If you own a condominium, you may think you don’t need insurance protection. Think again. Although your condominium association offers a “master” insurance policy that covers the building and commonly owned property, this insurance probably does not protect your upgrades, furnishings and other belongings.
That means if a burglar breaks into your condo, a fire causes smoke damage to interior walls of your unit or a visitor falls and hurts himself inside your home, you will not be covered by your condominium’s general insurance policy. This is exactly why you need your own condo owner’s policy. This personal coverage could protect you in the event of theft, damage and personal liability situations.
Every condo is different
Before you purchase condo insurance, you should find out exactly what is covered by your condominium association’s master policy. Generally, these policies cover only the structure of the building, but it varies depending on your state and particular condominium. It’s important to do your homework and find out exactly what is and is not covered so you can make sure your personal policy covers the rest.
What kind of coverage do you need?
The type of coverage you need greatly depends on your unique situation. However, you’ll definitely want to protect yourself against theft, damage and personal liability incidents. Depending on where you live, you may also need flood insurance or other special coverage.
A professional insurance agent can help you figure out exactly what kind of coverage you need. You may want to ask yourself the following questions as you decide on the details of your insurance policy:
- What parts of the condo am I responsible for according to my condo association’s bylaws?
- How much would it cost to replace or repair my condo?
- How much are all of my personal items worth?
- Do I have especially valuable items in my condo, such as jewelry, antiques, fine art or collectibles?
- Do I run a business out of my home or often work from home?
You should also think about liability coverage. Unfortunately, we live in a lawsuit-happy society today. So, if a visitor falls down your stairs and breaks his leg or slips on some water in the kitchen and throws out her back, they may ask you to pay for medical expenses, lawsuit costs and other compensation awards. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your insurance policy includes liability protection.
Whatever you do, don’t assume that your condo association has you covered. This assumption could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Do some research and find out exactly what kind of protection your association’s insurance policy provides. You’ll probably discover that it’s not nearly enough to protect your personal property and belongings.
An expert insurance agent can help you determine exactly what kind of coverage you need. She may be able to offer you special discounts if your condo has smoke detectors and central station burglar and fire alarms. You could also save by purchasing a home and auto insurance package through the same insurer.