Go To Top
See how much YOU can save
See how much YOU can save
Valid Zipcode Required
Invalid Carrier
Check this box if you have multiple vehicles in your family.

Want to bundle home and auto insurance for potential discounts?

Condo Insurance - A complete guide

By Posted : June 26, 2020

HO6 Insurance

If you own a condominium, you’ll need an individual condo insurance policy – technically known as HO6 insurance -- even though your condo association has its own coverage.

While the condo association takes some of the insurance burden off you, you’ll still need your own protection.

Condo association insurance typically covers building exteriors and common areas. However, this type of home insurance – known as the master policy or home owner association (HOA) policy – doesn't likely cover what's inside your specific unit. It also may not cover all damages outside your unit.

We’ll explain how an HO6 policy protects you and your belongings, tell you how much condo insurance you need, and give you the average price of a condo insurance policy – as well as tips for how to save more.

Condo insurance calculator

Wondering about condominium insurance cost? Our condo insurance calculator lets you zero in on the average rates for where you live. When you use this tool, you can enter your ZIP code, select the coverage level you require and discover the average rate condo owners pay in your area.

You’ll also find out the lowest and highest rates being paid in your area. This can give you the information to find a great condo insurance quote, although it is important to remember that no two properties are priced exactly alike when it comes to HO6 insurance.

What is HO6 insurance?

An HO6 policy covers your personal property and most things not covered by your condo association policy. Unlike homeowners insurance, HO6 insurance typically only covers things inside your unit – although this can vary among condo complexes.

In most complexes, the condo association’s master policy protects the exterior of you unit. It also protects other parts of the condo community, including common areas such as hallways, party rooms, workout areas and the pool. You pay for this coverage through your condo association dues. Before buying condo insurance, review your condo association policy. Notice the level of protection your condo association offers. That's where you will discover what a condo owner's individual policy covers, and what the condo association's master policy covers. 

You should be able to get this information from the condo board or from the company that manages your building. The HOA policy may not be easy reading – some association policies can be dozens of pages of legalese – but it's essential to understand where your responsibility begins.

"Sometimes they are easy and straightforward and other times they can be complex, where you almost have to be a lawyer" to understand them, says Doug Foulks, personal lines products manager at Van Wert, Ohio-based Central Insurance Companies.

Condo Insurance : What does it covers?

Condominium insurance covers your personal possessions. If a fire damages your furniture or someone breaks in and steals your valuables, an HO6 policy can help make you whole.

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

Structure

  • Floors 
  • Cabinets
  • Carpets
  • Light fixtures
  • Inner walls
  • Countertops

Contents

  • Furniture
  • Appliances 
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing
  • Artwork
  • TVs

Keep track of all of your belongings within the condo unit. When valuing your belongings, consider what it would cost to replace them in today's dollars, says Ben Schaum, homeowner underwriting process manager at Mayfield Village, Ohio-based Progressive Insurance.

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.

Condo insurance also provides personal liability protection.  That means you will be covered if someone is hurt on your property or suffers other damages.

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.In many cases, the HO6 policy also provides protection for damages to interior walls, floors and ceilings. It normally covers damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Weather (in many states, hurricane damage is not covered)
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Smoke damage
  • Frozen pipes

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.

Many condo policies also provide additional living expenses coverage in case your condo is damaged to the point that it is temporarily uninhabitable.

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.

When buying condo insurance, you want to purchase protection for things not covered by the association policy. 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 proper individual home insurance policy coverage, says Foulks. 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.

How much condo insurance coverage do i 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.

A good rule of thumb is that you may need more HO6 insurance if your HOA policy is for “bare walls” or “wall studs in.”

You must decide how much 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.

One typical mistake condo owners make is taking out coverage that reimburses the actual cash value of their belongings instead of a policy that covers the replacement costs, Schaum says. Actual cash value coverage is cheaper, but it doesn't reimburse the gap between present cash value and your items’ replacement cost, he says.

"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 in a catastrophe.

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 HO6 insurance policy would not adequately cover.

How to compare condo insurance rates

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. This gives you the best shot at getting a great condo insurance quote on an HO6 policy.

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, while finding a policy with a low condo insurance cost is important, it is not the only factor to weigh when purchasing condominium insurance. Ask your friends whether they would recommend the insurer who holds their condo or homeowners policy.

Average condo insurance costs by state

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay, enter your state in the search box below. Insurance.com 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 liabililty.

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$292$326$361$396
Vermont$316$350$382$415
Wyoming$372$394$421$447
Iowa$364$412$455$499
Hawaii$358$413$464$517
West Virginia$355$413$471$531
Nebraska$375$432$482$539
South Dakota$383$442$498$553
Virginia$368$444$520$596
Maryland$382$449$511$573
Washington$429$485$537$591
Alaska$431$488$539$590
Montana$426$489$539$586
DC$420$491$566$643
Minnesota$432$492$548$607
Delaware$420$496$565$639
Maine$411$497$574$654
Ohio$433$497$556$619
Utah$456$498$537$577
New York$467$543$615$690
New Mexico$490$545$604$671
California$466$553$637$723
Missouri$517$573$625$681
Wisconsin$518$577$630$684
Oregon$532$600$661$722
Indiana$525$602$671$744
Rhode Island$503$603$696$788
Kentucky$533$614$687$761
Pennsylvania$540$614$676$742
Nevada$548$624$695$768
New Hampshire$565$626$684$745
Idaho$523$629$723$829
Kansas$557$634$709$786
South Carolina$552$645$733$827
New Jersey$553$650$726$814
Arizona$602$662$740$818
Illinois$590$669$739$804
Michigan$607$694$775$844
North Carolina$553$698$832$966
Massachusetts$577$710$836$963
Tennessee$642$749$835$936
Colorado$674$757$834$912
Connecticut$686$823$941$1,065
Arkansas$770$867$958$1,048
Louisiana$779$887$990$1,093
Alabama$784$900$1,016$1,124
Mississippi$802$960$1,133$1,288
Georgia$821$979$1,115$1,186
Texas$807$990$1,167$1,325
Oklahoma$1,025$1,121$1,220$1,339
Florida$1,051$1,293$1,486$1,555

No Comments

What do you think? You can add a helpful comment to this page by filling out the form below.
Leave a Comment

 
0 Comment