5-Things To Consider When Selecting Condo Insurance Coverage

1 - Find out what the HOA's Master Insurance policy covers.
As a condominium owner, your homeowners association or HOA generally collects monthly dues that can include insurance for the condo's building exteriors and common areas. To find out what that includes, review the association's bylaws, CCR's and the Master Insurance Policy.
There are two types of coverage your HOA's master insruance policy may provide:
  • Bare Walls In - This would only cover the exteriro structure of the building, so you would be responsible for insuring all the interior contents in your home including appliances, personal belongings, bathroom / Kitchen fixtures, flooring, etc. if there was a loss.
  • All in - These policies can protect the exterior and structural interior contents of the building with the exception of your personal property.
2.  Estimate the amount yuou would need to repair or replace your condo's interior structure.  After you determine what yuour HOA's master insurance policy covers and which parts of the condo your're personally responsible for (common areas, living area, or both), you can get a better idea of how much coverage you may want.  your condo insurance policy should cover all things not incouded in the Master Policy:
  • If your HOA has an "all-in" or "Walls-in" policy, it generally does not include improvements you make to your unit. You would need to purchase additional insurance to cover renovations, remodeling, etc.
  • If your HOA has a "bare walls" policy, determine the amount it would take to replace all of your condo's interiors.  This could include lighting flooring, cabinets, fixtures, etc.
3.  Estimate the value of your personal items.  Condo insurance can cover your personal items too if they are ver stolen, damaged or ruined (in a covered loss).  To understand the full value of your personal property, start by taking a home inventory. (Remember, pictures say a thousand words too).
If you need some help, check out the latest home inventory apps available to keep things organized, updated, and saved. (The latest home inventory apps, like those built by the insruance information institute and others, turn all that paperwork into a clean, orgianized, digital workspace. Just check out "Know Your Stuff" in the App or Play Store - its free!). Also see: Home Inventory Made Easy.
It's also important to include unique or expensive items, like jewelry, artwork, musical equipment and more.  Your condo insurance may only provide low coverage limits for these valuable items, so talk to us about adding personal property "floaters" to cover them the way you want.

 4. Coverage for your assets - what if you dog bites someone?  What if someone were injured on your property?  If you're ever found responsible or liable for damages, your assets, investments, and future could be at risk.  Unfortunately lawsuits are common, but your condo insruance policy may provide liabilty coverage.  Is it enough though?  Consider your net worth, available assets, and your own need to cover yourself from liabiltiy issues.  It may also be helpful to consider having a Personal Umbrella Liabiltiy policy, which supplements your present policies and provides additional coverage in increments of $1 Million.

5. Estimate Addiitonal Living Expense - if your condo were ever damages, and you couldn't live there while it was being replaced or repaired (and let's hope that never happens) would you be covered to live somewhere else?  Without considering these additional costs into your condo insurance, you could find yourself unable to live in your home after a loss, and become stuck paying out of pocket for basic living expenses.  Think about you and your familty's daily expenses and needs, and take that into account when adding this important coverage to your policy.

Note: Call us for a free quote for both your condo, auto and umbrella insurance needs. You may save a bundle if you bundle your insruance together with the same insurance company.

Also see: Condo insurance: What you should know
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