Do you currently own a condo? Insuring your condo can be quite confusing at times.
We all know that house insurance is made to cover the entire property, and if you rent, renters insurance covers various things within your unit like furniture, jewelry, and other valuables. But with a condo, what do you really need when you’re in the market for condo insurance? Here are some questions you should ask in order to fully understand what is your responsibility to replace and what is not.
What is Not Your Property?
Unfortunately, there is no set standard from what you own and what you don’t own in your condo property. All complexes can have a different policy, so it’s important to read yours and understand it. Typically, the exterior is not yours, which includes the shingling, the outside of your exterior walls, and the yard (and any communal perk like a swimming pool, tennis courts, etc.). Since you don’t own these things, then you really don’t have to insure them. They should be insured through your association.
What’s Commonly Yours to Insure
As a rule of thumb, most associations believe that the property that is within your four walls are yours to insure, which actually includes the drywall as well. So, if you accidentally set fire to your kitchen, the repair cost is coming out of your pocket, not out of your association’s.
Insuring the interior of your condo can be done through an outside insurance agency, or it can most likely be done through your association as well. Just be sure to understand exactly what’s covered within the policy though. Here are two policies that are very similar, but have their distinct differences.
Bare Walls In – this policy covers all real property from the exterior framework inward, but does not include fixtures such as lights, countertops, or faucets. These extras will need to be covered by a separate policy.
All-in – this policy covers fixtures, installation, and even additions within the interior walls. If you have this coverage, you most likely won’t need much else.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
Once again, there isn’t one standard answer for everyone. What you should do is take an assessment of the interior value of your home, including the valuable non-fixed contents as well. So, you have the current value, but you should also research how much it would cost to replace these items as well? More than likely, the replacement cost is higher than the appraised value of all your items. If I were choosing an insurance policy, I would most likely go with the one that would pay me the replacement cost, since that’s what it’s actually going to take to make my home seem like home again.
Another factor in your insurance could be the amount of money you have sitting in the bank. After all, if you have $10,000 in the bank, then perhaps it’s not as important for you to get the best coverage for the inner contents of your condo. The less value you insure, the less you’re going to pay each month for the coverage.