Whether the space you live in is a condo or a house, if you own your own home, you need insurance. Property owners are responsible not only for what happens to their property, but also for what happens to visitors on the premises. However, a condo is not the same type of structure as a house, and there are key differences between homeowners insurance and condo insurance.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
Condominium insurance is designed to address a condo owner’s particular, non-communal property ownership needs. A condo unit is often part of an association that is responsible for the grounds shared by all the owners and, typically, the exterior of the building. The association will have its own insurance policy. It is important for owners of individual units to know what the association policy covers and what they are personally responsible for insuring.
The typical condo insurance policy covers repair or replacement for certain “walls-in” losses plus all of your personal property. The condo association’s master insurance policy may cover everything from the walls and studs outward, while your personal condo insurance policy covers flooring, carpeting, fixtures, and everything from the bare walls in.
Bare Walls Coverage Vs. As Built Coverage For Condominiums
The declaration or master deed for a condo includes a section on insurance requirements and association bylaws. This section describes the type of insurance the association will purchase on behalf of the insured. The unit owner is responsible for insuring any property that is not covered by the association’s policy. Real property is insured by condominium associations in two basic ways:
- Bare walls coverage: The unit owner is responsible for insuring all fixtures and real property from the exterior framing of the unit inward.
- As built coverage: The unit owner is responsible for insuring upgrades or additions to the condo.
Most condo association insurance policies have large deductibles for which the condo owner is responsible in case of a loss to his or her unit. Also, condo associations may change or reduce their insurance coverage for a unit owner’s condo, which could increase the coverage the unit owner is required to carry. If you are purchasing a condo, our experienced agent can help ensure that you have the condo insurance you need.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
A traditional homeowners insurance policy for a single-family dwelling may be simple and basic or comprehensive, depending on the lender’s requirements and the homeowner’s needs. The typical homeowners policy covers the entire structure and all construction materials, including permanent elements, such as kitchen cabinets. Most of these policies provide coverage for the home, related structures, yard, and personal property, and protect the homeowner against liability.
Key Difference Between Homeowners Insurance & Condo Insurance
The critical difference between the two types of policies is how much coverage you need. Homeowners insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding the house and other structures on the property. With condo insurance, you generally only need enough dwelling protection to cover rebuilding the interior of your unit.