Today’s guest post is courtesy of Sereda Fowlkes, insurance agent at Allstate. Sereda works with homebuyers and homeowners to help protect their most important property assets. Below, Sereda will discuss what you need to know about condo insurance if you are purchasing or already own a condo.
What is condo insurance?
Condo associations typically purchase insurance for your building and the common property. But their insurance usually doesn’t cover things like personal belongings appliances, and cabinetry. You’ll also want to have adequate personal liability protections for occurrences inside your home. Condo insurance protects an owner from accidental and sudden losses. However, there are some losses that aren’t covered.
Doesn’t my association’s policy cover my condo and belongings?
No. Your association’s insurance covers parts of the building structure but, generally, doesn’t cover your personal belongings like your furniture, clothes and electronics. A condo policy will help you repair or replace your possessions if they’re damaged by covered perils, such as theft, vandalism, fire and smoke, freezing of plumbing, water damage from plumbing, and furnace/AC or water heater.
What is covered?
Review your condo association’s by-laws to find out what their policy covers and what you’re responsible for. To protect your condo unit, you may want to consider adding optional coverage.
What is not covered by condo insurance?
Most condo insurance policies cover your contents up to a certain value. But expensive possessions like jewelry, furs and silverware may require extended coverage to cover their full value. You might also consider coverage to cover lock replacements, satellite dish antennas, computers and fire department charges.
Most condo insurance policies do not cover basic maintenance repairs. For example, if your water heater cracks, your coverage most likely will not help to replace the water heater. (But it might help pay for the damage to your floors.) That’s why it’s a good idea to have all your heating, cooling and plumbing systems regularly serviced.
What is “replacement cost” and how does that differ from “actual cash value?”
Typically, replacement cost means your insurance will pay the cost (up to your applicable policy limit) of rebuilding or repairing the inside of your condo (or replacing contents) without a deduction for depreciation. This differs from actual cash value, which covers your valuables based on the depreciated value of your possessions at the time of the loss.
How can I save money on my condo insurance?
Raising your deductible is one way to save money. Consider a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise to $1000 you may save as much as 25%. You may also qualify for a discount if your condo is new or if you’ve made it safer by installing smoke alarms, fire extinguishers or a security system.
To contact Sereda directly, call or email (703) 556-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.allstate.com/sfowlkes.