When you live in a condominium, the line often blurs between what portions of the home belong to you and which ones belong to the condominium association. Of course, your own possessions and liabilities remain yours. However, the condo’s structure and fixtures might be your responsibility, the association's or a combination. Therefore, when buying your condo insurance, check with your HOA to see how to adjust your building coverage. Here’s how to do so correctly.
Condo Building Insurance
Condominium owners need the appropriate insurance for the property & liability risks they face in their homes. However, owning a condo is not the same as owning a free-standing home. While the condominium might belong to you, it is not the entire property that belongs to you. In many cases, you own your own condo while other residents own theirs. The condo association usually maintains ownership of portions of the property, too. As a result, you’ll have to balance your own policy’s protection with that provided by other coverage.
Most condo owners' policies offer building insurance. This is coverage that pays for damage to your home after unexpected events. Qualifying damage might arise from fires, severe weather, theft, vandalism and more. Because your policy pays for many of the repairs on your behalf, you can avoid costly blows to your own checkbook.
However, your condo association’s insurance will also contain coverage for condo buildings. To avoid double-insuring items that are nor your responsibility, check with your HOA to determine where your own responsibility lies.
How HOA Policies Cover Properties
Most condo associations carry structure insurance on their buildings. The policies will cover damage to common areas on the property. However, they also might extend into the individual unit.
Certain portions of the unit might remain the condo association’s property. Their coverage might address these differences in various ways:
- Bare Walls Coverage: This coverage generally only pays for the structure of the condo up to the walls of the individual units. Once inside, the property is the owner’s responsibility to cover.
- Single Entity Coverage: By extending past the bare walls of the condo, this coverage will insure features and fixtures original to the unit.
- All-In Coverage: If the unit owner makes changes to the condo upon move-in, then this coverage can assume responsibility for these items.
Depending on which policy your HOA has, you will need different building insurance. However, this coverage will only insure you within the four walls of your home. You won’t have to insure any of the community property belonging to the association.
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