Some Things to Know When You Own a Condo
If you own a condominium or co-op, you have both common and personal insurance needs. Typically, your condo/co-op association has a master policy that insures all of the property and common areas that are collectively owned by the unit owners. Yet, how do you cover the cost of damage caused by a kitchen fire or theft of your personal items?
A condominium/co-op insurance policy is designed specifically to meet your unique homeowner needs, including coverage for your personal possessions, structural improvements made to your living space and additional living expenses incurred due to an accident.
After you’ve determined what’s covered by the association’s master policy, a personal condominium/co-op policy will help to safe guard you from losses to your personal property and the interior of your unit. As such, you will need to estimate:
- The cost to repair or replace the inside of your home if it were damaged, including fixtures, kitchen cabinets, plumbing, wiring, built-in appliances, etc. (if not covered by the association’s master policy)
- The cost to replace the contents of your home
We recommend insuring your personal property for its replacement-cost value rather than actual-cash value. The longer you own your belongings the less value they hold. Replacement-cost value insures you can replace yesterday’s purchases at today’s price tags.
In addition to your belongings, the liability-to-others portion of your policy covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or a family member—and some cases, pets—cause to other people. It pays for both the cost of litigation and any court awards, up to the limit of your policy, and covers you at home or away.
Check Your Condo Association Coverage First
When selecting condo/co-op coverage, it’s important to determine what is covered by your association’s master policy and what items are your responsibilities. Typically, your condo/co-op association carries an insurance policy for common areas, such as the lobby, walkways, boiler, basement, etc. In most cases, the association’s coverage stops at the exterior walls. However, it may also cover other parts of the interior, too. It is critical to determine what the association’s master policy covers and what your responsibility is. If you have questions about your existing Condo coverage or about purchasing a policy for your Condo, call the FBinsure offices or stop by any of our nine convenient locations.