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The Complications of Condo Coverage

 

You’ve taken the plunge and opted for condo life.  Now that the papers are signed, it seems like everything is taken care of for you—building maintenance, roof repairs, landscaping, insurance, etc.  It’s time to relax because everything is covered, right?

Not quite.  While the insurance policy provided by the condo association covers the building structure and common areas, what about potential structural damage to your unit and covering your belongings?  Without a personal condo insurance policy, you could be left high and dry if your unit floods, is damaged in a fire, etc.

 

Most condos need two insurance policies:

Master Policy:  Generally provided by your condo association, this policy covers the physical structure of the building, including basement, roof, walls, elevators, lobbies, etc.  Coverage usually includes both physical damage and liability. Be sure to get a copy of the policy so you know what’s covered and what’s not.

Personal Condo Policy:  This will cover additional structural damage to your unit, including cabinets, appliances, and more.  This also covers living expenses if you fall victim to a fire, theft, or other covered disaster.  Many of our insurance carriers offer enhancements that include personal property protection in your condo insurance policy. The best plans will pay the full replacement cost of your belongings, not just what they are worth today.

 

Other coverage to consider:

Umbrella Policy:   If someone were to trip and fall inside or near your condo, they could sue both you and the condo association.  Umbrella provides additional layers of liability protection and can protect against lawsuits that target both your current and future earnings.

Flood or Earthquake:  Read the fine print on your policy. It often won’t cover damage due to these disasters, and the damage can be more far-reaching than you might imagine. For instance, say there’s a flood, but your unit is on the sixth floor. You’d think you would be safe, but what if the water destroys the building’s mechanicals, knocks out the power, and renders the building uninhabitable? Without flood insurance, you would end up paying for your relocation out of pocket, and water damage repairs can be lengthy. Even in a condo, you always should consider flood or earthquake insurance.


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