Condo Owner Insurance: What It Is and Why You Need It

Condo owner insurance, a unique form of traditional home insurance, is an essential part of protecting the personal possessions of condo owners. While most condos owners have a minimal amount of insurance through their condo association, condo owner insurance is needed to adequately protect your personal belongings.

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What Is Condo Owner Insurance?

Condo owner insurance is also referred to as "Homeowners Form 6" or "unit-owner" insurance. The major difference between condo owner insurance and homeowners insurance is that most condo owners have insurance through their condo association that covers the unit's structure. Condo owner insurance covers what the condo association's insurance doesn't: personal property, liability, the owner's portion of the building and loss of use.

Condo Owner Insurance Fills in the Coverage Gap

There's a significant coverage gap between a condo association's insurance coverage and your personal condo owner insurance policy. The condo association's insurance usually covers the common areas you share with others in your building such as the roof, basement, elevator, boiler or walkways for both liability issues and physical damage, but doesn't cover much else.

Condo owner insurance insures a condo owner for direct damage to personal property, personal liability coverage and medical payments coverage as outlined in the policy. It may also provide additional living expenses if you are the victim of fire, theft or other loss listed in your policy.

Additional Coverage Options

There are also additional condo owner insurance coverage options that you should ask your insurance provider about:

  • Water back-up coverage insures your property for damage caused by the back-up of sewers or drains. Water back-up may not always be included in a condo owner insurance policy. Check to see that it is included.
  • Umbrella liability is an inexpensive way to get more liability protection and broader coverage than is included in a standard condo owner insurance/co-op policy.
  • Flood or earthquake insurance coverage. Many condo owners are under the false impression that condo owner insurance covers damages sustained during a flood or earthquake. A condo owner insurance policy will not protect you for these damages. It is a wise idea to look into flood and earthquake insurance.
  • If you own expensive jewelry, furs or collectibles, you might consider getting additional coverage since there is generally a $1,000 to $2,000 limit for theft of jewelry on a standard policy.

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