If you own a condominium in Florida, you may need to get a condo insurance policy, also known as an HO6. While a condo association usually has its own insurance policy, it only covers the common areas and exteriors of the building. Thus, as a condominium owner, an individual condo insurance policy may be necessary for the protection of your personal property and belongings.
Unlike single family homes, if you live in a condo unit, you only own a portion of the building. Therefore, if a disaster hits the building, you need coverage to account for the damages to parts of the building not covered by the HOA policy, i.e., coverage for your unit including custom interiors and possessions. That’s where an HO6 policy comes into play.
What Does Condo Insurance Cover?
This refers to the insurance covering your home or anything attached to it, like walls, fixtures, or sometimes a garage if applicable. This helps cover any damages that are caused to your unit in the event of a disaster. The main difference between property insurance in a condominium versus a single-family house is that condo insurance is usually “walls-in.” Walls-in condo insurance means it only applies to everything in your home’s interior.
The physical damage portion of a condo insurance policy usually includes some caveats based on the association’s insurance policy. That being said, condo insurance policies tend to have one of the following coverage options:
- Bare Walls
If your HOA insurance includes a bare walls policy, you will need to confirm if your HO6 insurance policy covers everything present in your condo unit.
- “All in” Option
This option in condo insurance policies typically covers all the original items within your actual unit, including plumbing, lighting fixtures, wiring, and appliances.
Whether your master insurance policy has bare walls or an all-in type of condo insurance, you need condo insurance HO6 to protect everything inside your unit that’s movable. This includes your furniture, electronics, and other valuable personal belongings.
The liability coverage policy protects you in the event that another resident of your condominium files a claim against you for property damage or bodily injury. The policy includes coverage for court, defense, and settlement costs.
Loss of Use
If your condo unit becomes uninhabitable, this policy will provide you with monetary compensation to temporarily pay for living expenses somewhere else. Some insurance policies allot you a certain amount of spending compensation per day or for a limited number of days, while others simply have a maximum limit that cannot be exceeded regardless of the length of time.
This policy under HO6 coverage helps cover the HOA policy owners if their insurance limits are exceeded. It also helps cover damage to common areas that your association’s master insurance policy may not apply to. For instance, if a fire damages several units at the condo and the amount to cover the damage exceeds, your loss assessment will help you pay your portion of the fire damage.
Walls in condo insurance includes a policy for medical payments that gives medical coverage if someone gets injured while inside your unit. However, the residents of your condo are not covered under this.
How to Insure a Condo Unit?
Although your condo is subject to HOA insurance, getting HO6 condo insurance coverage is imperative. The policies for individual condo insurance come with several different options. Therefore, you must fully comprehend your options before choosing a policy.
These policies cover all types of damages other than the ones specifically listed in the contract as not to be covered. Although open perils policies are more expensive than named perils policies, they do cover maximum damages that may occur to the property.
On the other hand, named peril policies only cover specific types of damages, such as theft, fire, windstorm, explosion, civil commotion, and vandalism. These policies will only include a list of mentioned damages associated with the property, and anything that is not listed is assumed to not apply.
Additional Coverage Options
The standard condo insurance policy HO6 offers protection against considerable damages. However, it may not be comprehensive enough to meet each of the coverage needs of the condo unit owner. In addition to the policies above, you can add extra types of coverage that may not typically be included. Find them out here:
- Earthquake and flood damage
- Vacant condominium insurance
- Umbrella insurance policy
- Loss assessment coverage
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?
Realistically, it depends. If you have the “all-in” policy in your HOA insurance, you can limit your additional coverage to just liability and personal property insurance.
In the case that your condominium’s master insurance policy includes bare walls with several assets to protect with a high deductible, your costs could go much higher, depending upon the policy plan you choose. According to insure.com cost analysis, the average condo insurance cost is $389 per year, with the following policy limits:
- $300,000 liability
- $1,000 deductible
- $60,000 personal property
Condo HO6 insurance cost can vary, depending on several factors:
- Your deductible amount
- The location of your condo
- Coverage options and the limits you pick
- Construction materials used in the building
- How much master policy insurance covers
How Much Should I Pay For Condo Insurance?
To figure out the amount you should pay for coverage, you’ll need to decide how much coverage is required to protect your unit interiors and belongings. Take inventory of the interior items in your residence; do not forget to record any valuables like paintings. For good walls in coverage, you can assume $40,000 for the first 1,000 sq feet of your condo unit, then add $5,000 for every additional 500 sq feet.
Next, look into what level of liability insurance you will need. If your possessions are worth over $500,000, you may want to consider getting an umbrella policy. Then, figure out whether or not you would like loss assessment coverage.
Keep in mind, however that loss assessment coverage is crucial, especially if your HOA insurance includes a hefty deductible. Moreover, your condo may contain risky items that may not be covered by a complex association insurance policy. Estimating the cost for your HO6 insurance quote can be a daunting task. However, you can use condo insurance cost estimators.
Although condo insurance is entirely different from renters or homeowners insurance, an HO6 insurance policy shares similar elements with them. In contrast to a homeowners policy, HO6 insurance does not cover damages that occur other than your in-wall unit, including unit exteriors.
Instead, the HO6 insurance policy provides coverage for your personal belongings and interior of your residence within the condominium. However, the HO6 insurance coverage and the HOA policy work together to protect the entire property and possessions of condo owners. To learn more about securing condo insurance for your home, talk to one of White Cloud Insurance’s experts today at White Cloud Insurance.