Condo Unit Owners Insurance -Do you have the coverages you need?

October 27, 2020
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As the owner of a condominium unit, your insurance needs are different from other homeowners. A condo association’s master insurance policy typically insures most of the building and common areas.  The extent of the building coverage and what the unit owner is responsible for will vary according to the governing documents of the association. As a unit-owner, you and your insurance agent will need to carefully read the pertinent section(s) of your governing documents to determine what you are responsible for insuring vs. the association.

Typically, for the building unit coverage, the unit owner may be responsible for the interior finishes and spaces of the unit sometimes including items such as floor coverings, fixtures, and improvements made to the unit.  Insurance carriers have a replacement cost estimator tool that can calculate what the interior coverage should be based off the size, age, and rooms.  Generally, these costs range from $50-60 per square foot, but can certainly vary depending on the level of finishes and upgrades of the insured’s individual unit. 

Personal property coverage on a condo owner’s policy is an amount determined by the insured.  On a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy, the amount of personal property is determined by a percentage of the dwelling coverage and can be adjusted if needed.  Most insurance carriers will default to a range of 50-70% of the dwelling coverage on a home to arrive at the limit for personal property.  To determine the amount of coverage you may need, consider all the belongings which are things you could take with you. 

Personal liability coverage also makes up the condo owner’s insurance policy.  Standard amounts of this coverage are $100,000, $300,000, and $500,000.  The premium difference between these coverages is usually not much and may only cost a few dollars more annually to have increased coverage.  One may also consider an umbrella policy for further increased liability protection, the umbrella carrier will typically have a minimum requirement of $300,000 liability on the condo owner policy.

Medical payments and loss of use coverage should be included in a unit-owners policy. Standard medical payment limit is $1000; however, it can be increased typically up to $10,000 for a minimal annual additional premium.  Medical payments coverage reimburse you for guests' medical expenses if they're injured on your property, whether you're at fault or not. It is designed to cover minor injuries and prevent lawsuits. Loss of use coverage would apply if you temporarily have to live elsewhere because your condo was made uninhabitable by a fire or other covered peril.

In addition to covering personal belongings and structural elements that are the insured’s responsibility, here are a few coverage options that are recommended to condo owners:

Loss assessment

If a condo community experiences a loss that exceeds what is covered by the homeowners’ association commercial policy, the association may impose a fee or assessment to cover the balance. Many condo owner policies will include a limited amount of coverage, perhaps $500 or $1,000.  We recommend a higher coverage amount and typically, increasing coverage to $10,000 is a minimal additional premium.

Building ordinance or law

Protection from increased reconstruction costs due to changes and updates in building ordinance codes – especially critical to condo owners who have remodeled the interior of their unit from the original build.

Water Sewer Backup

 Covers losses by water damage from a sump pump or sewer drain that may occur within a unit or go beyond a common area into an individual unit.

 

At McDaniel Insurance we understand there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all insurance policy when it comes to your condo insurance.  We will review your needs and tailor a policy based on your needs.

We’ll help you protect what matters most.  Contact Elizabeth Young today at 502.909.0920 or Elizabeth@McDanielins.com, we’ll show you all of your insurance options, recommend the right limits, and make sure you receive every discount you deserve.