CONDOMINIUM INSURANCE AND YOUR H.O.A.

Condominium ownership offers a certain freedom. No worries about landscaping, taking care of the pool, painting the exterior, or even taking out the trash cans. But there is a different kind of responsibility you take on when buying a condo.

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. Some homeowners policies offer assessment liability coverage. Check with the HOA to see what the master policy covers.

You also need a standard homeowners policy. Condo insurance covers the same perils as regular homeowners insurance. Liability, fire, theft, etc. are all included, as are loss/damage to personal belongings and additional living expenses in case you have to vacate.

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.