Having condo insurance may seem like a waste of money but it may just be the best investment you ever make. Condo owners usually pay a monthly fee to cover the cost of a master insurance policy held by their Condo Association. Some believe that this is enough but if owners rely solely on the master policy for insurance they will be under insured across almost every aspect of their property.
A master insurance policy covers the building and common property areas but this cover usually stops inside the exterior walls of the building. If the building burns down the master policy will pay for construction of a new building but the condo owner will have to pay for all fittings, fixtures and possibly even the dry wall out of their own pocket. Without condo insurance would you be able to afford to replace your carpets, light fittings and bathroom and kitchen cabinets?
If someone is injured on condo property the master policy provides cover for claims where the incident happened in common areas, but it won’t cover someone slipping on your newly polished floorboards.
When your nephew throws his ball through the foyer window breaking the glass the Association will sue you for damages to the common property. You need your own condo insurance to cover you for claims of injury or property damage caused by you, your family or your visitors.
Theft, burglary and vandalism occur every day. Water damage from leaking pipes and electrical and kitchen fires can cause damage to the inside of your condo, furniture and personal belongings without affecting other condo owners. The master policy does not cover any of these events. Condo insurance will cover damage, destruction and theft of your personal property.
LOSS ASSESSMENTS AND DEDUCTIBLES
While you pay monthly dues to cover the cost of the master insurance policy this is not the end of your responsibility. If the Condo Association makes a claim on the master policy and find they are under insured the individual owners can be assessed for their share of the additional cost.
Even if the policy covers the full cost of repairs the master policy will have a deductible and each owner will be required to pay their share. Condo insurance can cover you for assessments made in respect of the master policy or deductibles.
LOSS OF USE
When a catastrophic event happens it is likely you will need to find somewhere else to stay while your condo is repaired or rebuilt. Can you afford to stay in a hotel for the period of time it takes to reconstruct your condo?
Condos are small communities and when an uninsured owner is sued by another condo owner for damage or negligence it can create tension for the entire community. Whatever the outcome of the dispute you still have to live together after it is resolved. Having condo insurance can quickly, efficiently and pleasantly resolve any claims of one owner against another.
Condo insurance in the USA today varies from state to state. State laws and the Association’s rules will determine what is covered under the master insurance policy and what is not. You need to get a copy of your Association’s master policy to determine what cover you require in your condo insurance.
While paying for the master policy and condo insurance may seem to be excessive or unnecessary it is relatively inexpensive when you consider the cost of not having it. What value do you place on peace of mind?