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Condo insurance is a home insurance policy designed for the unique insurance needs of condo owners. The condo association insurance policy generally provides protection for the outside of the building and the common areas. What the owner is responsible for in the unit varies. So how much condo insurance is enough?

You need enough condo insurance (also called HO-6 insurance) for your personal property, and may also need coverage for things like fixtures, flooring, and kitchen cabinets called dwelling or building property coverage. It depends on the type of master policy the association carries. Am HO-6 condo policy can include coverage for all of those things and also provides liability coverage.

The average cost of condo insurance is $625 a year for $60,000 in personal property coverage, but that might not be enough for you; and it's vital to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

Condo insurance can be confusing, but we've simplified it. Read on to learn what HO-6 insurance is, the types of condo insurance coverage, how to know what type of condo insurance you need, and what you can expect to pay for your HO-6 policy. And, of course, how much condo insurance you need to buy.

How much condo insurance is enough?

You need enough condo insurance to cover all of your personal property, including high-value items, and for any parts of the unit for which you're responsible. It's best to do an accurate calculation of the value of your property and building property you're responsible for insuring. Check with your condo association to find out what type of building property coverage you need.

You'll also need enough liability insurance to protect your assets in a potential lawsuit. The standard condo insurance policy includes $100,000 in liability, but experts recommend at least $300,000.

Key takeaways

  • Condo insurance is also called an HO-6 policy and is designed for the specific needs of condo owners.
  • Condo insurance covers personal liability, personal property, dwelling, loss assessment, and additional living expenses.
  • The average cost of condo insurance is $625 per year for $60,000 in dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • The type and amount of condo insurance you need depends on what type of policy your HOA carries and what you're required to cover.

What is HO-6 condo insurance?

An HO-6 policy is condo insurance (condominium homeowners insurance or condo owners insurance) and is an insurance policy specifically for condominiums. HO-6 is a code used by insurance companies to identify the different types of home insurance. Unlike standard HO-3 home insurance, HO-6 insurance typically only covers things inside your unit.

So, the biggest difference between HO-3 and HO-6 policies is that a homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for the structure itself. HO-6 condo policies don’t need that coverage since the structure is covered by the condo association. However, some portions of the building may be covered by  your policy.

How does condo insurance work?

Although condo insurance coverage is different from a standard homeowners policy in terms of what is covered, it works in much the same way.

You will have specified coverages and deductibles listed on the declaration page of your HO-6 policy. For these coverages, you will pay an annual premium. In the event you need to file a claim, you will be responsible for the deductible if it applies.

Just like homeowners insurance, condo insurance rates are determined by various factors, including but not limited to claims history, your credit score (depending on the state), the age of the condo, and location.

How much is condo insurance?

Average Condo Insurance Rate

Average condo insurance rates vary by state, and your cost will also vary depending on your location, the coverage limits you select, the deductible, and other factors.

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay, enter your state in the search box below. commissioned Quadrant Information Services to field rates for nearly every ZIP code in the country among six major insurers.

You'll see average condo insurance rates, for common coverage sets. There are various dwelling coverage amounts, but all have a $1,000 deductible and the recommended amount of $300,000 in liability.

State $40,000/ $1,000/ $300,000 $60,000/ $1,000/ $300,000 $80,000/ $1,000/ $300,000 $100,000/ $1,000/ $300,000
North Dakota$299$345$391$540
West Virginia$335$395$445$496
South Dakota$374$424$486$540
New Mexico$411$460$498$534
Washington D.C$446$535$628$720
Rhode Island$487$576$655$736
New Hampshire$507$564$619$672
New Jersey$510$594$675$750
New York$635$739$836$942
South Carolina$636$722$799$884
North Carolina$744$938$1,122$1,289

To get a more accurate sense of what your condo insurance rates will look like, use the condo insurance calculator below. Enter your ZIP code and select the coverage level you need to see rates for that area.

You’ll also see the lowest and highest average condo insurance rates in your area. When you request exact quotes for your condo insurance, you'll have a general idea of what's a good deal.


Average condo insurance rates in CALIFORNIA

94404 - Foster City
Personal Property Coverage $60,000, Deductible $1,000 and Liability $100,000.



Most & least expensive zip codes for condo insurance in California

Most Expensive

Zip CodeCityHighest Rate
91330Los Angeles$1,091
90210Beverly Hills$1,056
90069Los Angeles$1,049

Least Expensive

Zip CodeCityLowest Rate
93402Los Osos$532
94040Mountain View$534

What does the condo association master insurance policy cover?

Before you can figure out how much condo insurance coverage you need, it's essential to determine what your condo association's master policy covers.

In most complexes, the condo association’s master policy protects the exterior of your unit.

It also protects other parts of the condo community, including common areas such as hallways, party rooms, workout areas, and a pool if there is one. You pay for this coverage through your condo association dues.

Before buying condo insurance, review your condo association find out what the condo association's master policy covers and what the condo owner's policy (your policy) needs to cover.

You should be able to get this information from the condo board or from the company that manages your building. 

Figuring out what is and is not covered by the association policy can be tricky because the rules differ from community to community. Here are the three different types of condo association policies and the coverage they offer -- from most protection for the unit owner to least protection:

All-in and all-inclusive. Protects all individual units’ exterior and interior surfaces, including fixtures, installations, and additions. The individual condo owner is still responsible for personal property.

Special entity. Covers nearly all of the condo structure, which includes original fixtures in units. This coverage doesn't include structural improvements or unit additions. The condo owner is responsible for personal property coverage.

Bare walls in and wall studs in. Covers only the bare structure. You will need to insure all of your condo’s interior contents, including bathroom and kitchen fixtures and countertops, as well as your personal property.

Knowing what the master policy covers can help you purchase the right individual condo insurance policy coverage, says Doug Foulks, personal lines products manager at Van Wert, Ohio-based Central Insurance Companies.

When looking over your policy, check for phrases such as “all in, “all-inclusive,” “special entity, “ “bare walls in” and “wall studs in.” These phrases tell you the level of coverage that the HOA policy provides.

"Sometimes they are easy and straightforward and other times they can be complex, where you almost have to be a lawyer" to understand them, Foulks says. 

Now that you know what the condo association master insurance policy covers, you can determine how much and what types of condo insurance coverage you'll need to fill any gaps.

What does condo insurance cover?

The recommended condo insurance coverage includes building property, personal property, personal liability, additional living expenses (loss of use), and loss assessment.

In many cases, the HO-6 policy provides protection for damages to interior walls, floors and ceilings. It normally covers damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Weather (in some areas, hurricane damage requires additional coverage)
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Smoke damage
  • Frozen pipes

Building property coverage

Condo insurance doesn’t have dwelling coverage like a standard homeowners insurance policy. Instead, the coverage is usually called building property coverage (some policies may still use the term dwelling). The condo association master policy is often responsible for the exterior of the condo and the condo owner's HO-6 policy kicks in for interior things like:

  • Floors
  • Cabinets
  • Carpets
  • Fixtures
  • Interior walls
  • Countertops

If a pipe in your condo freezes and bursts, building property coverage will kick in to repair or replace the damaged interior up to your policy coverage limits. Some condo associations don’t require you to carry this coverage.

Personal property coverage

Anything that you could take if you were to move will likely be covered under personal property coverage. Here are some examples:

  • Furniture
  • Linens
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing
  • Artwork
  • Dishes, pots and pans

Keep in mind standard condo insurance has limits on certain valuables, such as fine art, antiques, jewelry, and electronics. So, you might need to purchase an endorsement or "floater" to provide additional coverage for certain items.

Using the same example of a burst pipe, if the burst caused flooding and water damage to your personal property, the personal property portion of your condo insurance policy would kick in up to your coverage limits.

Personal liability coverage

Condo insurance also provides personal liability protection. That means you will be covered for injuries or damage you cause to someone else.

Make sure you select liability limits that are enough to protect your assets. Liability insurance often ranges from $100,000 to $500,000. You may want to explore a personal liability umbrella policy if the liability limits aren't high enough.

If someone falls while visiting your property and suffers an injury to their person or property and that damage is the result of your negligence, personal liability coverage will kick in to pay for repairs, legal costs and medical bills.

Additional living expenses or loss-of-use coverage

Many condo policies also provide additional living expenses coverage in case your condo is damaged to the point that it is temporarily uninhabitable. For example, if a fire damages or destroys your unit, it will be necessary for you to live elsewhere, at least temporarily. Additional living expense coverage kicks in to help pay for those extra living expenses like hotels and food while you can’t use your home.

Loss assessment coverage

Condo owners should also look into loss assessment coverage, which helps pay for condo association-related incidents. As a member of a condo association, you collectively own the common areas. You may need to pay extra as an individual condo owner if:

  • Claims exceed the association’s policy limits or you are required to contribute to a hefty deductible.
  • Losses occur that are not covered by the insurance policy, such as when injuries from a pool slide are not covered by the HOA policy.

"Depending on the type of loss, the condo association can go back against the owners of the condo…and everyone would have to pay their part," Foulks says.

If the condo association's loss assessment policy isn't expansive, additional loss assessment coverage offers good protection for condo owners, he says.

Check your HOA master policy to determine the association’s coverage limit. Pay attention to whether or not there are special deductibles for certain hazards.

How to calculate how much condo insurance you need

Condo insurance is more complicated than regular home insurance because of the different types of HOA policies and regulations. For this reason, the Insurance Information Institute recommends that you find an insurance professional who has experience working with owners of condominiums.

You may need more HO-6 insurance if your HOA policy is for “bare walls” or “wall studs in.”

You must decide how much condo coverage is necessary to protect your belongings and interior features, such as wood floors, kitchen cabinets, and fixtures. Take stock of the interior items in your condo unit, including furniture, clothing, and electronics. Don’t forget to record any expensive artwork.

Condo Insurance mistake

"People tend to underestimate the cost to replace all the stuff," Schaum says. "We are not talking about what it's worth today, but what it costs to replace it new."

Replacement cost coverage is more expensive than actual cash value coverage, but you'll be glad you paid the extra price if you suffer a major loss.

Also, figure out what level of liability insurance you need. If your assets are more than $500,000, you may want to look into an umbrella policy. Don’t skimp on liability insurance. For little money, you can be properly protected.

Look into loss assessment coverage so you can protect yourself in case someone is injured in a common area or the exterior of the building is seriously damaged. Loss assessment coverage is especially important if your condo association has a hefty deductible (some plans have $50,000 deductibles) and your complex may have risky items not covered by an HOA policy, such as a pool slide or diving board.

Finally, it might make sense to add some other coverages, such as:

  • Water backup coverage. This protects you in case a sewer or drain backup causes water damage to your unit. Neither a standard condo policy nor flood insurance provides this protection.
  • Additional coverage for valuables. You may be able to purchase a floater that will give you higher coverage limits for jewelry, collectibles, and other expensive items that a typical HO-6 insurance policy would not adequately cover.
  • Flood insurance. Much like regular homeowners insurance, a regular condo insurance policy doesn't protect you against flood damage. You will have to buy a separate flood insurance policy.

How to buy condo insurance

Buying insurance for condominiums doesn't have to be difficult. Here's a breakdown of a few steps to take to get your HO-6 condo policy. You'll find more information on each step below in the following sections.

  • Step 1: Get HO-6 condo quotes.
  • Step 2: Compare equivalent quotes.
  • Step 3: Select and notify the insurance company offering you the best value. Remember, best value does not always mean lowest cost.
  • Step 4: Review and sign the condominium insurance policy.
  • Step 5: Celebrate that your condo is now insured.

How to get a condo insurance quote

Most major insurers now offer a variety of ways to get quotes quickly and easily.

  • Choose reputable insurance companies. We recommend starting by taking a look at our best homeowners insurance companies rankings. Many of these companies also offer condominium insurance.
  • Request quotes with the coverage you need. Once you've determined which companies you want to get quotes from (we recommend selecting at least three), you can request quotes based on the type of policy and coverage levels you need. An online quote comparison tool can make this quick and easy.
  • Compare rates and coverage. Even if you enter the same coverage levels, your quotes may come back with some differences. Look them over carefully to be sure they’re apples-to-apples, and note any differences.

How to compare condo insurance quotes

You can purchase condo insurance from most major insurance companies and smaller companies as well. But before purchasing, it is always best to get a number of quotes and compare rates. 

While finding a policy with a low condo insurance cost is important, it is not the only factor to weigh when purchasing condominium insurance. Other things to consider are:

  • Condo insurance coverage options that meet your needs
  • Discount options
  • Website and app options
  • Financial stability of the insurance company (look at A.M. Best, S&P or Moody ratings)
  • Customer complaint history (look at NAIC ratios)
  • Claims satisfaction history (look at J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study ratings)
  • Which companies do your friends and family recommend?

Also, make sure to check with the company where you purchased your other insurance policies, such as auto insurance or life insurance. You may receive a discount for bundling policies.

Finally, regardless of which insurance company you go with, remember that it is both possible and recommended to shop around often. There is nothing wrong with changing insurance companies if you find a better deal.

For other tips on buying condo insurance, check out our condo buying tips.

Condo insurance vs. homeowners insurance: How are they different?

Condo insurance and homeowners insurance have a few main differences. To summarize, we’ve included a quick breakdown below.

Condo insuranceHomeowners insurance
National average annual rate*$759$2,777
Dwelling coverage/Building property coverageInterior onlyInterior and exterior of home and other structures
Personal property coverageYesYes
Liability coverageYes, inside the unitYes
Loss of use coverageYesYes
Loss assessment coverageYes, optionalNo

*Condo insurance rates are based on $60,000 personal property, $300,000 liability and a $1,000 deductible.

Homeowners insurance rates are based on a $300,000 liability and dwelling and a $1,000 deductible.

Frequently asked questions about condominium insurance

Is condo insurance required?

While condo insurance is not required by law, if you have a mortgage on your condo, your lender will most likely require condo insurance. This helps to ensure their asset (the condo) is protected at least until you've paid them back in full.

It is also common for HOA's to require certain levels of condo insurance.

How much dwelling coverage do I need for a condo?

Condo policies don’t really have dwelling coverage. Instead, they have building property coverage. The amount you'll need depends on what the condo association's master policy covers. An all-in and all-inclusive master policy covers more than a bare-bones-in policy, which means you may be able to get less building property coverage if your HOA master policy is all-in and all-inclusive.

What is the rule of thumb for condo insurance?

A rule of thumb for condo insurance is to make sure you have calculated enough building property coverage to rebuild all of the features of the condo for which you’re responsible. It’s easy to underestimate the cost of replacing things like countertops and fixtures, so make your calculations carefully.

Does condo insurance cover theft?

Yes. Check your policy to see if there are any exclusions. For example, some high-value items like expensive jewelry may not be covered without an endorsement.

Why should you buy condo insurance?

You should consider buying condominium insurance because it provides coverage for the interior contents of your unit and offers protection in case of a liability claim due to an accident involving a guest or visitor.

Your condominium association has its own coverage, and it will cover the building as well as shared property and liability coverage for the association, but not the things inside your condo. Condo insurance protects you.

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