Condo or Condon’t — Condo Insurance
You’ve taken the plunge and opted for condo life. Now that the papers are signed, it seems like everything is taken care of for you—building maintenance, roof repairs, landscaping, insurance, etc. It’s time to relax because everything is covered, right?
Not quite. The insurance policy provided by the condo association covers the building structure and common areas, but what about potential structural damage to your unit and covering your belongings? Without a personal condo insurance policy, you could be left high and dry if a pipe bursts, it is damaged in a fire, etc.
Most condos need two insurance policies.
Master Policy: Generally provided by your condo association, this policy covers the physical structure of the building, including basement, roof, walls, elevators, lobbies, etc. Coverage usually includes both physical damage and liability. Get a copy of the policy so you know what’s covered. The personal condo policy will pick up where the master policy leaves off, but beware, the master policy usually has a very high deductible. Most master policy deductibles are $10,000 and some are even $25,000, so even though the master policy will cover building damage, you NEED to have this deductible covered elsewhere so you’re not out a large sum of money. Enter the personal condo policy.
Personal Condo Policy: This will cover additional structural damage to your unit, including cabinets, appliances, personal belongings, and more (if the master policy does not – it picks up where it leaves off). This also covers living expenses if you fall victim to a fire, theft, or other covered disaster and will cover the master policy deductible in the event that the building itself is damaged. The personal condo policy alone will be responsible for covering your belongings (anything you moved into the unit). So don’t get left with a gap thinking everything is covered with the master policy. For a few hundred dollars a year you can safeguard your personal belongings and take care of the master policy deductible if there is a loss to the building.
Other coverage to consider:
Umbrella Policy: If someone were to trip and fall inside or near your condo, they could sue both you and the condo association. Umbrella provides additional layers of liability protection and can protect against lawsuits that target both your current and future earnings.