This condo insurance article was written to help you stay informed on how to purchase the most affordable, competitively priced, and comprehensive condominium insurance in New York.
Do I really need condo or co-op insurance?
If you're like most condo and co-op owners, your home is your biggest asset. Protecting your investment is in your best interest, and you'll have the added security of protecting your personal belongings as well.
Does your homeowners association already have insurance?
Condo and co-op associations typically purchase an insurance policy for your building and the common property. However, they do not usually cover the interior of your home.
This is why some people refer to a condo policy as a "walls-in" policy. If you want the walls, fixtures, appliances, cabinetry, and your personal belongings to be covered you need to purchase an addition personal insurance policy all your own. It is also noteworthy to mention that the homeowners associations do not cover your personal liability for occurrences inside of your home. The liability protection offered by a condo policy will help protect your assets.
What's included in a condo policy?
A tailor made policy from a reputable company will provide you will the coverage you need at an affordable price. Just like a normal homeowners policy there are coverages such as guest medical payments, additional living expenses, family liability, and loss from theft.
Covered perils usually consist of the following:
- Wind and hail
- Falling objects
- Freezing of plumbing
- Vandalism or riot
How can I save money on my condo/co-op insurance?
Condo insurance is much less expensive than homeowners insurance and therefore there are less available discounts. However, if you decide to get condo insurance make sure you ask about multi-line discounts for having your home and auto covered by the same agent/company. Also, you should ask about discount for people age 55 and over. Be sure to inquire as to whether the alarm system you recently installed provides a discount as well. Another good idea is to raise your deductible, this will help keep your premium as low as possible. Your insurance agent should discuss your options when it comes to discounts and other price incentives.
Make sure you ask question before selecting your condo insurance.
- How much coverage does my condo association currently carry?
The answer to this question is almost always found in your homeowners association agreement. Look for any information about an insurance clause and read the paragraph carefully to look for any gaps in your personal insurance plan. If you don't have a copy of the agreement or cannot find it, simply call or write a letter to your association requested specific information about the insurance policy that is already in place. Often times your agent can also help you review the agreement.
- What parts of my condominium does my association cover? What parts does it not cover?
This will be explicitly state in your associations agreement. Again, consult your insurance agent for help with this.
- How much would it cost to repair my home and personal belongings if they were damaged?
The answer to this question will determine how much coverage you need for you condominium. Generally there are separate limits for Building Property and Personal Property coverage. A good agent will determine these values by asking you simple questions based on the quality of the items you own and the structural/interior features of your home.