What To Look for in a Condo Master Insurance Policy
Understanding the details of a condo master insurance policy is important for both building and unit owners. Since many areas within a condominium complex are shared, it becomes the owner’s responsibility to insure common places. Condo master policies vary in coverage, but each level of coverage includes protection for the roof and exterior of the building and shared areas like elevators, recreational spaces, outdoor spaces, and hallways. While the condo association or HOA purchases a condo master insurance policy, unit owners share the cost in routine fees. A condo master policy affects both members of the condo association and condo unit owners.
Important Details in Your Condo Master Insurance Policy
Whether you’re responsible for purchasing a condo master policy or you’re a unit owner ready to purchase additional coverage, it’s important to understand certain features of the master policy. Carefully examining your condo master insurance policy will help you avoid gaps in coverage. The coverage provided by a condo master insurance policy can vary widely and understanding the terms of your policy can help you prepare for the unexpected. Look for these details in a condo master insurance policy.
Understanding the different types of coverage is the first step to understanding your condo master insurance policy. Some policies only cover common areas, while some offer additional protection for parts of the unit. These are the most common types of coverage available in a condo master insurance policy.
- Bare Walls-In: This basic policy covers common areas used by all condo owners. A bare-walls policy covers roofing, exterior, framing, wiring, piping, insulation, and drywall. It does not cover anything on the interior of the home like fixtures, installations, and appliances. Common areas like shared outdoor spaces, swimming pools, stairways, elevators, and common hallways are also covered.
- Single Entity Coverage: This policy covers everything described in the bare-walls policy. It also covers built in property such as fixtures inside individual units. This coverage may be referred to as per original specifications coverage and typically excludes improvements and additions or renovations by the unit owner. (It’s important to note that owner renovations include renovations made by the previous owner.)
- All-In: An all-in policy covers everything described in the bare-walls policy and also covers fixtures and installations, and may protect built in appliances that come with the unit. This is the most complete coverage and may provide protection for updates and improvements make by the unit owner.
The condo association files a claim when damage occurs. Before the insurance company begins paying for covered damage, a deductible must be met. Typically, condo unit owners divide the deductible amongst themselves. This practice makes repairs easier to take care of, even with a higher deductible like those usually found in a condo master policy.
Your condo master insurance policy provides liability coverage limited to common areas. This means coverage would be provided for guests injured in common places like the pool, stairway, or tennis courts. It is vital that unit owners also have personal liability to protect guests while inside an individual unit.
Like every type of insurance policy, your condo master policy coverage has limits. When coverage is exhausted, unit owners are often responsible for a portion of out-of-pocket expenses. Understanding the limits of your master condo insurance policy is important for the condo association and unit owners. Your condo insurance coverage provides liability coverage when exhausted.
Like the types of coverage provided by a master condo policy, covered perils can also vary. To fully understand all the events, limits, and exclusions covered by your master policy, it’s a good idea to discuss the terms of your policy with your independent insurance agent. These are some things you can expect your condo master policy to cover.
- Medical coverage for covered liability claims
- Legal fees for covered liability claims
Using a Master Condo Policy to Determine Personal Condo Insurance Needs
Even the most inclusive master condo policy doesn’t provide complete insurance coverage needed by a condo unit owner. A condo owner will need coverage to protect personal possessions and provide liability coverage for the space inside the unit. Additionally, if you’re still paying for your condo, mortgage lenders will likely require you to purchase an HO-6 policy. This coverage is called condo insurance (also called an HO-6 policy). Learning the details of your master policy provides you with an excellent starting point when seeking condo insurance. Here are some questions to consider when purchasing condo unit insurance.
- Does your condo master policy cover fixtures or appliances?
- What coverage gaps are left by your master condo insurance policy
- Have you remodeled or updated your unit?
- What type of deductible can you afford in the event of a covered claim?
- Do you own outdoor structures (like a storage shed) that is only used by you?
- Are you prepared to pay additional expenses out-of-pocket if a covered event deems your condo uninhabitable?
- Have you taken inventory of your possessions?
- Do you have pets?
- Are you in a high-risk area for floods or earthquakes? (You might need additional coverage.)
- Do you operate a home business from your condo?
Learn More About Condo Master Insurance
The details of your condo master policy help determine the responsibilities of the condo association and those of the unit owners. Finding the right balance is the best way to get the best coverage for your unique situation. If you’re located in the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts and seeking condo insurance, get in touch with the independent insurance agents at LoPriore. Instead of selling you insurance, we help you find the coverage that fits your lifestyle.
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