Condominium property involves dual ownership. In a nutshell, you own everything inside of your walls, and your condominium association owns everything outside of those walls. Unlike homeowners insurance, two separate insurance policies are involved. There’s a master policy covering all of the common elements that the association owns, and there’s your condominium policy covering your personal property and liability inside of your unit.
If there’s damage or liability involving the exterior of your unit, your condominium association’s master policy provides coverage. If the damage or liability arises inside of your unit, your personal condominium coverage most likely covers you.
To come up with a number on how much coverage you’ll need, make an inventory of all of the personal property inside of your unit. Coverage then comes down to a decision on insuring everything for actual cash value or replacement cost. Since actual cash value contemplates depreciation, you might want to consider replacement cost. For any valuable artwork, jewelry, furs, electronics, musical instruments or the like, you’ll want to consider getting special coverage. If you’ve customized your unit, inquire with your agent about appropriate coverage.
Given the fact that your association’s master coverage usually ends at your exterior walls, your personal policy should cover everything from those walls on in. Coverage in most personal condo policies includes but isn’t limited to:
Fire, lightning, and wind damage
Accidental discharge of water
Liability for bodily injury
Your condo is your home. It might even be the biggest investment that you have. Review your association’s by-laws, and find out what its master policy covers. You’ll want to insure anything else that isn’t covered. A loss can occur in any number of ways, so get proper protection.
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