What questiosn should I ask a condo association about their master insurance policy?

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Asked March 18, 2013

1 Answer


The insurance policy purchased as part of membership in a Condo Association will not be sufficient to cover everything, but it serves as a bridge between the private condo owners and the person or entity that owns the entire complex. It is important that you know where one policy leaves off, and how the two interact to give you the best coverage for your condominium.

  1. Bare Walls or All-In?
    Some Condo Association policies will cover everything from the fixtures inward, while other policies begin at the wall. This is an important consideration, because a policy which excludes the fixtures such as lighting and plumbing leave you liable for any damages related to those aspects of the condo.
  2. Do I need Structural Coverage?
    ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¨Despite the assumption that the structure ends at the finished wall, the fact is that structural insurance includes things such as glass or granite counter tops, carpeting, and shelving that has been permanently affixed to the walls. Most Condo policies will include limited coverage, but if you paid for any of the structural fixtures in your condo, you should also pay the insurance.
  3. What is the Association Deductible?
    ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¨Most Condo Association policies include a deductible amount, similar to the deductible in your HO-6 policy. Ask about the deductible, and how it is handled by the association. In some cases, the deductible may be included in your association fees, in other cases it will be an out of pocket expense.
  4. Cash or Replacement Value?ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¨
    Replacement value will pay to repair or replace, regardless of the increased cost, while cash value will only pay out a depreciated value based on the age and condition at the time of the claim. Replacement cost insurance generally costs a little more, but is well worth the added cost as it can save you thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses on a single claim.
  5. Does my HO-6 policy cover everything else?
    ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¨It is important to coordinate your HO-6 insurance policy with the Condo Association policy. You do not want to pay twice for duplicate coverage, but it is equally important that your HO-6 policy picks up where the association policy leaves off. Things to look for are gaps in the liability insurance, coverage for common areas, and the boundaries between personal property and association responsibility.

Answered March 18, 2013 by Anonymous

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