What type of home insurance coverage do I need for my condo?
Condo insurance is specifically designed to provide coverage for condominium owners.
Unlike the owner of a single-family home, a single-unit condominium owner does not need coverage for the entire building, instead, just their unit. (Typically, condo owners are also required to pay into a Master Policy as well that covers common areas of the building- but more on this below.)
Condo Insurance 101
Condo insurance typically includes the following protection in the event of a covered claim:
- Dwelling Coverage
- Contents/Personal Property Coverage
- Loss of Use Coverage
- Personal Liability Coverage
- Medical Payments
Dwelling Coverage for a condo owner covers structural improvements to the inside of the unit (typically from the studs of the walls, in) in the event of a covered claim. This is unlike the dwelling coverage in a standard homeowners policy which provides coverage for the entire home (interior and exterior). The amount of dwelling coverage needed varies for condos and is based on the construction type of the condo. For example, a condo with standard, building grade materials might need $30,000 worth of coverage while a unit with upgraded appliances, wood floors and granite counter tops might need $100,000 worth of coverage. A home insurance agent can best help you determine your coverage.
Contents Coverage or Personal Property Coverage for a condo policy covers your personal belongings inside the unit including (but not limited to) furniture, clothing, electronics, etc. However, there are typically limits for each item and you can schedule an endorsement on your policy if you have any one item that exceeds those limits and needs extended coverage. For example, a standard condo policy typically has a maximum payout of $1500 for jewelry. If the value of your jewelry exceeds that limit you can schedule an endorsement (or rider) to protect specific valuable pieces.
Loss of Use Coverage protects a condo owner in the event that their condo is damaged in a covered claim and they must seek shelter elsewhere while it is being repaired. Loss of use coverage helps pay for room and board, dining, dry cleaning, etc. while you are unable to reside in your condo.
Personal Liability Coverage protects a condo owner in the event they are involved in a lawsuit where they, or an immediate family member who also lives in the condo, are being sued for bodily harm or property damage they have caused. Most policies typically carry a minimum of $100,000 in personal liability coverage, however, those limits can be increased.
Medical Payments Coverage, also known as MedPay, is a coverage that protects a condo owner in the event someone is injured in their condo and the condo owner wants to pay the medical bills. For example, if a friends slips in your kitchen and requires medical attention, your MedPay would pay for the medical bills up to the limits in your policy. Medical payments coverage is only for a situation where a lawsuit is not involved and carries limits like all other coverage options. Most condo policies have medical payments coverage of up to $2,000 per incident but that can be increased.
Condo owners also typically are required to pay into a Master Policy which covers the shared areas of the condominium building. The master policy covers areas of the building such as hallways, the roof, the laundry room, basement, entry ways and stairwells.
Last Updated: September 17, 2010
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