Condo Insurance

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What makes condo insurance different from home insurance

Despite the many similarities between being a condo owner and being a homeowner, when it comes to who is responsible for taking care of the property and outbuildings around your respective homes, there are significant differences. Whereas it’s a homeowner’s job to take care of their property, condo owners like you have a Condo Association that manages the common areas of your community, such as sidewalks, pools, parking structures, and landscaping.

In addition, it is your Condo Association – not you – that must have an insurance policy that covers all parts of the buildings and other structures within your community, excluding the individual units. Called a Master Condo Insurance Plan, this policy can include exterior walls, doors, stairways, elevators, storage rooms, trash and recycling areas, attached buildings or structures housing mechanical or electrical equipment, and more.

With two insurance policies in play, there is no question that condo owners have a very challenging insurance process. Because it is critical for you to make sure that your individual and your association’s insurance coverages neither overlap nor leave you with risky gaps in coverage, ABM strongly recommends that you spend the time to understand all the rules, regulations, and statutes of your Association, including the master insurance policy.

Whether you’re about to sign the dotted line for a new condo, or your current insurance plan is up for renewal, or you’re just not confident you have comprehensive condo insurance coverage, our local professionals are here to help you walk through these fairly complex documents. Our knowledgeable team will assist you in determining what the master insurance plan covers, what it does not, and thus, what protections you need in your individual unit policy.

You’ve found the perfect condo, let ABM protect it

What’s unique about working with the ABM team for all your condo insurance needs is that we not only have over 100 years of experience and knowledge working with condo owners like you, but we are also specialists in Condo Association Insurance. This means that we have a really keen eye when it comes to reading and reviewing master condo insurance policies, and will be able to quickly and clearly identify what you are responsible for insuring versus what your condo association’s insurance plan provides coverage for. There are many reasons why getting this information exactly correct is so important, including ensuring that:

ABM helps condo owners achieve these two goals by providing personalized solutions for your condo, identifying any and all available products that fill in gaps in your coverage, and continuously seeking out innovative insurance products that can be used to protect you and your condo as your needs evolve.

While the condo insurance process can be complex due to the interaction of two distinct policies, it absolutely does not have to be expensive. Whether you’re in a studio condo, a loft, a multi-bedroom unit, or your dream penthouse, the ABM team is skilled at finding quality and affordable condo insurance for individuals, couples and families throughout Leominster, Gardner, Westminster and the surrounding communities of North Central Massachusetts. Contact ABM today for help protecting the most important things and people in your life.

Some Important Information About Condo Insurance

Some things about condo insurance are pretty obvious. For example, we can all agree that it’s very important to have the right level of protection in place before any claims are made, whether for damages to your own unit, or for property damage that you, a family member or a pet may cause to a neighbor’s unit. However, there are many more things that we know can be puzzling when it comes to your condo insurance; for instance, we often say to our condo clients, “What you ‘own’ might be very different from what you are responsible for maintaining and/or what you need to insure.” But, don’t worry, our team is always available to not only explain everything you need and want to know about your individual condo insurance coverages and options, but also to walk you through the key information you need to understand in your association’s master condo insurance policy. While speaking to you in person or over the phone is the best way for us to guide you through the condo insurance process, we wanted to give you a head start by providing some of the basics here.

What will my individual condo insurance policy cover?

Your individual condo unit insurance policy – or in insurance-speak an H06 Policy – should be specially crafted to cover you for liability, to protect your personal belongings, and to insure any structural elements that are not covered by your association’s master insurance policy. A comprehensive condo policy will encompass these five major areas:

  1. Dwelling Coverage covers the part of the building that you own, including interior walls, drywall, wallpaper, paneling, flooring, carpeting, and built-in cabinets in your unit, from damage by perils listed in your policy.
  2. Personal Property covers your personal belongings, from clothing and electronics, to wall hangings and books, to baking pans and throw rugs, against the same list of risks and perils mentioned in Dwelling Coverage above.
  3. Loss of Use covers you for additional living expenses, such as temporary housing, storage, and even kennel expenses for your pets, that you may have to pay if your condo is in such disrepair due to a covered event that you need to move out during renovations.
  4. Personal Liability covers you in case of lawsuits, legal expenses, and medical costs if you are found legally responsible for injury or property damage to others.
  5. Medical Payments covers expenses related to minor medical expenses, such as exams or X-rays, that you may be responsible for if anyone not named as an insured on your policy is injured in your condo.

What does the Master Condo Insurance Plan cover?

Most master condo insurance policies are designed to cover the common areas you share with others in your building, like the roof, basement, elevator, boiler and walkways, for both liability and physical damage. But, from association to association, there can be great variation on what this policy covers in regard to the structural parts of your individual condo unit. Some associations take responsibility for insuring the individual units as they were originally built, including standard fixtures, but leave any alterations, like a kitchen or bath remodel, to the individual owner to insure. Other associations will only insure the bare walls, floor and ceiling of your condo unit. That means, in the event of a disaster, you are responsible for repairs or replacement of everything else. Thus, it’s critical to work with your insurance professional to make sure you are crystal clear on which structural parts of your home are covered by the master policy and which ones are not covered, so you can properly insure your own unit through your individual policy.

What Condo Insurance discounts and additional endorsements are available?

There are many cost-effective condo insurance options that you might be eligible for, including discounts for installing extra bolts on your doors, adding fire and alarm systems in your unit, or bundling your condo insurance and auto insurance policies with the same carrier. In addition, a discount that many condo owners are not aware of is that you might be able to get a reduction in your individual condo insurance premiums if ABM also underwrites your master condo insurance policy. You can count on our insurance professionals to thoroughly investigate all the discounts that you are eligible for.

ABM also offers condo owners like you advice on additional coverages that might be necessary to adequately insure your condo and protect your assets. Since standard condo insurance does not cover things like damage caused by floods, earthquakes, or sewer backup, we like to talk to all our condo clients about the following additional coverage options:

  • Flood insurance and earthquake insurance are smart products to consider even when you live in an area that has moderate to low risk of these disasters occurring.
  • Umbrella insurance is an inexpensive way to get more liability protection and broader coverage than is included your standard condo insurance policy.
  • Scheduled personal property floater is coverage over and above what your condo insurance policy provides for valuable items, such as jewelry, sports equipment, art, musical instruments, antiques and any other expensive items that are out of the ordinary, and ensures that their full value is covered in the event of a claim.
  • Unit assessment coverage reimburses you for your share of an assessment charged to all unit owners by your association for repairs resulting from a covered loss, such as a fire that causes damage in a common area.
  • Water backup coverage insures your property for damage that results from a sewer or drain backup.

It’s your life, let ABM protect it with the right coverage at the right price