What insurance do you need when you buy a condo?
For many people inching their way up the property ladder, a condo is the perfect place to start. But what about condo insurance?
Since it’s an individual unit within a larger apartment building, maintenance responsibilities are split up among the various owners in the complex, and there’s no need to worry about keeping your lawn a perfect length or trimming the trees in your back yard. And since condos can also be located in central areas, they’re perfect for people who are keen to own property but don’t want to move out of the city just yet.
If you’ve just bought a condo, you may have started looking for the right home insurance to go with it. But actually, home insurance is not what you’re after—it’s condo insurance. If you own a condo, you’ll need specific condo insurance that covers your unit and its contents.
What’s the difference between home insurance and condo insurance?
While you may think that condo insurance is basically the same as home insurance, condo insurance only covers your unit, your liability, and the contents of your unit, including your personal belongings. Condo insurance will also cover damage to common areas that aren’t covered by the condominium association’s building insurance.
Home insurance, meanwhile, covers both you and your property, including the land your home sits on and any external structures on your property. The reason this isn’t included in condo insurance is that condo owners all pay condo fees, which go toward joint maintenance issues such as elevators, hallways, and stairs, as well as toward paying the building’s insurance.
The building’s insurance covers any damages that happen to the building as a whole. So if the roof of the building complex gets damaged from debris after particularly strong wind, the building’s insurance would cover the repairs. Someone with a single house in the same situation would rely on their home insurance to cover those repairs.
What’s covered by condo insurance?
While the level of coverage varies depending on what type of coverage and what provider you choose, you can expect most condo insurances to cover:
This means that anything inside of your unit, such as clothes, furniture, books, and appliances are covered in case of theft, loss, or damage. More expensive items, such as jewelry and artwork, may need their own insurance if you want to be reimbursed for the whole value.
The inside of your condo
Floors, countertops, walls, and windows, and light fixtures are all part of your condo, and would be covered by condo insurance in case of damage. However, it’s important to note that not all condo insurance automatically covers any renovations you made to the unit. So make sure to check whether your coverage extends to improvements or whether you need to upgrade your policy before switching out your countertops and renovating the floors.
Damage to the building that resulted from your condo
Condo insurance will cover any damage in the building that resulted from an accident in your condo. So let’s say a fire broke out in your condo, resulting in smoke damage to the hallway walls and carpet, then your condo insurance would also cover those repairs. And while the condominium association that owns the building where your condo is located also has insurance that covers damages to the overall building, there isn’t always a total overlap. This is where your condo insurance comes in.
Just like home insurance, your condo insurance will cover any expenses incurred if someone who isn’t part of your household injures themselves while in your condo. So if you had a guest and they tripped and fell in your living room, resulting in a fractured wrist, your condo insurance would cover the medical costs.
Living expenses that result from your condo becoming uninhabitable
If your condo sustains major damage, like from a fire, and you need to move out for several weeks while repairs are being done, condo insurance will cover your living costs (up to a reasonable degree).
What’s not covered by condo insurance?
As mentioned before, your condo insurance does not cover anything that happens outside of your unit’s walls. Any damage to common areas, such as garages, elevators, patios, stairs, roofs, and hallways is covered by the building’s insurance.
Just like home insurance, you may also need to purchase additional policies if you want coverage for certain events, such as flooding and earthquakes. Many condo insurances also exclude mold and vermin infestations.
Is condo insurance required before buying a condo?
While condo insurance is not technically required when purchasing a condo, it should not be an expense to skip out on. Many banks will want to see proof of insurance before issuing a loan for purchase, and some condo associations may also require you to have insurance before buying a unit. But apart from that, having your property insured will give you the peace of mind of knowing that if an accident does happen, you won’t have to fork over thousands of dollars in damages.
Before choosing a condo insurance, you should carefully read the building’s insurance to see what’s covered and what isn’t, and then assess what kind of coverage you need so that there’s no overlap.
If you’re struggling to find the right condo insurance for you, then you’ve come to the right place. With just a few questions you can conveniently answer online, we’ll give you a range of options filtered for your specific needs, at a guaranteed low price. Find the right condo insurance for you now!
Insurers view married people as less likely to have accidents.
Married couples can also find savings by combining their policies and bundling types of insurance together. You get a lower car insurance rate if you have a tenant insurance with the same company.
Or read our guide to condo insurance!
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