Protect More Than Just Your Possessions.
When you purchase a condominium, you own your "unit" and own a share in the common areas of the condominium -- the roof, basement, elevator, heating room, lobby, swimming pool, parking garage, or garden. As a condominium owner, you may be held responsible for harm you might cause to any part of your building, or to others who live or visit the condominium complex. A condominium insurance policy can remove some of the financial worries of condominium ownership.
You'll need two separate policies to protect your investment.
1. Your own insurance policy. The insurance policy provides coverage for your personal property, structural improvements to your unit and additional living expenses if you are the victim of fire, theft or other disaster listed in your policy. You will get liability protection to protect you for harm you might cause to any part of the building you live in or to others who live in or visit the condominium complex.
An important feature of your own insurance policy is loss assessment. As a condominium owner, you share responsibility with others in your building for common property. Loss assessment protects you from damage to these common areas. See the Loss Assessment section for more details.
2. A "master policy" purchased and provided by the condominium board. This covers the common areas you share with others in your building like the roof, basement, elevator, heating room, lobby, swimming pool, parking garage, or garden for both liability and physical damage.
Sometimes the condominium corporation is responsible for insuring the individual condominium as it was originally built, including standard fixtures. In this case, you'd only be responsible for insuring your personal property and any alterations you or a previous owner have made to the original structure of the condominium like remodeling the kitchen or bathtub. In other cases, the condominium corporation is responsible for insuring only the bare walls, floor and ceiling. You'd be responsible for insuring your personal property, plus things like the kitchen cabinets, built-in appliances, plumbing, and wiring and bathroom fixtures. Take the time to find out what's included in the condominium corporation's policy. You can then decide what to include in your personal insurance policy.
Limitations in property policy coverage
Your standard property policy will have limitations in theft coverage for jewelry and furs, silverware, business property, bicycles, money, boat and motor. If you own any of these special items, it's a good idea to consider adding additional coverage to your policy.
Paying a property insurance deductible
When you make a claim, a small portion of the claim is always paid by you first, then your insurance company pays the rest. The portion you pay is called your deductible. The amount of your deductible affects the price of your insurance policy. The higher your deductible, the less the cost of your insurance premium.