Condo-owners insurance is coverage that safeguards the owners of condo units against various financial risks. It is designed to pick up where the condo association’s master policy leaves off, working to protect against damage to the unit’s structure and personal belongings, as well as provide compensation for displacement. It can even protect policy-holders against financial damages when sued for third-party injuries or property damages. Whether you are new to condo ownership or looking for better coverage for your existing unit, we here at Couri Insurance can help you navigate your options and find coverage solutions that meet your needs and preferences.
Your Master Policy vs. Private Coverage
As a condo owner, chances are you have coverage under two different policies – your condo association’s master policy and your own private coverage. Generally, the master policy is designed to protect the owners of the association (including you) against damages and liabilities related to the shared spaces, such as the pool, clubhouse, hallways, elevators, and more. It may also cover a portion of your unit’s structure, such as the exterior walls.
Private condo insurance, on the other hand, is coverage you purchase independently that protects your personal condo unit and the things inside it. It is often required by lenders as a contingency of a mortgage, as the coverage helps protect against the loss of collateral on the loan. Even if a condo is paid in full, however, private condo insurance can still provide financial security and protect your real estate investment against potential losses. When shopping for private condo insurance, we recommend working with an independent agent here at Couri Insurance who can help you assess your needs and quality coverage at a competitive rate.
What is Covered?
Private coverage details vary according to the language in your policy. Some policies only cover unit owners for losses due to specific events named in the policy. Others offer broader protection for nearly all losses so long as they are not caused by the perils specifically excluded by the policy, such as earthquakes and floods. Talk to your agent to find out more about coverage exclusions and whether your unit and belongings are covered against things like:
- Fire and smoke
- Fallen objects
- Theft and vandalism
- And more
A typical condo-owners policy includes the following types of coverage:
Structural Property Coverage
Structural property coverage helps pay for the rebuilding or repair of your unit after a covered event. This can include the interior walls, flooring, fixtures, cabinets, built-ins, countertops, and finishes in your unit.
Personal Property Coverage
Personal property coverage reimburses policy-holders for the loss of theft of personal belongings due to a covered event. This typically includes things like televisions, computers, kitchenware, rugs, mattresses, furniture, apparel, and more. We recommend taking inventory of your possessions to determine how much personal property coverage you may need in the event of a total loss. A home inventory can help you choose your overall personal property coverage limits, as well as choose additional protection for high-value belongings, such as fine jewelry, which may require additional coverage beyond the limitations in your policy.
Talk with your independent agent about the differences between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement value coverage. ACV coverage is often the default coverage for personal property, as it only covers the depreciated value of covered belongings. That could translate to high out-of-pocket costs when purchasing new items to replace damaged or stolen items. Upgrading to replacement value coverage can minimize losses by reimbursing you for the full cost of replacing your items with new ones.
There is an increased risk of liability when you own a condo. Someone could slip and fall in your unit or your dog could bite a guest during a dinner party. Condo-owners insurance typically covers you against accusations of third-party injury or property damage liability by paying for legal fees, judgments, and settlements up to the limits of your policy.
Regardless of your current income or assets, we generally recommend choosing the high-limit coverage that reduces your risk of financial loss. You may have to pay any damages in excess of your coverage limits out-of-pocket, whether that means withdrawing from savings, selling your assets, or making payments from future income. The team here at Couri Insurance can show you how to safeguard your finances against liability and better protect against loss.
Medical Payments Coverage
When injuries happen in your condo unit, medical payments coverage can help pay for emergent care without the need for establishing fault. For example, if a guest trips on her own shoelaces and breaks her wrist, you may not be at fault for the injury. If the same guest tripped on a slippery surface in your kitchen, it is possible that you could be liable. In either case, medical payments coverage can pay for necessary medical expenses, such as an emergency room visit, up to the limits of the policy (usually a few thousand dollars). If you are liable for the injury, it is still possible that you could be sued. However, this coverage is sometimes enough to prevent litigation – especially for only minor to moderate injuries.
If fire destroys your condo, it could take months of clean-up and construction before it is habitable again. During this time, you may continue to pay your mortgage while also paying for a hotel or a temporary lease. Displacement coverage helps pay for your temporary living expenses until you can return home again.
From time to time, a condo association may levy assessments against owners for damages or liabilities not covered by the master policy. Condo-owners insurance policies often cover certain types of loss assessments to protect policy-holders against unexpected expenses.
Request Your Free Wisconsin Condo-Owners Insurance Quote
Whether you are purchasing your first condo, moving to a new condo, or searching for new coverage for a unit you have owned for many years, we here at Couri Insurance can help you find the quality protection you need and deserve. As an independent agency, we can shop and compare rates on Wisconsin condo insurance policies from multiple insurers and also help you find discounts that could maximize the savings for your coverage.
For more information or to request your free condo-owners insurance quotes, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.