As the housing market rebounds, condos are becoming a popular path to home ownership in Virginia. Condo insurance can protect your new investment. Whether you purchased a townhome, or are planning to buy a condo, you can get condo insurance quotes locally. Many choose condominium living because of the convenience, the relatively low expense of condo ownership, or the appeal of the gated community. Another perk is that you can insure your home for less than the price of a traditional homeowners insurance policy, because condo insurance, or HO6 insurance, covers only the portion of the home for which you are financially responsible.
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Condo Living in Virginia
Some areas of Virginia, especially Virginia Beach, have seen an explosion in the popularity of condo communities.
- Inventory in Virginia Beach for available condos is diminishing quickly, with the average condo selling for around $320,000.
- In Chesterfield County, nearly 76,000 residents live in condos.
- A two bedroom, two bath condo in Richmond, VA sells for around $160,000.
No matter where you buy your condo, chances are you have invested much into your home. A comprehensive condo insurance policy can help protect that investment.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Much like a homeowners insurance policy, condo insurance provides coverage in case of damage due to severe weather events, liability claims and break-ins. The difference is that condo insurance protects the items inside of your condominium, while the external areas fall under the responsibility of your condo association, and must be covered under the association’s master insurance policy. Depending upon the specifics of your condominium association’s master policy, your condo insurance may include coverage for:
- The interior walls
- Plumbing and wiring
- Windows and doors
- Floor coverings
- Home improvements
- Your appliances and other furnishings
- Your personal property and valuables
If you rent, rather than own, your condominium, a renters insurance policy may be more appropriate to cover your condo. It provides liability coverage for you as the renter, and property coverage for your belongings.
Why Is Condo Insurance Important?
Unless you are independently wealthy and could afford to replace your entire home and its contents in the event it is damaged by fire, strong winds or a burglary, you need condo insurance to help you recover quickly from a devastating event.
- Fires across Virginia did more than $210 million in damage in 2013.
- Property crimes account for 92 percent of all crimes in Virginia, costing homeowners tens of millions of dollars each year.
Condo insurance can also cover interior flooding from broken pipes, but it cannot cover natural flooding. For natural flooding, you need a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP has policies tailored to condo and townhome owners, and can cover mudflows, river overflow, and storm surge, as well as excess rainfall.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
Condo insurance policies generally cover what the condo association’s master policy does not. A condo association master policy is usually one of two types:
- An "all-in" condo master policy: Also known as a "single-unit" master policy, this coverage type includes the fixtures in your condo such as the appliances, wiring, plumbing, and carpets, but does not cover personal belongings.
- A "bare walls-in" condo master policy: This coverage type does not include anything contained within your condo. It may or may not cover your condo’s plumbing and electrical systems.
It is strongly recommended that you carefully review your condo association’s master policy to determine what your insurance needs to contain to cover the gaps. If you need help to determine what kind of coverage would be best, a local, independent insurance agent can help you look over the master policy and recommend condo insurance quotes and coverage options.
Your condo insurance policy will reimburse you for loss or damage to your personal property, and provide coverage for personal liability and medical payments should you be sued as a result of a guest being injured. Your coverage is limited by the amounts set on your policy, so it's a good idea to take stock of your belongings before purchasing coverage. It is also a good idea to purchase as much liability coverage as you can afford, since one claim against you can be financially devastating. Condo coverage can also cover loss of use, in the event that your condominium becomes badly damaged by a fire or storm and you need to live elsewhere while it is repaired.
How Much Condo Insurance Do I Need?
The amount of coverage you need depends on a number of factors. If your Virginia condo has less expensive counter tops and flooring, your needs will be different from someone whose condo features granite counter tops and hardwood flooring.
The first step in determining how much condo insurance you may need is to conduct an inventory of all your belongings. The total should give you an idea of how much condo insurance to carry.
Most people keep around $20,000 in personal property in the home, and this is the standard level of property coverage. However, if you have costly art, jewelry, collectibles, or musical instruments in the home, you may need special endorsements for each, or a combination of endorsements and a higher level of all-around property coverage. A local agent can help you work out the most cost-effective arrangement.
Most Virginia insurance providers will give you the option to insure your condo's contents with either an actual cash value or a replacement cost policy.
- Actual cash value policies take depreciation into account. If you have a 5-year-old stove that is damaged by fire, burglary or another covered event, your insurance company will reimburse you the cost it takes to purchase a 5-year-old stove, not a brand new one.
- Replacement cost policies, however, do not consider depreciation. That 5-year-old stove would be replaced with a brand new one.
What Will My Condo Insurance Quote Look Like?
Virginia insurance providers take several things into account when calculating your specific condo insurance quote, including:
- The age and value of your condominium
- The types of coverage options you choose
- The deductible you choose
Another great aspect of condominium ownership is that because of your association's master policy, condo insurance quotes are typically less expensive than those for traditional single family homes.
How Can I Find Condo Insurance Quotes?
An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network is nearby to help answer any questions you may have on condo insurance for your Virginia home. These agents can assist you in searching for condo insurance quotes from a variety of Virginia insurance providers, to find you the most competitive rates. They can suggest coverage options and even help you file a claim. Contact a Trusted Choice agent in your area to find out how your Virginia condo can be better protected with a comprehensive condo insurance policy.