Condo insurance covers the entirety of your property; the exterior areas of your condo fall into the purview of the condo association and should therefore be covered under their policies. Depending on the details of the condo association’s general insurance policy, your own condo insurance might include coverage for things such as: flood insurance, fire insurance and general liability. It’s always a good idea to review your policy with a licensed insurance broker so that you understand exactly what is covered and excluded. Here are some tips to help you compare and contrast condo insurance policies.
The first thing to check is your condo insurance in relation to the location of the condo. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you may want to insure your condo against damage from these natural disasters. Check the amount of coverage that your insurance provides and make sure that the policy covers all areas of the condo. You should also consider that some condo associations have a provision that allows for the partial replacement of items damaged in a fire or flood. Many times this will cost more than the purchase price of the damaged item and should be included in your condo insurance.
When it comes to the contents of the condo itself, a lot depends on the insurance policy that you select. Since the contents of a condo unit may consist of personal items, clothing, jewelry, antiques and many other items, it would be advisable to include this type of insurance on your property in order to cover any of these items in case they were stolen, damaged or destroyed by a fire.
It’s very important that you contact your condo association in order to determine exactly what your specific needs are. Each condo association has its own set of guidelines and rules regarding how and when you can file a claim. You should always contact your association or call their toll free number to determine how soon you may file a claim. The most common claims are those that occur within five years of the date of purchase, with five-year intervals between the time you buy your property and the date the claim is filed.
Some associations offer a refund guarantee, while others require you to pay a deposit upfront before any claim can be filed. If your policy includes a refund guarantee, you should be certain of what these deposits entail before you choose to purchase the policy. This way you are better prepared for any problems or questions you may have after the purchase date.
One of the best ways to determine if the condo you are considering is financially sound is to contact the condo association yourself. You should be able to find out information such as: the value of the property; how many units the condo offers; if the condo is zoned for use by a certain class of people and if there is any kind of warranty against your particular condominium.
It is important that you know exactly what your condo policy covers and exclude in terms of coverage, before you purchase. This way you can protect yourself against any costly mistakes, such as purchasing the wrong type of condo insurance and paying for too much or too little coverage or even not having enough coverage at all. It’s also a good idea to have an expert review your condo policy before you sign it because he/she can advise you on the best policies for your particular situation.
Most importantly, remember that the condo you are looking into purchasing is not something that should be taken lightly. Make sure you do your research ahead of time to ensure that you purchase the perfect condo for your needs.