Condo living features a unique opportunity to benefit from shared responsibility among your neighbors. When you purchase a condo, you gain the benefits of home ownership, as well as the low-maintenance lifestyle of a managed living community. While you may not have a lawn to mow or an exterior to keep up, it is up to you to know what you actually own and are responsible for maintaining – including what is and is not covered by your condo association’s master insurance policy. At Great Lakes Insurance, we can help you better understand the components of your association coverage and build a personalized individual condo insurance policy that takes care of the rest, protecting you against a wide range of potential losses.
Supplementing Your Master Policy
The community that forms your condo association likely charges monthly or annual dues to maintain the common spaces in your building or complex, such as your elevators, halls, and pool. These fees also likely pay for a master condo insurance policy that covers property damages and community liability. Typically, a master policy will offer only limited coverage for individual unit owner losses.
For example, your association coverage may pay for the rebuilding of your exterior walls after a fire, leaving you responsible for the restoration of the inside of your condo. Furthermore, it is unlikely to offer any coverage at all for your personal belongings, liability, or displacement costs. With a private condo insurance policy, you can better protect your condo, income, and assets against many of the damages and losses excluded by your association coverage.
Your Condo Insurance – What’s in an Individual Policy?
Condo insurance policies contain different types of coverage. Each is important and plays a different role in protecting you against financial loss. Depending on the type of policy you choose, your coverage may protect you against damages caused by:
- Falling objects
- And more
Additional protection may be available for events excluded by your condo policy’s coverage. Talk to your agent about coverage options for earthquakes, sewer backup, floods, and other standard exclusions.
Interior Structural Coverage
This part of your condo insurance explains the coverage available for the inside finishes and structural components of your condominium unit. It should pick up where your association’s master policy leaves off, paying for interior walls, flooring, trim, built-ins, paint, and fixtures not covered by the master policy.
This part of your condo insurance outlines protection for your personal belongings if they are damaged, stolen, or destroyed due to a covered event. This can include the items inside your condo, as well as those you take elsewhere, such as when traveling or commuting to work. From your computers and electronics to your furniture, clothing, and housewares, personal property coverage compensates you for the value of your loss minus your deductible.
A home inventory can help you assess the value of your personal property and how much coverage you may need. Be sure to account for the cumulative value of expensive items, such as jewelry and firearms, which may require additional schedule coverage. You should also talk with your agent about a replacement value policy that can reimburse you for the full cost of replacing your damaged items with new ones as opposed to only their depreciated, actual cash value.
As a condo owner, you have two types of risk – community and individual. If a guest slips on a wet floor in the building lobby, the potential liability is typically shared by all condo owners and covered by the association insurance policy. There is also a risk of individual liability, which can occur when a guest is hurt in your home or when you or a member of your household is responsible for causing third-party property damages and injuries. At Great Lakes Insurance, we typically recommend high liability limits to protect your income and assets against the possibility of litigation. If your limits are low, you increase the risk of paying for excess legal fees, judgments, and settlements out of your own pocket.
If a guest is injured in your condominium, you may be liable for the injury. However, medical payments coverage can help pay for limited necessary medical care regardless of whether you are at fault. For minor injuries, the coverage may be enough to cover an emergency room visit and deter a potential lawsuit.
Temporary Displacement Expenses
You shouldn’t be burdened with extra living expenses if your condo is rendered uninhabitable. This coverage can help pay for temporary rent or hotel fees, as well as laundry services, restaurant meals, and other additional expenses while your condo is being rebuilt or repaired.
Your condo association’s insurance policy protects the community against shared liability and damages. When a loss exceeds the value of the association coverage, the excess damages are levied against the members of the association in the form of loss assessments. Talk to your agent to assure your individual condo insurance helps protect you against assessment losses.
Minnesota Condo Insurance Quotes
If you own a condo in the greater Cloquet & Duluth area, you need insurance with broad coverage for the various risks you face as an owner. At Great Lakes Insurance, we can help you build a policy personalized to your needs. We will compare options from multiple insurers to find a solution that works for you. We can also help you find ways of reducing the cost of premiums, whether by raising your deductible or qualifying for money-saving discounts. For example, additional savings may be available for condo owners who purchase an auto insurance policy from the same carrier or install a monitored home alarm system. We also offer ongoing support and assistance long after you purchase your policy.
To find out more about Minnesota condo insurance or to request a quote, contact our office today.