Condo (or co-op) insurance safeguards your personal belongings and the parts of the building you own against most known disasters - such as fire, lightning etc.
Unlike covering a house, condominium ownership requires two separate homeowner policies:
Personal policies can cover:
- One of your own.
- One provided by the condo/co-op board.
- Third party injury liability.
- Property damage possibly caused by you.
- Loss of personal possessions.
- Loss of structural improvements.
- Additional living expenses incurred due to a displacement (detailed in your policy) from your condo that forces you to move out temporarily.
Master Policies (provided by the condo/co-op board) tend can cover:
Condo owners have other coverage available, including:
- Physical damage coverage for areas of the building that you share with neighbors, such as elevators, hallways and the laundry room. Take the time to understand which structural parts of your home are covered by the condo/co-op association and which are not.
When shopping for condo/co-op insurance find an agent, or agency, that specializes in this type of coverage. And be sure to cost compare. Get at least three quotes, and ask about discounts. Insurance premiums can often be lowered by insuring with the same company that underwrites your auto insurance or covers your building. Significant savings can also be had simply by raising your policy deductible. For instance, paying an extra $500 toward your loss could drop your premium by as much as 25%!
Flood or Earthquake. If you?ve chosen a location prone to these natural forces you?ll probably be required to purchase these insurances separately. Flood insurance is available through FEMA?s National Flood Insurance Program.
Unit assessment. Reimburses your share of an assessment charged to unit owners for losses involving common areas of the building.
Water back-up. Insures against damage caused by the back-up of sewers or drains.
Floater or endorsement. Have a taste for furs and expensive jewelry? You might consider adding this coverage because standard policies generally offer an insufficient theft limit.
Umbrella policy. A cost effective way to get broader liability coverage and higher compensation limits.