Condo Insurance: Four Steps to Full Coverage


Piecing together the puzzle that is a condominium insurance policy can be tricky. As a condo owner, your insurance needs differ from those of a single-family homeowner. Understanding those differences is key to making sure that you get the maximum protection from your insurance coverage.

Here's some advice from Eric Sharfstein, claims director with National Insurance Underwriters, about what to look for in the fine print before you sign on the dotted line of a condo insurance policy.

1. Understand what you're responsible for and what the condo association covers

The key difference between homeowners insurance and condo insurance is the coverage for the structure. Since condo owners do not own the actual building themselves, only the unit they occupy, they typically insure their units "from the walls in." The condo association's master policy covers the larger structure.

In case of a fire, for example, the condo owner's policy would cover damage to the interior wall finishes but not structural damage, which would be covered under the condo association's master policy. The master policy usually also covers the common areas (such as hallways), grounds and building systems.