Condo Insurance in Washington
Experts break down Washington H-06 insurance costs, coverages and companies.
Due to recent reforms in Washington State’s restrictive condominium construction laws, this state is expected to see a surge in new condo development over the next few years. If you are among the condominium owners in this state, you can protect your investment with condo insurance.
Independent agents are ready to help you find the best policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs. These agents are free to work with multiple insurers as they search for a policy that offers the protection you want at a competitive price. Find an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance (or H-06 insurance, as it is frequently called) is a specialized form of homeowners insurance.
Condo insurance works in the same way as a traditional homeowners insurance policy, except it does not provide coverage for the structure of your building or for common areas like outdoor spaces and lobbies because these things are already covered by your HOA master insurance policy.
Do You Need Insurance for Your Condo in Washington?
Condo insurance is not required by law. However, if you are still paying for a mortgage on your condo or if you have taken out a home equity loan or line of credit, your lender will require you to have condo insurance coverage until your loan is paid in full.
You will also be required to contribute toward your homeowners association (HOA) master insurance policy through your monthly HOA fees.
What Is the Difference between Condo (H-06) Insurance and an HOA Master Policy?
As the owner of a condominium, your home is protected by two different policies: your condo insurance and your HOA master policy.
- Condo (H-06) insurance: This is a policy that you purchase yourself. It is a specialized form of homeowners insurance. It provides walls-in coverage for your personal property as well as liability and displacement coverage.
- HOA master policy: This is a policy that is purchased by your homeowners association. A portion of your mandatory HOA fees goes toward paying for it. It provides coverage for the structure of your condo’s building as well as property and liability coverage for common areas like lobbies, clubhouses, outdoor spaces, and other amenities.
A good condo insurance policy will complement your HOA master policy in such a way that you have all the coverage you need without paying for any redundant coverage.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost in Washington State?
Condo insurance is much more affordable than traditional homeowners insurance. This is because it does not have to include coverage for the structure of your building or its common areas.
Let’s compare the average cost of homeowners insurance with the average cost of condo insurance in Washington State:
- WA average home insurance cost: $854 a year
- WA average condo insurance cost: $360 a year
Your actual cost for condo insurance coverage will be based on factors like:
- The size of your condo in square feet
- The crime rate and common weather hazards where your condo is located
- The security measures taken by your condo community
- The estimated value of your personal property
- The amount of personal liability coverage you want
- Your claims history and credit score
The formulas used to compute rates are different for every insurance company. This means that when you contact a few competing insurers for prices, you are likely to receive different quotes from each. Sometimes, these differences can be significant.
By taking the time to compare a few customized quotes before choosing a policy, you can rest assured that you are getting your coverage at a good price. Independent insurance agents in Washington make comparison shopping easy.
A good rule of thumb, if you want to be sure you are getting your coverage at the lowest price, is to be sure to ask insurance providers about potential condo insurance discounts. If you bundle your condo insurance with another policy like car insurance, you can frequently earn valuable rate reductions on each.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover in Washington?
Condominium insurance can cover your personal property and shield you from financial losses with three different types of coverage.
Contents insurance is designed to cover repair or replacement costs if your personal belongings are lost or damaged by a covered event such as:
- Property crime, including theft and vandalism
- Fires, regardless of their origin unless intentionally started by the policyholder
- Severe weather, like thunderstorms, windstorms, snowstorms, ice accumulation, prolonged freezing temperatures, tornadoes and hail.
Your contents coverage limits should be high enough to enable you to fully replace all your belongings if you experience a total loss, as can happen with a major disaster like a fire.
Loss of Use Insurance
Loss of use insurance is designed to cover your additional living expenses if a covered event damages your condo, leaving it uninhabitable. It can pay for things like:
- Temporary accommodations in a hotel or rental home
- A meal allowance if your accommodations do not include a kitchen
- Moving costs
- Storage fees
- Pet boarding fees
- Reimbursement for additional miles if you have to drive further to get to work
This coverage can continue until your building is brought back to code and you can safely return, or until you have purchased a new primary residence.
Condo Liability Insurance
Condo liability insurance is designed to provide coverage if you or someone in your household unintentionally cause someone else to experience injuries, property damage, financial losses, or other harm. It can cover things like:
- Injuries to guests while in your home for which you can be held responsible
- Dog bites and other pet-related injuries or property damage
- Accusations of libel or slander
- Accidental injuries you may cause to others while away from home
This insurance can cover related expenses such as legal fees, court costs, mediation costs, settlements, and judgments.
What Isn't Covered by H-06 Insurance in Washington?
It is important to be aware that condo insurance, like traditional homeowners insurance, does not cover damage caused by floods and earthquakes.
Flood damage can be very expensive. Approximately 13% of all properties in this state have at least a 26% chance of sustaining significant flood damage over the next 30 years. This risk is especially high in the Seattle area.
If you own a ground-floor condominium unit and you live in an area with a moderate to high flood risk, you may want to consider supplementing your condo insurance with flood insurance. Affordable contents-only flood policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Washington is the state with the second-highest risk of experiencing a major earthquake. If your property is damaged in a quake, your condo insurance will not reimburse you. To be covered, you can purchase earthquake insurance.
It is important to keep in mind that earthquake insurance can be rather expensive with high deductibles. Unless you have particularly valuable property, it may not be worth the price to purchase a policy. A local independent agent can help you make an informed decision.
What Are the Best Condo Insurance Companies in Washington State?
When you are shopping for condo insurance, you will find there are a lot of companies that provide this coverage. The best condo insurance companies in Washington are the ones that have a solid track record of proven 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 insurance providers you can count on.
Why Shop for Condo Insurance with a Washington Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent agents live and work in your community, so they are aware of the weather and crime risks you may face in your city. These agents can help you be certain, not only that the policy you choose includes all the coverage you need for your condo, but also that you are buying it at a competitive price.
Contact an independent insurance agent near you to arrange an obligation-free consultation. Your agent can answer your coverage-related questions and provide you with a selection of customized condo insurance quotes that you can review and compare together.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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