Condominiums and townhouses have special insurance needs.
They don’t require as much insurance as a house, but owners of these dwellings have more to insure than does a renter. Typical insurance needs for a condo owner include personal property and liability coverage. A condominium owner should insure not only the personal possessions in the condo, but also any built-in units such as cabinets, fixtures, appliances, shelves and any other items not covered by the Master Condominium Policy. The liability portion of the policy would cover injuries or damages to people or property determined to be the responsibility of the condominium owner.
Below is a checklist of the top four questions to consider when choosing a condominium insurance policy:
- What are your ownership and insurance responsibilities specified in the condo association’s Master Deed (the insurance requirements the association expects from you)?
- Almost all associations have a master insurance policy that covers you for the actual structure and common elements such as a swimming pool or tennis court owned by all unit owners. The association documents and the master policy spell out very specifically where common areas end and where your unit begins. In some cases, for example, your unit may start inside the wallboard. In others, the wallboard may be considered part of your unit.
- Does the policy you are considering include broad water damage coverage for problems such as sewer and drain back-ups?
- Does your condo association provide comprehensive or blanket coverage to protect you against other condo owners who may not have adequate coverage?
- Do you have expensive personal items such as jewelry or furs for which you may need additional personal property coverage?