Whether you are just embarking on your condo buying journey or have already signed on the dotted line, buying a condo can seem like an overwhelming process, but at the end of it all you have a place to call home. At Anderson, Bagley, & Mayo (ABM), we understand not only the financial implications of owning a condominium, but also the importance of what a home represents to you and your family — that’s why we want to make sure navigating the insurance part of the experience is a smooth process for our neighbors in Leominster, Gardner, Westminster, and the rest of North Central, Massachusetts.
Insuring a condominium is unique in that it involves multiple policies, and we understand that this can be confusing, especially if you’ve only ever had experience with a renters insurance or home insurance policy. As the experts in all things insurance, ABM would like to provide you with important information about the difference between two very common condo insurance policies – an individual unit owner’s policy and a master condo or condo association policy – to help clear up any confusion.
What is an Individual Condo Insurance Policy?
Your individual condo insurance policy, or a unit owner’s policy, is the insurance policy that you are responsible for as the owner of a condominium unit. This is essential because this policy protects your personal belongings and offers liability protection in case of an accident within the walls of your unit. In many cases, your mortgage lender or condo association will also require you to have your own condo insurance policy. Your individual unit owner’s policy is similar to homeowners coverage in that it provides:
- Personal Liability Coverage — Coverage that protects you in the event that others make a claim or bring a suit against you for physical injuries, bodily injury or property damage for which you are responsible.
- Personal Property Coverage — This coverage may help to repair or replace your personal belongings, such as electronics or furniture, in the event that they are stolen or damaged in a covered claim.
Depending on the specifics of your policy, it may also include Loss of Use Coverage, which applies if you temporarily have to live somewhere else if your condo is uninhabitable due to a fire or other covered loss. This additional living expense coverage can help cover expenses above and beyond your average monthly expenditures like rent for another apartment, hotel bills, meals, laundry and other expenses incurred due to the displacement.
As a condominium owner, you are in a unique situation where you own part of a building or property, but not all of it. For this reason, two insurance policies are needed to make sure everything is protected. Your individual unit owner’s policy is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to insuring a condominium. The other piece is what your condo association must provide and that is known as the Master Condo Policy.
What is a Master Condo Insurance Policy?
The Master Condo Policy or Condo Association Insurance is the insurance policy that is held by the homeowners or condominium association. Its premium comes out of your maintenance fees or association dues. The Master Condo Policy is responsible for covering two main areas of risk — general liability for the association and property damage coverage for common areas. Common areas are generally defined as the roof and exterior walls, stairways, recreation rooms, elevators, common hallways, and grounds. However, ABM wants you to understand that these coverages can differ in the level of protection they provide.
For example, coverage can be limited to the structure of the building and common areas or include all structures, including counters, floors and cabinetry within your individual unit. Understanding the type of coverage your condominium association’s master policy provides is something you will want to figure out before you buy your unit as this is an important part of finding the proper individual coverage you need as a condominium unit owner. That’s why working with a local and knowledgeable agent, like ABM insurance agent is the best option. We have helped thousands of individuals and families in North Central Massachusetts navigate what can be a complicated insurance buying process and we can help you, too!
AMB Works Hard to Make Sure You Have the Right Condo Insurance
When it comes to insuring your condominium, an experienced insurance agent is crucial to making sure you’re properly insured. An independent insurance agent, like Anderson, Bagley & Mayo agent, will analyze the Master Condo Policy to determine the coverage you need in your Unit Owner’s Policy. An ABM insurance agent understands that there is no one size fits all when it comes to any insurance coverage and can help to make sure that you don’t overpay for unneeded insurance already covered by the master insurance plan, and that you have enough liability and personal property coverage where the master insurance policy leaves off.
Let an experienced insurance expert help you through the condo insurance process and get you back to enjoying life in your new home. For more information, or if you have any unanswered insurance questions about a new condo insurance policy, contact us at one of our three convenient Massachusetts locations at 978-534-2800 (Leominster); 978-632-1098 (Gardner); 978-874-2921 (Westminster) — we’re always here to help!