The average homeowner in America pays around $790 for their annual house insurance[1]. However, a condo is much different than a house and thus condo owners can expect different premiums when it comes to their insurance. Whatever you are paying for your condo insurance, it pays to shop around and do a little research into different policy costs. That way you can be sure you are paying an affordable premium on a policy that you feel comfortable with.

HOA Insurance Fees

One of the main reasons for the price difference is that condo owners need to pay for two different insurance policies. They will need to pay for basic coverage as per their HOA master policy. This usually is included in your annual or monthly HOA condo insurance fees. Your HOA fees may also include general maintenance and upkeep of the complex including landscaping, pool chemicals and cleaning, street lights, electricity, parking lot shoveling and anything else that is needed to be done around the complex. How much you pay on your HOA policy will depend on what is included, where you live, how much maintenance the complex needs and how many people are living there.

Some condo owners can expect to pay $300 a month for their HOA fees which includes insurance; however, this will depend on what you are getting. Is your master policy as 'bare wall' or 'all in' policy? Bare walls means that the exterior framing is covered but none of the structure inside the condo (such as light fixtures, cabinets, etc) are covered. All in includes coverage for installation, additions and even interiors surfaces inside each individual condo unit. You can expect a higher premium for the latter.

How many people you have living in the complex will also make a big difference. After all, if you are splitting your HOA fees with 10 other owners then you can expect a higher cut than if you are splitting your fees with 50 condo owners. A larger complex may require more work and maintenance but it will usually also be cheaper to live them in terms of your HOA fees.

Individual Condo Insurance Costs

In addition to the HOA master insurance policy premium, you will also need to pay your own condo insurance policy premium each year. You can expect your condo insurance to be cheaper than the standard H03 homeowner's coverage. An individual condo insurance policy includes the general homeowner's protection including liability coverage, contents protection, structural coverage and loss of use coverage; however, you may not need as much structural coverage is your HOA policy is an 'all in' policy.

Furthermore, where you live will also dramatically affect your rates. Condo owners in states where natural disasters are more common, such as Texas, Florida and Louisiana can expect much higher rates than in states that are not prone to serious damage, such as Idaho and North Dakota. If you live near the water or if your complex is not fire resistant, then your premiums will also be higher. Furthermore, if your complex is not gated or secure or if you are living in a high crime part of town, then this will also increase your individual policy as well as your master policy premium.

It can be hard to determine how much condo insurance costs and what an owner is actually paying for their annual insurance as it all depends on their HOA policy. Make sure you compare price quotes before you buy and speak to a representative to find the most affordable rate for you. A little research can help ensure you are getting the cheapest condo insurance out there.

[1] http://www.iii.org/facts_statistics/homeowners-insurance.html 04/29/2011

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