The exclusions on your condo insurance policy will vary from company to company so it is important to take a good look at your policy and ask your agent if you have questions regarding a specific topic, such as purchasing stain resistant carpet. Most homeowner's, renter's and condo policies will list what is covered instead of what is not covered. If what you are looking to protect is not on the list of covered perils, it is likely not protected. One of the biggest exclusions on most policies is the risk of a flood.

Condo insurance is a bit different from a traditional homeowner's policy in that the home owner's association or condo association is required to have a master insurance policy on all of the buildings and common areas. This does not mean that you do not need to buy insurance for yourself. You will still need to buy a condo policy to protect the inside of your unit and all of your possessions. Review your policy and ask your association what they cover in the event of a loss.

The Condo's Master Policy

If your exterior of the roof is damaged due to a tree falling on it, the condo association's master policy will cover the damage. Damage to your personal property is usually covered by your individual condo insurance policy. If there is damage to the building, the association is usually responsible for repairs. If your stove caught your kitchen on fire, your policy would be responsible.

Your policy will usually cover what are called the sixteen standard perils. They are fire/lightning, damage due to smoke, hail or windstorm damage, explosion, and theft. Falling objects, damage from aircraft, damage from vehicles, vandalism, and damage due to riots are also covered. You will also likely receive protection from volcanic eruptions, the weight of snow, sleet, or ice.

The rest of the coverage includes protection from the accidental discharge of steam or water, sudden cracking or tearing apart, the freezing of plumbing, and damage from an artificially generated electrical current. These are all of the standard protections included in most policies that will protect your property. You always want to check with your insurer or potential insurer to make sure you have are covered for these sixteen items and if you have any additional coverage.

Buy Flood Insurance

If something is not specifically listed as covered, it is likely not covered. For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast many people's homes were nearly or fully submerged under water from the storm surge. Many of these people did not have flood insurance and since it is almost always not covered, they lost everything they had worked their entire lives for. You want to check to make sure your condo does not sit in a valley or flood plain because if it does your need flood protection.

Another common exclusion includes damage sustained as the result of an earthquake. If you live in a seismic area, you need to buy additional earthquake coverage. Many people would be surprised to realize that they live in an area that has a history of seismic activity. They may not know it until it is too late. Many do not know that Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is home to one of the world's largest super volcanos and has thousands of small earthquakes every year.

It is your job to know the exclusions on your condo insurance policy. Make sure you identify any areas where extra coverage is needed. Speak to an agent about what additional coverage you can buy to address any exclusions you need protected.

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