace your belongings in the event that fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism or any other covered event damages or destroys them.
What Are Your Condo Insurance Coverage Options?
When deciding how much contents coverage you should carry, it is a good idea to conduct an inventory of all your personal possessions. Go room to room in your condo, and list your electronic devices, equipment, any appliances you own, clothing, jewelry, artwork and even books. The total value of your personal property should give you an idea of how much condo insurance you need.
You will also have the option to choose between actual cash value or replacement cost reimbursement.
- Actual cash value: This type of reimbursement takes depreciation into account. For example, if someone steals your 10-year-old TV in a break-in, your North Dakota insurance company will compensate you for the cost to replace a 10-year-old TV.
- Replacement cost: This type of reimbursement ignores depreciation. Using the same example, your insurance company would compensate you for the cost it takes to replace your old TV with a brand new one of comparable features.
Why Is Condo Insurance Important?
You may have chosen to live in a condo for the affordability, the convenient location to shopping and cultural centers, or any number of reasons. You want to protect your belongings from the unthinkable. Unfortunately, many condo residents assume the association's master policy will cover them in the event of a fire or tornado, only to realize it doesn't after a disaster.
What Does Condo Insurance Cost?
One of the other attractive features of condo living is how much less expensive condo insurance costs compared to homeowners insurance. While your association pays the cost to insure the structure itself, you only have to worry about insuring your contents.
Therefore, your quotes will depend on how much contents coverage you need and the options you choose. A condo insurance policy with replacement cost reimbursement may yield slightly higher quotes, but you may find the additional expense worth the added coverage.
A typical North Dakota condo insurance policy can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 a year.
Where To Find Condo Insurance
You don't want to leave anything to chance. That's why you need condo insurance to protect your belongings. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice® network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options and even assist you in filing a claim.
Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you to find out how you can get quotes and obtain the perfect condo insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.