-Owner’s insurance for a condominium unit can be somewhat bewildering because it’s not as straightforward a situation as insuring a single family home on property owned solely by the homeowner. Rick Torres, State Farm Insurance agent in Solvang, CA has recently released a report that helps clarify what condo owner’s insurance covers in relation to what the Homeowner Association master policy covers.
Condo insurance is different than traditional homeowner’s insurance in that it covers loss of personal items and property and provides liability for most events that happen inside the unit. The Homeowner’s Association (HOA) insurance typically focuses on the building structure and common areas. Condo insurance coverage works in tandem with the condo association master policy to meet the unique needs of condo living.
Condo unit owner’s insurance typically covers personal property loss due to:
- Weather damage including lightning, wind or hail, freezing of a plumbing system, weight of ice, snow or sleet
- Fire, theft, vandalism, riots, explosion, smoke, aircraft and vehicles
- Abrupt and accidental discharge of water from plumbing system, tearing/bulging of heating or cooling systems, artificially generated electrical current
A condo unit owners policy doesn’t cover repairs to the structure. Those are usually covered by the HOA master insurance plan. Before investing in buying a condo, thoroughly read the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&Rs describe, among other things, exactly what the HOA is responsible for maintaining and repairing and frequently describe circumstances of damage to common areas that the HOA will consider to be caused by the unit owner or owner’s visitors. CC&Rs also describe a number of other “rules” life in the world of condos, including where to park vehicles, whether or not pets are allowed and which types, and more.
What condo unit owner’s insurance doesn’t cover:
- Acts of nature such as flooding, underground water, earthquakes, mudslides, settling, deterioration, contamination, nuclear hazard, birds, rodents, insects or domestic animals.
- Home-based businesses or professional services. Ask an agent at the Solvang insurance office about business insurance for a home-based business.
- Motor vehicles, aircraft, and certain watercraft. However, there may be discounts available by combing condo and vehicle insurance.
Before sitting down with your insurance agent, make a list of personal property, and the value of each, that you wish to insure. The value of items helps determine how much coverage you need. Your insurance will discuss the coverage options with you and explain replacement costs and the loss settlement options.
The agent will also help you understand which interior features of your unit are not covered by the HOA master insurance policy. Features such as cabinets, countertops, carpet can contribute to the value of your unit. Be sure you have read and understand the CC&Rs before visiting the Solvang insurance agency. It might be helpful to bring the CC&Rs with you.
R.W. Torres State Farm Insurance Agency
540 Alisal Road, Suite 4
Solvang, CA 93463