Owning a condo is a complex situation when compared to traditional home ownership. For instance, when you own a condo, you are generally offered some level of coverage as part of your homeowner's association fees. This coverage is known as a master policy. The terms of your master policy will offer details about what type of additional coverage you need to purchase. Before purchasing insurance for your condo, make sure you review the master policy first.
Type of Master Policy
The master policy will offer details concerning which parts of your unit are already insured through your association dues and which aren't. If you fail to find out this information, you could be left with too little coverage. Master polices generally come in two forms: all-in and bare walls-in. An all-in policy insures everything from the walls to the faucet fixtures on the sink, to the carpet on the floor.
Owners with this type of policy generally only need to be concerned with insuring personal property, such as electronics or appliances. With a bare walls-in policy, for the most part, only the framing of the unit is covered. Flooring, countertops and other fixtures in the unit are not covered. If you have this type of master policy, you will have to take out a larger condo insurance policy to protect the unit appointments and your other belongings.
Especially if you are on a lower floor, flooding can be a real concern for condo owners. Whether it's a flood from inclement weather or a flood caused by your upstairs neighbor's overflowing toilet, make sure you find out the details of the master policy's flood coverage beforehand. First, find out if it's included.
Some polices don't include this feature at all, so you will be required to purchase it as an additional coverage component. If it is included in the master policy, find out what's covered. Some units cover only construction components of the condo, such as framing and flooring. Some polices cover construction components and your personal belongings. If your personal belongings are not covered, you will also need to purchase an additional coverage component in this case.
In addition to your research, it's a good idea to bring your master policy documents along with you when you meet with your agent. This allows the agent to review the policy and ensure you are choosing the right type of additional coverage. Click here for more information about Bear River insurance.