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Daniel Cohen
UpdatedNov 5, 2010
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    3 min read
Key Takeaways:
  • A condominium association master policy will insure the building's structure and the common areas shared by all.
  • Your personal possessions and fixtures are probably not covered under the master policy.
  • Compare multiple providers to get the best condo insurance rate.

About Condominium Insurance

Owning a condominium is a great alternative to renting and building home equity. But unlike a single family home, a condominium owner only owns a portion of the entire complex out right and share ownership of the building with other condo owners. Because of this, condominium insurance is vastly different from a standard home owners insurance.

Condominium Association Master Policy

As a condo owner, you are most likely paying monthly homeowners association dues to maintain the common areas and the amenities of the building. Part of the dues is also going towards paying a condominium association master policy. This master policy typically covers the condominium building structure, walls, roof, floors, and elevators that are shared by all condo owners.

Some master policy may also insure both the common areas and the fixtures or installations within the condo unit, but most policies will not cover your personal property. The items outside of the master policy such as the unit fixtures and personal property will be up to you, the condo owner, to insure. Although you may feel that the condominium master policy is sufficient, you should review what is exactly covered by the master policy to identify any gaps in coverage and then ultimately decide if you need additional coverage.

Condominium Insurance

When purchasing condo insurance, you should look to insure both your personal property and any necessary fixtures and upgrades to your unit that fall outside of the association's master policy.

Your personal property such as the TV, stereo system, artwork, clothes, and furniture could add up to thousands of dollars. Having adequate coverage could save you thousands in the event of a disaster. To cover these items, you can choose between actual cash value or replacement cost coverage. With actual cash value, the insurance provider will pay you the current market value of your possessions.

For example, the TV you purchased 4 years ago for $1,000 may now be worth $100 after depreciation and the insurance company will pay you the market value of $100 accordingly. With replacement cost coverage, the insurance provider will cover how much it costs to replace your lost possession with similar items, brand new. Replacement cost coverage is generally recommended, but will cost more than actual cash value.

Once you have identified the value of your personal property, the next step is to get coverage for any structural items and fixtures within your unit. Things to consider insuring:

  • Any value added as a result of improvements and upgrades to the unit performed by the owner. This can include new granite countertops, better carpets, new cabinets, etc.
  • Any additions or alterations to the building at the expense of the owner.
  • Any fixtures or installations within the unit not covered by the association master policy.
  • Any damages to the unit that might not be covered by the master policy because of the master policy's high deductible.

Shopping for Condo Insurance

Like home owners insurance and auto insurance, compare multiple quotes from various insurance providers. Prices can vary significantly for the same coverage. Be sure to choose a company that not only offer great rates, but offers superior customer service and is financially stable. You can take the first step and compare your insurance options here at today.