As the proud owner of a condominium, you are well aware that you do not own the actual structure when you buy a condo. Rather, you just buy the unit in which you live. Therefore, obtaining the proper coverage to keep your condominium and the entire structure protected can be a bit confusing at times.
As the proud owner of a condominium, you are well aware that you do not own the actual structure when you buy a condo. Rather, you just buy the unit in which you live. Therefore, obtaining the proper coverage to keep your condominium and the entire structure protected can be a bit confusing at times. In fact, in order to make sure you are entirely protected, you will likely need to buy condominium insurance as well as group insurance coverage for the structure.What to Expect When You Buy Condo InsuranceWhen you buy condo insurance, it typically covers only the actual unit in which you live. This insurance is different from apartment insurance because apartment insurance only covers your belongings and none of the structure. When you buy condo insurance, on the other hand, you will receive coverage for part of the structure.Condo insurance, which is more formally known as HO-6 insurance, covers your personal belongings while also providing you with liability protection. This is because the structure is covered by the policy owned by the actual building in which your condo is located.Getting Group Insurance for Your CondominiumObviously, you will need the structure in which your condo is located to be covered as well. After all, if the structure becomes damaged, it is likely that your unit will be damaged as well. Or, even if your unit is not damaged, the damage to the property will take away from the aesthetic beauty of your condo.In order to make sure the structure of the condo is covered, most condos require their residents to buy into the group insurance coverage when they buy the unit. The amount of the group insurance premium may be included in the regular dues that a condo owner must pay or condo owners might simply be asked to pay a certain amount of money each year to go toward the payments for the group insurance.The types of damage that are covered by your group insurance will depend largely on the type of insurance you decide to buy and what you choose to include in your policy. Typically, group insurance coverage for a condo does not include items such as:• Water damage that is caused by underground water or flooding• Damage from earthquakes or mudslides• Damage from deterioration, settling, nuclear hazard, or contamination• Damage caused by rodents, birds, domestic animals, and insectsIf you live in an area where earthquakes, flooding, or mudslides are a concern, you might want to look at having this coverage added to your policy.Those costs that are covered by group insurance for a condo, on the other hand, typically include:• Property damage for reasons other than those previously mentioned• Theft or damage of personal property• Personal liability protection when someone is injured or property is damaged within the condo property boundaries• Replacement of locks after a theft• Loss of refrigerated content after mechanical or power failure• Loss assessment coverageIn most cases, you won’t have an option about paying into group coverage when you buy a condo. Since you have a vested interest in the property, however, you will typically have a say in the type of coverage your condominium decides to carry. Therefore, it is essential that you consider all possibilities as well as cost when you decide which type of policy you will buy.
Kinan Beck is the Broker and co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin Texas. Visit Kinan’s Austin Condo Guide, visit his Austin Condos, & his Downtown Austin condo website. He has seen considerable success in real estate, and looks forward to many more years in the business.