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Manage My Policy 
 Condominium 

What type of insurance do I need for a co-op or condo?

If you have purchased a condo or co-op, the bank will require insurance to protect its investment in your home. You may, however, need more insurance to cover your personal items, liability or fees that may be charged to you regarding shared areas of the building like the lobby.

There will be two separate policies to protect your investment.

Your Own Insurance Policy
This provides coverage for your personal possessions, structural improvements to your apartment and additional living expenses if you are the victim of fire, theft or other disaster listed in your policy. You also get liability protection.

A "Master Policy" Provided by the Condo/co-op Board
This covers the common areas you share with others in your building like the roof, basement, elevator, boiler and walkways for both liability and physical damage.

To adequately insure your apartment, it is important to know what structural parts of your home are covered by the condo/co-op association and what are not. You can do this by reading your associations by-laws and/or proprietary lease. If you have questions, talk to your condo association, contact us or family attorney.

Sometimes the association is responsible for insuring the individual condo or co-op units, as they were originally built, including standard fixtures. The individual owner, in this case, is only responsible for alterations to the original structure of the apartment, like remodeling the kitchen or bathroom. Sometimes this includes not only improvements you make, but those made by previous owners.

In other situations, the condo/co-op association is responsible only for insuring the bare walls, floor and ceiling. The owner must insure kitchen cabinets, built-in appliances, plumbing, wiring, bathroom fixtures etc.

Also ask us about the following additional coverages:

Unit Assessment
This reimburses you for your share of an assessment charged to all unit owners as a result of a covered loss. For instance, if there is a fire in the lobby, all the unit owners are charged the cost of repairing the loss.

Water Back-up
This insures your property for damage by the back-up of sewers or drains. Water back-up may not always be included in a policy. Check to see that it is included.

Umbrella Liability
This is an inexpensive way to get more liability protection and broader coverage than is included in a standard condo/co-op policy.

Flood or Earthquake Insurance
If you live in an area prone to these disasters, you will need to purchase separate flood and earthquake policies. Flood insurance is available through FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program ( http://www.fema.gov/nfip/ ). Both flood and earthquake insurance can be purchased through your insurance agent.

Personal Articles Floater or Endorsement
If you own expensive jewelry, furs or collectibles, you should consider getting additional coverage since there is generally a $1,000 to $2,000 limit for theft of jewelry on a standard policy.

Discounts

Don't forget to ask about all available discounts.  If you insure your unit with the same company that underwrites your building's insurance policy, you might also get an additional reduction in premiums. 

A multi-policy discount could save you up to 25% if you have both your condomimium and auto(s) with the same carrier - up to a 25% savings!

Having a burglar and/or fire alarm system will also give you a discount and more so if it is monitored by an alarm company.

With Permission  Insurance Information Institute, Inc. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -

© M.A. Hays Co., 2011   webmail login
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