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Condo Insurance – What Is Standard Condo (HO6) Insurance?
There’s no better feeling than being safe in your own home.
However, it seems that, over the past few years, security has become a luxury – and a growing number of new homeowners are looking for condominium insurance policies.
Luckily, insurance companies offer you a lot of coverage options to choose from when it comes to your personal property.
If you calculate your risk and pick the right condo insurance quote on time, you’ll be able to enjoy life within your four walls without stressing about what might happen.
There are certain things unit owners must know when it comes to HO6 policies, though.
So, if you need condo insurance, don’t leave your chair. We’re about to discuss different condo policies, how to pick the right condo insurance coverage – and what to expect.
What Is Condo Insurance Policy?
First and foremost, let’s tackle the following question:
What is a typical condo insurance policy?
It’s coverage that a condo owner buys to protect the unit against certain perils. The goal is to help the owner pay or repair the items or property that has been damaged or stolen.
Next, who provides this insurance policy?
This insurance policy is granted by the condo association. Most common areas and furnishings are covered, but you’ll probably have to pay out of your pocket when it comes to unit improvements and loss of assessment.
That’s why you should carefully choose your condo insurance providers and go over every single detail in your condo policy twice. It’s crucial that you’re entirely familiar with both the requirements and possible costs of choosing a specific insurance company.
Types Of Condo Insurance
When we talk about this type of insurance, we can single out three major types:
- Bare Walls Coverage – Here, the master insurance policy is limited and includes coverage for walls, sinks, cabinets, flooring, and wallpapers. It’s also advisable for condo owners to insure any renovations they make to their unit.
- Single Entity Coverage – With this, the condo association master insurance policy covers almost everything present in the condo complex. The unit owner is also responsible for ensuring personal possessions.
- All-In Coverage – The so-called all-inclusive coverage is almost identical to the single entity policy, only here, the condo association’s master policy will cover any upgrades you make to the unit.
That would be a wrap on the types.
Now, let’s talk about whether it’s necessary for a condo owner to buy this policy.
Is Condo Insurance Required?
Like with home insurance, there’s no law that requires you to have one, but more and more condo associations require this to be a part of your contract – for safety reasons, obviously.
For example, if you have a mortgage that has not been paid in full, the financing company will advise you to consider the actual policy. Also, the lender will want proof of insurance from your banker.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a mortgage, there will be no pressure to buy condo insurance. Still, if you don’t want to risk everything you own – it would be a good idea to at least consider it.
The lesson of the day would be – you can never be too safe.
Is Condo Insurance HO6 the same as Homeowners Insurance HO3?
If you consider homeowners insurance (HO3) and condo insurance (HO6), the most significant difference is in the coverage of the actual building.
Unlike condo insurance, home insurance covers both the unit’s interior and exterior. To put it simply, it provides coverage for the yard, house, personal property, and personal liability coverage.
There are different types of homeowners insurance. You have:
- Actual Cash Value – Coverage for the cost of the house and the value of your personal belongings (after depreciation)
- Replacement Cost – Coverage for the actual cash value of your home and possessions
- Extended Replacement/Cost Value – Coverage for the price needed to rebuild or repair your home
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
Okay, it’s time to go over what condo insurance covers. Here’s what you have at your disposal:
Personal Liability Coverage
Personal liability coverage involves financial protection for you and your family members. It applies to numerous accidents for which you would be legally obliged to pay.
For example, personal liability covers:
- Medical payments for injuries at home
- Legal expenses from lawsuits that seek to recover property damages
- Bodily injuries or property damage caused by pets or by omissions
Guest Medical Coverage
We believe that this coverage is self-explanatory. Basically, it covers the following expenses if a guest gets injured in your home:
- Surgical procedures
- Dental costs
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital stays
Building Property Coverage
Building and property coverage applies to physical damage caused to commercial property – in this case, a condo. It’s important to mention that this insurance excludes the loss of plants, crops, and trees that grow in your complex.
The losses that are covered must be a part of the building.
Loss due to wear and tear will not be covered, either – but you can inquire about additional coverage with your insurance company.
Other Protections Covered By Condo Insurance
In case the existing coverage does not suit you and you want to inquire about additional coverage, here are some options that will be open for you:
Loss Of Assessment
In the condo or homeowners association issues a special assessment, it might help you save money. For example, if there’s a fire in your condo complex, this can help you pay your part of the bill.
A typical condo insurance policy does not provide coverage for floods. However, some unit owners are required by their insurance company to purchase this due to their standard condo policy.
If you’re looking for additional liability protection, the best choice would be to invest in separate umbrella insurance. This policy becomes valid the moment your original insurance reaches the coverage limit. Such a policy can help you pay for claims that exceed the liability limit.
Condo Personal Property Coverage
While most of the common area is protected, your personal belongings are not covered.
Let’s say that something happened to your condo, and a number of your valuables end up being stolen or damaged. If so, you should start thinking about condo personal property coverage.
You should have your valuables assessed and consult with your insurance agent about the coverage limits. You might not be compensated in full – but it will certainly help.
Are Storage Lockers Covered?
Yes. Your personal belongings in storage lockers fall under the covered property, no matter whether they are currently in your condo or in the locker itself.
Condo Vs. Renters Insurance?
There’s a clear distinction between condo and renters insurance. Condominium owners have unique needs, and most condo insurance policies cover a portion of the condo unit.
Contrary to HO6, basic renters policies provide limited coverage for valuables, electronics, and so on. Similarly, additional living expenses, which we will mention in a moment, may include reimbursement for bills and temporary rentals.
Average Condo Insurance Costs – What Are The Prices?
Once you get a condo, you’ll probably go to look up the average costs in your country. Dwelling coverage amounts vary, and the numbers stretch from $40,000 to $100,000.
The average condo insurance is $60,000 for personal property coverage – but for different states, the numbers look a bit like this:
- Arkansas: $867
- Arizona: $662
- Alabama: $900
- California: $553
- Colorado: $757
- DC: $491
- Delaware: $496
- Florida: $1,293
- Georgia: $979
- Indiana: $602
- Idaho: $629
- Illinois: $669
- Louisiana: $887
- Minnesota: $492
- Maryland: $449
- Montana: $489
- Missouri: $573
- New York: $543
- New Jersey: $650
- Nevada: $624
- North Carolina: $698
- Oregon: $600
- Oklahoma: $1,121
- Pennsylvania: $614
- South Carolina: $645
- Texas: $990
- Tennessee: $749
The question of how much coverage you need heavily depends on your financial situation. What we can do is help you get the best condo insurance quote possible:
Using our free tool, you can compare quotes from different insurance carriers and make an informed decision.
What About Auto Insurance?
Not so great news for car owners:
While some items in your car – under personal property insurance – may be covered, the vehicle alone is not.
For this, you’ll have to look for a specific auto policy – and Insurance Geek’s free tool can help with that, too.
What Else Is NOT Covered?
Besides car insurance, there are a couple of other incidents that are not covered by this policy. For example, your condo insurance won’t cover:
- Intentional harm to another individual
- Nuclear hazards
- Damage caused by rodents, birds, and insects
- Damage caused by underwater (sewage backups)
Does Condo Insurance Cover Identity Theft?
Typically, home insurance policies do not cover identity fraud – which is worrisome. After someone has stolen your identity, it takes a lot of work to get your financial life back.
The road to reclaiming your credit cards and personal information is long.
If you go two years back, the frequency of such incidents was inconceivable.
The thing is, several home insurances offer this within their main policy, but you’ll have to buy an endorsement, which will cost you between $30 and $60.
What Are Additional Living Expenses (ALE)?
ALE’s a part of most homeowners’, condo owners’, or renter’s insurance policy. It’s a way for you to cope with some additional expenses that you weren’t prepared for at the time.
How does ALE work?
Let’s say that your house is being rebuilt due to damage, and you need extra money for hotel stays or meals at restaurants. In essence, your temporary living expenses are covered until your property is fully repaired.
Additional living expenses can also include:
- Laundry costs
- Transportation costs
- Pet boarding
- Furniture rental
The Final Take On Condo Insurance Policy
So far, we’ve gone through every detail that was worth mentioning when it comes to insuring your condo properly. You had a chance to read up on building property coverage, HOA’s master policy – and even check out some average costs.
In essence, condo insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s highly advisable. It can help you pay off medical bills, repair the interior structure and even rebuild your condo after it’s been damaged.
However, your biggest concern is the country you reside in currently – some have a $1,200+ annual rate.
Sadly, natural disasters such as earthquakes and nuclear hazards won’t be covered. Likewise, intentional harm to another individual is not a covered peril.
That said, if you have to move out of your condo, you shouldn’t have to worry about paying for restaurant meals or hotel stays out of your pocket – additional living expenses will do that for you.
Before we close this topic, there’s one more thing we’d like to draw your attention to – homeowners insurance.
Don’t rush it. Take your time in choosing the coverage that suits you best. And while you’re at it, go check out our tool – it compares quotes completely FREE!
Insurance Geek is here to help you make financial decisions that will keep you and your budget safe!