December 07 2015

You opted to forego buying a house and property to avoid the added responsibilities – cutting the grass, trimming the trees, lugging the recycling and trash containers to the curb, dealing with sewer lines, etc. Just maintain your unit and let the HOA take care of the rest. Of course, doing that does not mean you don’t need homeowners insurance. In fact, condo ownership can mean a little more.

As a joint owner of the condominium public areas, exteriors, etc., each unit is responsible for paying a monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fee to cover items like property insurance. HOAs generally have one of two types of master policies: Bare walls-in and All-in.

The bare walls-in covers all real property from the exterior framing inward, but stops at fixtures and installations within the condo unit. Anything within your four walls is your responsibility. The all-in policy covers fixtures, installations or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors and ceilings of individual units. These policies typically have deductibles which are assessed from each unit owner. You can obtain assessment liability coverage through a homeowners policy. Check with the HOA to see what the master policy covers.

Much like a single-dwelling owner, your condo needs to be covered by homeowners insurance. If your condo is mortgaged and/or there is a line of credit, you must have homeowners insurance. Most policies cover structural damage, in this case the interior of your unit, damage to or loss of personal belongings, liability protection, and coverage for additional living expenses.

Don’t guess at what policies you need and how much coverage is necessary. Your insurance professional will be happy to discuss what you need to protect you, your loved ones, and your livelihood.

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