As a condo owner, what additional insurance do I need besides my association’s master policy?
UPDATED: May 1, 2012
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Asked May 1, 2012
Condo insurance, sometimes referred to as an HO-6 policy, is designed to protect the personal property of a condo owner, and provide them with liability coverage if they or their property is at fault in damages or injuries. The condo association has a different type of home insurance, typically a modified HO-3 policy, called landlord insurance. This type of coverage is not usually helpful for condo owners themselves, because that is not what it is designed to cover.
Condo owners are best covered under an HO-6, condo owner's policy. This policy is similar to renters insurance, but expanded to include the broader scope of a condominium. An HO-6 policy includes your personal possessions, any permanent additions you have added, and liability insurance. So if you had a deck awning installed, that would be covered under your HO-6 policy, not the condo association's master policy.
The master policy would include the building, wiring, plumbing, and other intrinsic arts of the structure. It will also cover liability claims against association property such as sidewalks, driveways, stairs, and elevators. But if someone tripped over, for example, a rug you placed on the sidewalk outside your door, then your insurance would handle the costs of injury, because it was your property, not the condo sidewalk, which caused the damage.
One particular item, and one that often falls short in all home insurance policies, is the topic of personal property protection. To get the best coverage, take a home inventory, and then total the value of your possessions. If your condo insurance does not include at least that amount of protection for personal property, ask your insurance company about raising the limits to match your assets. Without enough coverage, you risk losing much of your family's property and buying it again yourself would be the only option.
Answered May 1, 2012 by Anonymous