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Monday, July 2, 2018

Condo Insurance - What Do You Need?

Condominiums offer an alternative to traditional single-family home ownership with the benefits of hassle-free grounds keeping and maintenance of common areas. Condo owners can protect their personal belongings and finances with a condominium insurance policy that is designed for their specific needs.
If you are purchasing condo insurance for the first time, you may have many questions about this distinctive form of home insurance. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can provide you with answers, help you assess your unique coverage needs and help you make an informed decision about your coverage. Contact SouthGroup Insurance to get more information and receive personalized condo insurance quotes.

Top 5 Benefits of Owning a Condominium

  1. All maintenance, from yard-work to plumbing, is handled by the condo association
  2. Residents often have access to amenities such as swimming pools or tennis courts
  3. Condos provide a social living environment and many residents feel a strong sense of community
  4. Condominiums are usually conveniently located near shops and entertainment
  5. Many condominium buildings offer a high level of security

Condominium Insurance vs. Homeowners Insurance

A traditional homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for damage to the structure of the home as well as the contents within. Typically, the condo association will have a master policy that covers damages to the structure of the building and to the common areas. This policy also provides liability coverage for injuries that occur in common areas or on-site facilities such as a gym or swimming pool.
Because condominium association insurance covers damage or injuries in common areas, condo owners can obtain insurance coverage that is less costly than typical homeowners insurance policies. In this way, condo insurance policies are written specifically for the unique needs of condo owners.
Cooperative housing residents have special insurance needs as well. If you are just starting out as a home buyer and are assessing your insurance costs and options in advance of purchasing a home, condo or co-op, talk to an independent agent about the insurance coverage you will need.

What Is Condo Insurance?

Condo insurance, also known as HO-6 insurance, covers the personal property damage and liability risks faced by condo owners; it picks up where the condo association insurance leaves off. Most mortgage companies require you to buy condo insurance and remain covered for the life of your loan.
Condominium insurance is designed to protect you, the condo owner, from financial loss if someone is injured within your home. It will also protect you from damages and loss due to burglary, fire or other incidents.

What Does Condo Insurance Cover?

When you own a condominium, you are responsible for covering any and all damages within your unit, often including interior walls, flooring and ceilings. A condo insurance policy will also provide coverage for your personal property. If you should incur losses due to theft or experience property damage caused by such things as fire, water damage or tornado, you may be able to receive compensation through your condo insurance.
Your condo insurance will also cover you against liability claims. If a guest is injured while in your home and you are held liable, your condo insurance can cover some portion of the bodily injury claim, depending on your liability limit. If you are sued, most policies will also provide coverage for court costs and legal fees. Be sure to check the terms of your policy for full coverage details.
When shopping for a condo insurance policy, be sure to carefully review your needs, and inventory your personal belongings to understand their value if lost or damaged. Find out from your insurance company the specifics of your coverage and what exclusions apply to your policy.

What Is Not Covered by Insurance for Condos?

Condo insurance will not cover damages to personal property caused by flooding; you must have a separate flood insurance policy if rising water from a river or other waterway damages your home. Keep in mind that flood insurance requires 30 days from the date of purchase before it will provide coverage, so do not wait until a flood warning to buy a policy.
Condo insurance will not typically cover damages to your property caused by your car or truck, or damage to your vehicles. While in some cases you can add a personal watercraft or ATV to your policy, the coverage offered for these recreational vehicles is often very limited. Insurance professionals recommend purchasing separate policies specific to your speciality items, boats, recreational toys and vehicles.

What Is Vacant Condo Insurance?

Vacant condo insurance will cover your condo when nobody is living in it. These policies tend to be very inexpensive. If your condo will be empty for several months at a time, for instance if you use your condo only as a vacation home and do not rent it out when not in use, vacant condo insurance might be a good option for you. These policies often include named-risk coverage, meaning they will offer reimbursements for damage caused by named hazards. If your policy covers only fire and water damage risks and your home is destroyed by a tornado, however, your lost possessions will not be covered.

How Much Condo Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of condo insurance you need depends on the value of your belongings. To best assess your coverage needs, go through your home and write a detailed list of all your belongings as well as their estimated replacement-cost values. This will give you a good idea of how much you stand to lose in a disaster as well as how much it will cost you to replace everything and start over.
It is always a good idea to purchase a large amount of liability insurance. If an injury occurs in your home that involves a trauma to the head, neck or spine, for example, the injured person may require extensive and continual medical care. These costs can add up quickly. If your liability insurance is not enough to cover full restitution, you will be responsible for the remainder of the medical costs out-of-pocket.
An increased liability limit or an umbrella policy can provide the additional protection you need if you find yourself in an expensive legal situation.

How to Find the Best Condo Insurance Policy

To make the most informed decision, be sure to compare several different policies. The coverage, deductible options and rates can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. Comparison shopping can sometimes be time consuming, however, so getting guidance from a knowledgeable insurance professional could save you a lot of hassle.
Trusted Choice member agents have relationships with multiple different insurance companies and can provide you with easy, one-stop comparison shopping. Member agents will also explain your options and ensure that you fully understand the terms of the policies that you are considering. Contact SouthGroup Insurance, a Trusted Choice member agent in your neighborhood today and get an obligation-free condominium insurance quote.