Many condo owners assume that the master insurance policy purchased by the condo association is all they need in terms of coverage. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The master policy only covers the building and common areas. In case of something like a condo fire, it will not cover your personal property or a place to live while repairs are being made. Here are several things you should discuss with an insurance agent to determine if you have the right insurance for a catastrophic condo fire.
#1 – Talk With a Knowledgeable Insurance Agent
Bring your condo’s master plan and by-laws to your insurance agent to determine what coverage you need. Make sure that the agent is familiar with condo insurance so that they can easily find gaps or loopholes you will need to cover.
#2 – Look at the Deductibles
Due to high costs, some condo associations have reduced coverage and/or increased the deductibles. You will need to know what these master policy deductibles are so that your personal policy can cover them. For instance, if your association has a $20,000 deductible per unit, then that loss could be passed on to you or your unit.
#3 – What Does the Policy Cover?
Some association policies cover everything in a unit except for contents. Other policies, in fact, most policies in Florida, cover only the common areas. It will be up to the individual condo owner to cover their own unit.
#4 – Improvements
If you make improvements to your unit, be sure that you notify the association. Otherwise, these improvements will not be covered by insurance. If your association coverage does not cover your unit, be sure to talk with your own agent about any improvements you have made.
#5 – Content Coverage
You will want to be sure that your coverage is enough to actually cover your contents. The best way to do this is to keep an inventory list and update this list with your agent each year. Always think about new items you have purchased such as electronics, jewelry, art, and other high-value items. You may also want to consider replacement cost coverage that will replace contents with new items rather than depreciating the value of your contents for settlement purposes.
#6 – Temporary Housing
You should also look at how much temporary housing coverage you have. Rebuilding a condo complex can often take a year or more.
#7 – Perils
Look at which perils your association policy covers. Many association policies do not cover all risks, such as wind-driven rain. Ask your agent about an “all risk” policy to cover what your master policy does not cover.
#8 – Lawsuit Coverage
Having a personal policy for liability coverage can help you in case of a lawsuit. Talk with your agent to determine if this is an issue for you and how much it will cost to get the liability coverage you may need. Also, a condo fire is as detrimental to the owner as a house fire. That is why it is important to look at your insurance policy to determine what you need to be covered.
If you’d like Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting LLC to look over your policy, we’d be happy to help you determine what coverages you have and any gaps that may exist. Give us a call today.