There are several elements to a condo policy. In order to insure you properly, it’s important to know what your homeowner association (HOA) covers. Your HOA can provide you with a copy of the insurance policy for your community.
Normally an HOA policy covers damage and loss to the structures in the association, but not any personal property. It will typically cover structural components of your unit like the walls, plumbing, ceilings, electrical, and unimproved flooring.
Here are some condo coverage options that step in to protect your personal property where your HOA insurance does not:
Personal Property Coverage
You’ll likely want enough condo insurance to repair or replace your personal items if stolen or damaged. Replacement cost value — which comes standard on almost every condo policy — will pay to replace items at their current value, without factoring in depreciation.
Many condo owners should realize their insurance should cover items like floor coverings, wallpaper, inner walls, countertops, appliances and decor fixtures. These items are usually not covered under the HOA insurance, so it’s up to you to have protection.
Even if your HOA insurance covers the structure of your home, it is not likely to cover renovations you make like granite countertops, new shower stalls, updated light switches, or backsplashes.
If guests are hurt in your unit, your condo insurance can help cover the bills if you’re held responsible. If your dishwasher leaks and causes damage to a downstairs neighbor’s home, you would be covered under your policy. Personal liability limits begin at a minimum of $100,000.00. If you would like more protection, the limits can be increased to $300,000.00, $500,000.00 or $1,000,000.00.
Loss assessment coverage offers protection (up to the limits you choose) for losses your HOA might hold you responsible for, like damage to property in a common area. It is recommended that this coverage be a minimum of $50,000.00. The cost for this protection would be a little as $20.00 annually.
While it’s true that condo insurance can cover your personal property, some items have specific limits. For example, in a standard condo policy, jewelry coverage may have a limit of $1,500 per item. But you can add “scheduled property” coverage if you want to insure a piece of jewelry whose value exceeds $1,500. It is recommended that you have your valuables appraised every two years to make sure you are properly covered.
Loss Of Use
If your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss, your condo insurance policy can provide coverage for your living expenses
if you need to live elsewhere while your home is repaired.