Condominiums are as much homes as any other dwelling, which is why they need to always be insured appropriately. However, condos are also unique properties with unique features, which is why their insurance needs are a bit different from those of the average single-family home.
Still, condominium insurance contains many of the benefits of homeowners insurance; it’s just customized to the liabilities specific to this type of property. Let’s take a closer look.
Benefits Included in Condo Insurance
If you own a condo, you essentially live in a property that is similar to an apartment (meaning it shares walls with other dwellings), but that is owned by you. While you are responsible for your own dwelling, your greater condominium association will take care of certain portions of the property on your behalf.
Therefore, condo ownership tends to be a cross between tenancy and full home ownership. As a result, your property insurance needs are unique.
Most condo insurance policies come contain three primary benefits:
- Personal Belongings Coverage: This provides compensation for personal items that are lost or damaged due to fire, lightning, smoke, wind, hail, theft or vandalism.
- Liability Insurance: This covers bodily injury and property damage someone else may suffer while visiting your home. This coverage can also help you in case of a lawsuit.
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage: This pays the costs related to temporarily moving while the condo is being repaired or rebuilt after a disaster.
There is dwelling insurance available on condo insurance policies. However, it is different from the coverage contained within standard home insurance. It does not cover the exterior of the property, and the condo association will usually carry the coverage for structure damage within their master plan.
Association policies cover structures in either all-in or walls-in terms. An all-in policy covers items within the condo - such as fixtures, flooring and appliances, on behalf of the client. A walls-in policy, however, does not cover these inside fixtures, and at this time the occupant will need to turn to their own policy. If your landlord only carries a walls-in policy, you must purchase your own property coverage within your condo insurance.
Be forewarned, however, that even when the condo association has an all-in coverage, they might still require you to turn to your own benefits in order to repair the damage to the home. For example, if you are at fault for a house fire that damages part of the structure, the association might demand that you compensate them for the damage using your liability insurance.