By Vincent Marciano
Residential & Commercial Condominium & Homeowner Association Specialist
ADV Insurance Agency
Condominium insurance is a special insurance designed to fit the specific needs of condo owners. Condo owners need to take into consideration additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and coverage.
Condominium Association Master Policy
Your condominium association will insure the building and its common elements based on one of three approaches: 1) bare walls, 2) single entity (original specifications), or 3) all-in.
• “Bare walls” means that the association will insure only the building including walls, the roof, floors, elevators, etc. The association is not responsible for insuring anything inside your unit such as appliances, cabinets, carpeting, wallpaper, interior partitions, plumbing, wiring, and bathroom fixtures, among others.
• “Single entity” coverage means the association is responsible for all real property, but only the cost necessary to return the building and units to their original condition using materials of like kind and quality.
• “All-in” statutes differ from original specifications in one major respect. The association is not only responsible for all real property, but it is also charged with insuring unit owner-installed upgrades.
Determining How Much Coverage You Need
As you’re evaluating how much insurance you need for your unit and possessions, keep the following questions in mind:
• What is the association responsible for insuring? What am I responsible for insuring?
• How much coverage do I need for loss assessment?
• How much coverage do I need for my possessions?
• Do I have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage for my possessions?
• What does the liability coverage include?
• Do I need earthquake or flood coverage?
Finally, make sure you understand exactly what your policy covers. Review it at least once a year to make sure you stay adequately covered.