Condominium Insurance Coverage
Condominium insurance coverage completes the process of insuring your home against the natural disasters or criminal activities that can threaten this valuable asset. When you purchase a condominium, certain elements of your dwelling are protected by the condo board's master policy. The remaining structural features, along with the contents of your unit, must be protected by your own condominium insurance.
Your condominium insurance coverage typically protects the improvements or additions you make to your unit, such as installing a new shower or adding storm windows or security locks. Some condominium owners policies include plumbing and electrical fixtures and built-in appliances. Review your master policy carefully to see which elements of your unit are your responsibility.
Covered Perils for Condo Owners
The perils, or hazards, included in your condominium insurance coverage are the same as the perils covered by renters or home owners policies. All of these plans cover perils such as fire, theft, damage from ice or hail, falling objects, explosions, vehicular damage, vandalism or theft. Floods, earthquakes, mudslides and other perils are often excluded and must be covered by a separate form of insurance.
In some condominium complexes, owners of the individual unit are responsible for a percentage of the coverage for common areas, such as lobbies or basements. Your individual condominium insurance coverage may or may not pay benefits for these common areas. If not, you can purchase an option called unit assessment, which covers your portion of damages to commonly owned structures in your complex.
A condominium insurance provider offers policies covering the belongings inside your home. Your furniture, clothing, art work, books, electronics and other objects may be fully or partially replaced if they are destroyed by fire, accidental water overflow, or other perils. Theft is a covered peril under most insurance policies, which may be important to remember if you live in an unsecured building.
As a condo owner, your responsibility is to keep track of the structural elements in your home and your personal property so that you have an accurate account of the items that are insured by your coverage. If you add new kitchen cabinets, a dishwasher or built-in microwave oven, or if you purchase a new camera or a valuable watch, keep a record of these additions on a property inventory checklist. Keep receipts for new items you buy and materials that you use for improvements.
Note the amount of money you spent for the improvement or item, the date of purchase or installation and the manufacturer or brand name. You should also keep a photographic record of these elements and belongings. If your unit is destroyed, you'll have a visual as well as a written account of your property to show your insurance company. To get the most value from your condominium insurance coverage, it's important to have a detailed record of your unit's features and contents.
Condominium Insurance Coverage Experts
Condominium insurance coverage is similar to other forms of home owners insurance in that it pays benefits for damages caused by a set of hazards, or against any potential hazard with a few named exclusions. Unlike coverage for a house, however, condominium coverage does not protect the overall structure of the building that you occupy. This unique form of protection requires contracts that specify exactly which areas of your dwelling are protected.
Because the terms and wording of condominium insurance coverage may differ greatly from one building or complex to another, you should look for an expert in this specialized area to cover all your bases and make sure you get the protection that you need. Personal liability coverage is included in your condo owners policy; however, you are not considered personally liable for injuries or losses that occur in common areas. Defining the common areas is crucial when you're reviewing your condo's master policy.
Agents or brokers who specialize in home owners protection for condos can help you decide whether you need any additions to your policy. You may require a unit assessment option, an extension of your personal liability protection or a plan to protect this important asset against flood or earthquake damage. Use this website to compare quotes from experts who can match you with the perfect plan. To keep your premiums within your budget, ask your agent or broker about any available discounts.
You can receive a discount on your premiums if you buy your car and condo policies from the same company, or if you purchase your own condominium insurance coverage through the company that insures your whole building. Paying a higher deductible will lower premiums, as will allowing your provider to deduct your payments from your checking account. New safety and security devices in your unit can make you safer in your home while lowering your rates.
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