Regardless of what type of home a person owns, a homeowner’s insurance policy is vital for protecting their investment. A condo is no different. However, there are differences in the way a condo owner insures their investment compared to the way a traditional homeowner protects their home. Condominiums are located in building associations which have features that the entire community can share and enjoy. As a result, much of the responsibility is shared among members of the condominium complex as well. When purchasing an insurance policy for your condo, be sure you know your responsibilities to get the best coverage at the right cost.
What does the Association Cover?
Each condominium community is different and the coverage that the association offers varies from community to community. However, there are some basic things that the building association covers. For instance, a condo association insurance policy typically covers damage to the structure of your building as well as any shared features, including pipes, common areas and sidewalks. In many cases, the condo association insurance policy also covers any liability costs and medical fees in case someone is injured in one of the community’s common areas.
What are the Homeowner’s Responsibilities for Insurance Coverage?
When owning a condo, you are responsible to get insurance coverage for everything inside your home. While the association insurance covers water pipes leading up to your condo unit, you are responsible for insuring the pipes and any damage they cause on the inside of your unit. Basic condo insurance policies also provide coverage for your property as a result of theft or damage. You should take out a supplemental insurance policy if you have anything in your condo of great value, such as an expensive jewelry collection.
In addition to that coverage, condo owners can get Additional Living Expenses coverage. This coverage helps the policyholder pay for any expenses incurred while being displaced during damage repair. If your condo was hit by a tornado, for instance, the insurance company would pay or reimburse the policyholder for motel bills and meals while repairs are made to their home.
Condo owners should also consider purchasing a policy that includes liability coverage. While the condo association covers any injuries in common areas, it does not cover injuries and medical expenses if a person gets injured on your particular space. Ask your insurance agent about this protection to make sure you are covered in case of an accident.
Condo owners living in areas where floods or earthquakes are common should consider purchasing an additional policy to cover these catastrophes. Most homeowner’s policies do not cover these events and neither will the condo association policy. A common condo owner’s policy typically only covers wind, lightning, theft, vandalism, smoke, fire and other disasters so keep this in mind when choosing the policy that is right for where you live.
How Can I Keep My Premium Costs to a Minimum?
The best way to lower your insurance premiums for your condo is to install safety features designed to keep your home safe. For instance, smoke detectors are a great way to reduce your premiums because they give you a warning at the first hint of danger. A security system is also ideal. Thieves are less likely to break into a place that has a security system. This decreased likelihood of theft and vandalism will reduce your premiums greatly. Choosing a higher deductible and improving your credit score will also help keep your premium costs to a minimum.