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What is condo insurance?

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You may need to buy condo insurance if you own a condo, co-op, or townhouse unit. Condo insurance is quite similar to homeowner’s insurance in that it can protect your dwelling, clothing, furniture, and belongings in the case of a risk or hazard that is covered by the policy.

Damages to the unit or claims made against the condo owner might result in costly repairs and financial losses; luckily, these can be partially compensated for by purchasing condo insurance, aka HO-6 policy. Condo insurance complements a policy acquired by the condominium association, often known as a master policy or homeowners’ association (HOA) insurance.

Condominium insurance policies have coverage limits and deductibles, like homeowner’s insurance. It can also cover the cost of emergency accommodation and protect your assets against liability claims.

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Why do you need condo insurance?

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Condominium insurance is something that should be considered by everyone who owns a condominium or townhouse, and if you have a mortgage on the property, the lender will typically demand you to have it. It’s a wise investment since it gives you peace of mind and is less expensive, plus it guards you against liabilities that your condo association’s insurance won’t cover. Additionally, it protects your personal property, which is not covered by the condo association’s insurance.

The coverage you select is crucial, and most standard condo insurance policies contain between $100,000 and $300,000 in personal liability, which you may often expand to meet your needs. If you believe you require greater liability protection than a standard policy can offer, you can buy an umbrella policy. This type of policy takes effect once the liability limit that is specified in your condo insurance policy has been reached.

If you want to get an estimate about the coverage level you need, call Orr Insurance brokers at 1.800.876.4163. We are happy to serve you.

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The majority of insurance providers will assist you in calculating the amount of dwelling coverage you require, basing their recommendation on the square footage of the condo as well as the finishes in rooms, such as the bathrooms and kitchen.

You can also do a little bit of research. You should look into the local cost of construction and find out how much it would cost to rebuild your condo from the ground up, considering the cost of materials, fixtures, and labour. You should also consider how much it would cost to replace your things.

What does a condo insurance policy cover?

A master condo policy covers the whole condo or co-op building. This includes the lobbies, hallways, swimming pools, elevators, and other common areas.

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Condo insurance policies typically cover the same dangers as homeowners insurance policies for single-family homes, including fire, explosions, and theft. Most condo insurance policies have the following types of coverage:

Dwelling

This guards the interior of your condo against damage, including that which could be caused to items such as sheetrock and flooring. It protects your investment in the building’s appliances, fixtures, and enhancements. Additionally, it can assist in covering the areas of the property that fall within your condo or property owners association agreement’s insurance obligations.

Personal Liability

If someone sues you because of something that happened in your condo, personal liability coverage helps pay for the person’s injuries and legal fees. This includes attorney fees, court costs, and a court settlement.

Personal Property

This helps pay to replace personal belongings, like furniture, clothing, and electrical devices, in the event that they were damaged by a risk covered under the policy or stolen. As a general rule, you should select an amount of coverage that corresponds to the value of your personal property.

Actual cash value: Pays you back for the current cash value of your item(s) minus how much they’ve lost in value over time.

Replacement cost coverage: Pays you back based on the price of the item on the market at the time of the loss.

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Loss of Use

If you are forced to temporarily vacate your condo because of a loss that is covered by your insurance policy, your loss of use coverage may assist you in paying for alternative housing and meals. For example, If you are unable to live in your condo as a result of a covered loss, such as damage from a fire, loss of use coverage can assist you in finding a way to pay for your living expenses.

Guest Medical Payments

When a guest is injured in your condo, their medical expenses, such as the cost of an emergency room visit, the cost of a doctor’s visit, and the cost of physical therapy, can be covered up to the policy’s maximum by the guest medical payments coverage.

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It is important to know if your policy covers the items’ actual cash value or the cost to replace them if something covered by the policy damages them. In most cases, a condo policy will automatically include the cost to replace damaged objects or the cost to repair damaged interior building elements, or it will offer the opportunity to purchase this level of protection. The replacement cost coverage provides the most comprehensive level of protection because it pays the total sum required to replace the insured products. On the other hand, the actual cash value will only compensate you for the value lost after the first purchase.

What’s not covered?

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While most condo insurance policies include the coverages outlined above, there are often exceptions to the basic coverage. Even though separate policies and riders can often be bought to cover what’s needed, standard condo insurance policies usually don’t cover the following:

  • Earthquakes and floods
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Damage caused by leaks or backed-up sewers
  • Termite infestations
  • Systems or tools that are out of date
  • Causing intentional injury or deliberate damage

If you want additional coverage, speak to an insurance broker at Orr insurance by calling 1.800.876.4163.

How to save on condo insurance?

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If you think you’re paying too much for your condo insurance, there are a few things you can do to bring your premiums down to a level that’s more affordable for you, including the following:

Bundle your insurance policy

If you presently have policies, for example, condo and car insurance, with two different insurers, try bundling them with the same one. Orr Insurance has saved clients an average of $1,250 annually on their home insurance and car insurance premiums.

Choose a higher deductible on your insurance policy

The amount of money you are liable for paying out of pocket before your insurance kicks in are referred to as your deductible. Higher deductibles reduce premiums. Make sure you don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t afford to pay the deductible if you decide to increase it.

Check for policy discounts

Discounts on insurance premiums are frequently made available to customers who opt for paperless billing, are senior citizens, or are members of a homeowners association. Whether your condo is equipped with safety features such as a centralized security system or a fire alarm, check to see if you are eligible for a reduction in your monthly premiums.

Re-evaluate your condo insurance policy

You might want to re-shop your condo insurance policy every year to make sure you’re not missing out on bigger savings with a different company. An insurance broker at Orr Insurance will be able to assist you in making comparisons between multiple insurance providers at the same time even if you are purchasing a new policy or cancelling your old one.

For more, reach out to an Orr insurance agent at 1.800.876.4163 and learn more.

Orr Insurance: Recommendations

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If you are searching for condo insurance, or even if you already have it, here are easy steps to guarantee that you are adequately insured and that you are not spending more than necessary for it.

Make a list of all your personal belongings

You can get a good idea of how much insurance you need by going through all of your things, big and small. What’s more, it’s easy to pinpoint the missing items in the event of a claim.

Check what your HOA covers

Because a condo policy includes the addition of a master policy, you need to check it carefully to ensure that you are not either under or over-insured when it comes to the coverage provided by your condo insurance. You risk not getting insured if you presume your master policy covers something it doesn’t. You can save money by decreasing your personal coverage since your HOA covers something.

Update your policy after buying something expensive

Check particular coverage restrictions. If you buy a new piece of jewellery that costs more than the maximum your insurance policy allows, you run the danger of not having enough coverage. You should think about getting extra insurance endorsements and floaters for any expensive new purchases.

Check for policy discounts

Discounts vary by the insurance company, but most condo insurance discounts are for having more than one policy (condo and auto), not having any claims, not being a smoker, and having a security system. Check your policy carefully to see if you or your condo are eligible for any discounts.

Condo Maintenance

Mould and general deterioration are considered liabilities by insurance providers, so premiums will be adjusted to account for these factors. It is in your best interest as a condo owner to keep the building in good repair so that your insurance rates don’t rise unnecessarily.

Frequently asked questions

Is Condo Insurance Mandatory?

Condo owners, like homeowners, are not mandated by law to insure their property. However, the majority of condo associations and mortgage lenders need it as part of the contract or mortgage. If they don’t, it’s still a good idea.

What is the difference between home insurance and condo insurance?

People who own standalone residences, whether it’s a house, mansion, or log cabin, are the ones who are eligible to get homeowner’s insurance. Home insurance policy needs more dwelling coverage as responsible for the house’s structure and the whole property, while condo insurance doesn’t, and the structure of the units, the building, and the land is mostly taken care of by the condo association.

Unlike homeowner’s insurance, which is designed to cover the entire structure of the property, condo insurance often covers only the improvements within your unit.

How does HOA insurance differ from condo insurance?

The building itself and the common walls are not covered by the insurance policies of the individual condo owners. The insurance for the HOA or condo association should cover any repairs or replacement costs for things like the roof, lobby, and elevator.

The homeowner’s or condo association’s liability insurance will cover the building and its residents. This can include injuries that occur in shared places, such as the parking lot or swimming pool.

Unless the injury was caused by a structural issue or an issue with the common areas, it does not often cover accidents inside a condo owner’s unit, even if the condo owner owns the unit. Neither does it insure the contents of each owner’s unit separately.

Does condo insurance cover appliances?

The answer is “yes’, as appliances are regarded as personal property and are located inside your unit. But if you’re a condo tenant, your landlord owns the appliances. You need to get renters insurance that covers your belongings up to their value.

Does a vacant condo require insurance?

Even if the condo is vacant, having insurance is a smart move. There is still a chance that the unit will develop a problem. Nobody who owns property ever wants to find themselves having to pay to redo interior finishes like the flooring or the cupboards. Liability insurance is essential in the event that a guest at the condo, such as a repairperson, sustains an injury while on the premises.

Looking for convenient insurance options? Customize your policy based on your needs, and get in touch with us at 1.800.876.4163.

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