You have found the perfect condo in one of West Virginia's great neighborhoods. Whether you live in Charleston or Wheeling, finding the right condo insurance policy is a must. Before you search for quotes on insurance that fits your condo and lifestyle, there are a few things to keep in mind.
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Why Is Condo Insurance Important?
Condominiums differ from single-family dwellings in the sense that a fire or structural damage in one unit can affect the surrounding units. Even though the blaze may not have started in your home, you should carry insurance to cover any damage that may occur. West Virginia is home to several condo complexes where residents share one or more walls with their neighbors. Insuring your home and personal belongings against an electrical fire that may have started down the street is a must.
Whether you rent or own your West Virginia condo may determine the type of policy you need. Tenants may want a renters insurance policy, whereas an owner of a condominium may opt for a policy that is more like homeowners insurance. Be sure to find out which policy is right for you while you search for quotes.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Condominium insurance is unique. The condo insurance you buy covers your personal property, liability and those parts of the unit that are your responsibility. It may also be written to protect you from certain assessments levied by the condo association. This type of specific insurance also covers the costs you incur for normal living expenses if you have to vacate your home.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
Your West Virginia home probably contains things that are important to you. Condo insurance can include personal property protection in your condo insurance policy, which can travel with you wherever you happen to be in the world. Should you choose this protection, the policy should pay the full replacement cost without deduction for depreciation, up to the limits you select.
Condominium insurance protects you and your family against bodily injury, property damage claims and litigation up to the limits you select. And if a visitor suffers injuries on your property, the policy should cover medical expenses, up to the limits you select.
Your condo insurance policy will not cover the common areas you share with other condo owners in your building. These typically include the roof, basement, elevator and walkways. The master policy purchased and owned by the condominium association or board usually covers these common areas.
How Much Condo Insurance Do You Need?
To ensure that your condo insurance policy offers adequate coverage, first consult your association’s by-laws or proprietary lease and speak with condo or insurance professionals. Sometimes, a condominium association is responsible for the entire condo unit as originally built, but sometimes only for the bare walls, floors and ceiling. In case of the former, you need only insure alterations to the original structure. But in the latter case, you should insure built-in appliances and casework, wiring, plumbing, kitchen and bath fixtures.
Is Extra Coverage Expensive?
Additional condo insurance coverage in West Virginia doesn't have to cost a lot. Many people supplement their condo insurance coverage with personal umbrella liability insurance for broader protection. And if you have special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques, or collectibles, ask about scheduled personal property coverage.
Coverage in addition to your condominium insurance policy might include the following:
- Unit assessment: This pays your share of an assessment charged to all unit owners by the association for the repair of loss sustained through damage to the common areas.
- Flood or earthquake insurance: Your condo policy may not typically cover these disasters. West Virginia is at risk for both flooding and earthquakes.
- Water backup coverage: This pays for loss caused by sewer or drain backup.
- Additional coverage: This covers expensive belongings such as furs, collectibles, jewelry, etc.
- Catastrophe liability (umbrella) coverage: This coverage supplements your standard condo insurance policy.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?
Condo insurance in West Virginia is surprisingly affordable. A condo insurance policy can protect the things you cherish for only a few hundred dollars a year. Of course, the type of coverage you choose and whether you opt for additional policies will determine how much you pay. Ways to save on your condo insurance policy include these:
- Lower your level of coverage: Generally, the lower your limits and the higher your deductibles, the less your premiums will be. But since condo insurance is generally affordable, you probably do not want to get less coverage just to save money. In general, a higher level of coverage will cost you only a few dollars more per month and might be worth the investment.
- Raise your credit score: Believe it or not, most insurance companies look at your credit score to determine risk and compute your premium. Statistics have shown that those with higher credit scores tend to file less insurance claims, which makes those people less risky to insure. And in the insurance world, less risk equals lower rates.
- Make your home safer: Some condo insurance companies will give you a discount if you have safety features like a burglar alarm or fire sprinklers in your home.
Find Unique Insurance That Fits Your Condo
It's important to protect your belongings and home from natural or man-made disasters. You have probably worked hard for your WV home, and you deserve to sleep easy knowing you have coverage in times of loss.
Trusted Choice® insurance agents are familiar with the unique nature of condo insurance. Contact one of these knowledgeable, independent agents to find out how you can save money on your policy.