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What you don’t know about condominium insurance

Insuring a condominium isn’t like insuring a single-family home.

Coverage for an individual unit typically includes everything within the walls of your home—fixtures, appliances, wall coverings, upgrades and sometimes the walls themselves. The building itself is covered by the building owner’s master policy along with any common and exterior areas. Below, we’ve outlined the basics of each policy.

What does my condo insurance policy cover?

Your condominium insurance policy protects your personal belongings and any upgrades you make within the unit in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, water line breakage or other accidental incidents. Generally speaking, anything between your ceiling and floor and four main walls of your space is your responsibility to insure.

So, if the resident above you has a water leak that creeps into your condo, destroying or damaging some of your property, your personal condo insurance, not the master policy, will most likely cover the damage, even through the problem originated outside your unit.

Upgrades protected under your condo insurance policy generally include:

  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Fixtures
  • Cabinetry
  • Shelving
  • Doors

You’ll want to work with your condominium insurance agent to determine the amount of improvements and betterments coverage needed to ensure that the total amount is covered in the event of loss or damage.

What does the condominium master insurance policy cover?

Most condominium master insurance policies cover the walls and beyond, including the building’s exterior framing, insulation, roof, common areas, elevators and amenity equipment like the swimming pool, gym or sauna.

It’s important to note that condo owners pay a percentage of the group master insurance policy fees. Most condominium communities have a reserve fund for major projects. That information should be available through the HOA board. In the event the cost of repairs or upgrades exceeds the reserve fund, condo owners will be asked to cover the expense.

While each community is different, the deductible selected for your condominium master insurance policy is typically spread amongst all owners in the event a claim is made. For example, if a hurricane damages the roof of your building, and the deductible is $5,000, that deductible amount will be portioned by the number of owners in the building.

Before settling on a particular insurance coverage policy and deductible, ask for a copy of your community’s master policy so you know exactly what you’ll be responsible for in the event of loss or damage.