Condominium living is a great option for many Virginians, particularly first-time homebuyers and retirees looking to downsize. If you own a condominium in the Old Dominion, you can cover your property and protect your finances with a good condo insurance policy.
Independent insurance agents are available to help you find the best and most affordable coverage. Because they are independent, these agents can work with multiple insurers to find the policy that best meets your coverage and budgetary needs. Find an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance, which is also known as H-06 insurance, is a specialized form of homeowners insurance designed to meet the unique coverage needs of condo owners.
It can cover the interior of your condo as well as the personal belongings you keep inside it. It can also protect you against liability risks and displacement.
Do You Need Insurance for Your Condo in Virginia?
Condo insurance is not required by law, but it may be required by your bank if you still hold a mortgage on your condominium or you have taken out a home equity loan or line of credit. Once your loans are paid and full and you own your condo outright, this coverage is optional.
Whether or not it is required, it is a good idea to have a policy in Virginia, particularly if your condo is near the Atlantic coastline. A good H-06 policy can cover you against property loss or damage caused by many of the severe weather events that are common in Virginia such as:
- Severe storms: Including thunderstorms, windstorms, and snowstorms.
- Tornadoes: An average of 17.7 tornadoes touch down in Virginia every year.
- Hurricanes and tropical cyclones: On average, this state is impacted by tropical storms once a year and by hurricanes around once every 2.3 years.
- Falling objects: This includes hailstones, fallen trees, and other less common hazards.
Also, as the owner of a condominium, you will be required to help pay for your homeowners' association’s master insurance policy. Your contribution to this policy is part of what your monthly HOA fees are used for.
What Is the Difference between Condo Insurance and an HOA Master Policy?
As a condominium owner in Virginia, your home and property are protected by two different policies: your condo insurance and the HOA master policy.
- Condo insurance (H-O6 insurance): You purchase this policy yourself. This specialized form of homeowners insurance provides walls-in coverage for your personal property as well as liability and displacement coverage.
- HOA master policy: Your homeowners' association purchases this policy. It provides coverage for the structure of your condo’s building as well as property and liability coverage for common areas like outdoor spaces, clubhouses, swimming pools, fitness centers, and other amenities.
A good condo insurance policy will complement your HOA master policy in such a way that, combined, they have all the coverage you need without paying for any overlapping, redundant coverage.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost in Virginia?
Condo insurance is much less expensive than traditional homeowners insurance. This is mainly because it does not have to include coverage for the structure of your building or its common areas.
A good rule of thumb is that condo insurance will typically cost about one-third of what a homeowners insurance policy would cost in your city. Let’s compare the average cost of homeowners insurance with the average cost of condo insurance in Virginia:
- Average home insurance cost in Virginia: $999 a year
- Average condo insurance cost in Virginia: $338 a year
Your actual cost for coverage will be based on considerations like:
- Your condo’s size in square feet
- Your proximity to the coast
- The crime rate and weather risks where your condo is located
- The estimated value of your personal property
- The amount of personal liability coverage you are purchasing
- Your claims history and credit score
- The size of your deductible
- Whether you are bundling your coverage with another policy like car insurance
Every insurance company uses a different formula to assess risk and compute rates. This means that every provider you contact for a price is likely to quote you a different rate. Sometimes, these differences can be significant.
By taking the time to compare a few customized quotes before choosing a policy, you can be certain that you are getting your coverage at a good price. Independent insurance agents in Virginia make comparison shopping easy.
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What Does Condo Insurance Cover in Virginia?
Condo insurance provides you with three important types of coverage:
- Contents insurance: This covers your personal property.
- Loss of use insurance: This covers against displacement.
- Condo liability insurance: This covers personal liabilities.
Each of these coverage types is explained in greater detail below.
What Is Covered by H-06 Contents Insurance?
H-06 contents insurance typically provides walls-in coverage for your condo. This means that it can cover your personal belongings, interior walls, flooring, light fixtures, and, in most cases, built-in appliances.
This coverage can pay for repair or replacement costs if your personal property is lost or damaged by a covered event such as:
- Property crimes, like theft or vandalism
- Fires, explosions, and smoke
- Severe weather, except for floods
If you own a ground-floor condo, you should be aware that although severe storms and hurricanes are covered, the flood damage that typically accompanies them is not.
If your property is at risk for flood damage, you can supplement your condo insurance with a flood insurance policy. Affordable contents-only policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
What Is Covered by H-06 Loss of Use Insurance?
Loss of use insurance is designed to cover your additional living expenses if damage caused by a covered event, like a tornado, leaves your home uninhabitable until repairs can be made.
If you must seek alternate shelter, loss of used insurance can pay for:
- The cost of accommodations
- A meal allowance if your accommodations do not include a kitchen
- Moving costs and storage fees
- Pet boarding fees, if needed
- Mileage reimbursement if you have to drive further to get to work
- Other related expenses
Loss of use insurance coverage can continue until your building is brought back up to code and is safe to return to, or until you have purchased a new primary residence.
What Is Covered by H-06 Liability Insurance?
Condo liability insurance is designed to cover your expenses if you or someone in your household unintentionally cause someone else to suffer injuries, property damage, financial losses, or other harm. It can pay for things like:
- Legal defense fees
- Court costs
- Mediation costs
This personal liability insurance can cover you against things like injuries suffered by guests in your home, accidental injuries you may cause to others while away from home, dog bites and other pet-related injuries or property damage, and accusations of libel or slander.
Injuries sustained by your guests while in common areas, like your condo’s clubhouse or swimming pool, are covered by your HOA master policy.
What Are the Best Condo Insurance Companies in Virginia?
There are a lot of companies that provide condominium coverage. The best condo insurance companies in Virginia are the ones that have a long-standing reputation for reliability, responsive customer service, and affordable rates.
Local independent agents have teamed up with the area’s top-rated insurers. This means that you can be sure that any policies your agent recommends to you are offered by trustworthy insurance providers.
Why Shop for Condo Insurance with a Virginia Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents understand the risks you face as a condominium owner in your city because they live and work in your community. These agents are available to help you find a condo insurance policy that can suitably cover you against these risks at a very competitive price.
Local independent agents can answer your coverage-related questions and provide you with a selection of customized condo insurance quotes that you can review together. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to arrange an obligation-free consultation.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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