by John Wilson on Oct 21, 2013
Face it, most people think of condo insurance as little more than a renter’s policy with some extra coverages here and there. The reality is that a properly written condo policy does so much more.
Okay, we know condo coverage insures your contents, just like a renter’s policy, but what about your carpeting, cabinetry, fixtures and flooring? Most people think the condominium association’s master policy will cover that. The truth of the matter is most master policies cover the building and common areas, but not necessarily what is within your unit. If your building burns to the ground the master policy will rebuild the structure and leave the space that was once your home, well, an empty space for you to finish. Condo policies usually include some “walls-in” coverage and label it “dwelling” or “additions and alterations”. The policy usually offers a minimal limit of say $1000. In recent years, lenders are now requiring of their borrowers to obtain a condo owners policy with “walls-in” coverage of at least 20% of the market value of the unit. If you have more customized features, such as hardwood cabinetry, higher-end faucets and fixtures, you may want to look at more coverage.
Another unique coverage on a condo policy is coverage for loss assessment. This coverage recognizes the potential for owners to be assessed, by their condo association for certain kinds of loss. Examples of circumstances that might require the condominium association to assess all unit owners would be:
- Someone is seriously injured on common property (perhaps at a swimming pool) and the courts award a judgment that's higher than the amount of liability coverage provided by the master policy, or
- Major damage occurs to commonly owned buildings and it is not fully covered by the master policy.
A condo policy includes a minimal limit of $1000 to $2000, but this can be increased to $10,000 or higher for typically a few dollars a year.
Personal liability coverage protects you if others make a claim or bring suit against you for bodily injury or property damage for which you or a member of your family are responsible, either in your home or elsewhere and to which coverage applies. In addition to settlement costs, this coverage may pay defense costs and court costs - even if a suit brought against you is groundless. It is essential that you select liability limits high enough to protect your assets. If you need more protection than your regular policy limits, consider a personal liability umbrella policy. It adds an extra layer of personal liability protection to your car policy, your boat or motorcycle policy (if you have one) and your condo policy.
For additional infomation on condo insurance or any other insurance questions, contact your insurance specialists at Neighbors Plus Insurance Services at (562) 627-1961. Located in the Lakewood Village of Long Beach.
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