There are distinct differences between condo insurance and traditional homeowners insurance. Anyone owning a condominium should know that association fees do not cover property insurance; therefore their belongings won’t be covered without specific coverage to address this.
Additionally, any improvements made to the unit (new doors, closets, add-ons of any type) are not covered by what is known as a basic master policy. There are certain provisions of homeowners insurance in Los Angeles pertaining to condominiums and hopefully, this will provide answers on how to pick the right policy for your particular situation.
Condo Insurance Policy
A portion of the condo association fees paid goes toward a master insurance policy. This policy only covers portions of the condo property that are the collective responsibility of all condo owners. Typically, this common area includes swimming pools, parking garages shared or common walls, and in most instances the floors and ceilings of your home.
What the master policy does not cover, however, is the actual condominium. As such, it is important to purchase personal condo insurance in order to properly protect any personal belongings and the dwelling structure itself.
Upgraded policies can be purchased
An upgraded insurance policy is designed specifically for condo owners. This type of policy covers damage to both the housing structure and personal belongings. Common coverable hazards include:
- Windstorm or hail
- Smoke damage
- Ice and snow
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Falling objects, and
It should also cover theft of belongings and issues related to liability.
Other coverage considerations
When shopping for condo insurance, price is just one of many factors needing to be considered. An important decision is whether to insure possessions on a cash-value or replacement-cost basis. Cash value pays out on a system of current value, minus depreciation. In contrast, replacement value pays the amount it costs to replace any damaged or stolen items.
You should carefully review the coverable hazards of a policy to make sure everything is adequately protected. Flood and earthquake insurance will need to be bought separately. Additionally, an owner may want to add condo insurance floaters that will add coverage to specific belongings, particularly things of value.
Ask your agent about any discount programs that might also be available when considering homeowners insurance in Los Angeles for your condo.