More than five million American households live in condominiums or co-ops. Condo life offers some nice perks, like common areas that are maintained by the HOA. You’ll never have to mow a lawn again.
Condo owners also appreciate that those common areas and the building itself are likely insured through the condominium association’s master policy. But thinking this coverage applies to your personal property is a mistake.
Condominium insurance is like a homeowners policy for condo owners. It covers your personal belongings and so much more. The right policy will fill in the gaps left by your HOA’s master policy.
Here are 10 reasons why condo insurance is a necessity for every condo owner.
- Coverage for Condo Contents Damaged By Fire or Natural Perils
Take a look around your condo at all of your personal belongings. Your electronics, your furniture, your room decor, your clothing, and everything else.
Now imagine that it’s all gone up in flame.
Condo insurance will help you bounce back from damages caused by fire, wind, and other incidents where your life was turned upside down by natural peril or Mother Nature.
- Coverage for Damage to Your Individual Unit
While covering your personal belongings is likely your top priority, don’t forget that you are also responsible for physical damage to the interior of your individual condo unit. If a fire or storm causes damage to your interior walls, for example, the condominium association’s master insurance policy is not going to help you.
- Coverage for Lost or Stolen Property
If thieves break into your condo unit and rob you, you might be out of luck if the local police can’t find the culprits and recover your items. But a condo insurance policy can protect you in this exact scenario by providing a payout for the approximate value of the stolen items.
Some insurance policies may also offer coverage for lost items as well.
- Coverage for Personal Injury and Medical Expenses
If a resident slips and falls on the sidewalk outside the condominium, the condo association’s master policy may step in to assist with any medical bills due to personal injury.
But if an injury happens to you or a family member inside your own condo unit, you will be left to manage the situation on your own. Having your own condo insurance can help you pay any unexpected medical bills so you can pick yourself up and move on.
- Coverage for Personal Liability
If a guest of a resident is injured while at a group event on the back patio or someone has personal property damaged near the community swimming pool, the HOA’s insurance policy may assist in the event of a lawsuit or legal settlement.
But if someone slips and falls inside your condo unit? You’re going to want personal liability coverage to keep the incident from setting you back or leaving you in financial ruin.
- Coverage for Temporary Relocation
If your condominium becomes uninhabitable due to a major incident like a fire, you might need another place to live while the building is repaired.
But condo insurance, sometimes called HO-6 insurance, can be customized to include coverage for temporary loss of your living space. If you need to stay at a hotel until the repairs are done, your insurance provider may foot the bill or reimburse you for your expenses.
- Coverage for Loss Assessment
Some insurance policies include a cap as to the maximum amount of damage the insurance provider will cover. It’s possible your HOA’s master insurance policy includes coverage with a cap like this.
If an incident happens where the total damage to the entire building exceeds the cap on the policy, some amount of damage may become the responsibility of the residents.
Your personal condo insurance policy can include coverage for loss assessment, which will be the amount you are responsible for paying in the event that the HOA’s insurance reaches its limit.
- Coverage for Water Damage
Flood damage to the exterior of the building or to a common area may be covered by your association’s insurance, but if your condo is on the ground floor and the flood makes its way into your unit, you will once again want your own coverage.
You may also want to talk to your insurance provider about making sure other types of water damage within your unit will be covered, like damage from a leak or a clogged pipe.
- Coverage for Betterments and Improvements
One of the great things about living in a condo compared with an apartment is that you have the ability to make alterations or improvements to the inside of your unit without having to talk to a landlord.
That new carpet you put down in the living room was a big investment. You may have also paid a pretty penny for those new light fixtures or kitchen appliances.
A good condo insurance policy will cover these additions so you can renovate with confidence.
- Coverage to Protect Your Equity
When you first purchase a condominium, you’ll have a large mortgage or loan to pay off in most cases.
As you pay your loan down, you’ll gain more personal equity in the property over time. Eventually, the condo will be truly yours. Condo insurance protects against specific incidents but also ensures you won’t lose equity built up over years due to one bad event.
Secure Your Future With Condominium Insurance
As you can see, there are more than a few types of damages that your HOA’s master insurance policy will not cover. If you want to maintain your peace of mind and ensure you can bounce back after an unexpected event, you need to carry your own condo insurance.
Gessel & Associates offers comprehensive condominium insurance and homeowners insurance designed for your family and lifestyle. Contact us to discuss an appropriate solution.