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How Condos Are Different

Overview

Buying homeowners insurance for a condominium is slightly different than buying a policy for a single-family home. This is because condos have building associations that insure the shared features of the complex. Before you purchase your insurance coverage, it is important to know what your responsibilities are.

What the Association Covers

While each condo association insurance policy will be slightly different, in general, you can expect it to cover any damages to the structure of your building, the common areas, and shared amenities like the water and gas pipes. The policy should also provide liability and medical fee coverage in case one of your guests is injured the condo common areas.

What You Need to Insure

You will be responsible for insuring everything inside the walls of your home. This includes any fixtures like cabinets and appliances. Additionally, a standard condo homeowner’s insurance policy will provide for protection of your personal property against damage or theft. If you have any special collections of jewelry or other extremely valuable possessions, you may need to take out a supplemental policy.

As a condo owner, you will be responsible for getting Additional Living Expenses coverage. In the case of major damage to your home, your policy would then pay for the expenses associated with living elsewhere while your place is repaired. Primarily this means things like hotel and food charges.

Your policy should also include liability insurance for any injuries incurred by others while inside your condo. This would pay for the legal fees for any resulting lawsuits as well as compensation for the injured guest. Most policies will also include a guest medical protection clause that will provide for medical treatment for any such injured visitors.

Standard homeowners insurance policies will protect your condo against damages due to fire, smoke, lightning, wind and hailstorms, explosion, and falling objects, but they do not cover flood or earthquake destruction. If you like live in an area affected by these issues, you will need additional policies.

Keeping Your Costs Down

While you are still responsible for providing adequate insurance coverage, there are plenty of ways to minimize the cost of your premiums. One way to do this is by making your apartment safer with things like fire and smoke detectors, as well as home security systems. You can also choose a higher deductible in exchange for significant premium savings. Plus, anything you do to improve your credit score will help make your insurance costs that much more affordable.

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