Key Differences Between Condo And Homeowners Insurance

Posted by  On October 12, 2020
Differences between condo and homeowners insurance

Your home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make. But not everyone wants a traditional house with a backyard and two-car driveway.

For a lot of people, buying a condominium makes more sense than buying a detached home. You may need less space than a house offers or may not want all the extra work that comes with owning a house with a yard to manage.

Regardless of whether you own a house or a condo, you need to have insurance for it. If you have a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, it will cover everything from your actual house itself to liability, as well as your personal property and yard.

Condo insurance will also cover your personal property and liability, but if you’re a condo owner, you also have insurance coverage coming from another place: the condo association.

If you are currently living in a condo, you should check with your condo association to see what their insurance covers, and then check with your broker to confirm that your condo insurance covers anything their insurance doesn’t. Not all condo corporations are set up in the same manner and your coverage needs will differ depending on your structure and by-laws.

We’re going to talk about the following aspects of homeowners and condo insurance:

  • Price
  • Personal property coverage
  • Building coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Amount of coverage

Price

Generally, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cost you more than a condo insurance policy because a house has a lot more square footage than a condo does.

For a condo, you are only protecting a portion of the condo — your unit — not the outside areas or common areas such as the roof. This is another reason condo insurance is generally cheaper than homeowner’s insurance.

Personal Property

Whether you have homeowners or condo insurance, your insurance must cover your personal property. Your personal belongings are not insured by your condo’s association insurance.

To determine how much coverage you need, you should take stock of your personal belongings — especially higher ticket items such as electronics, jewelry, furniture, and clothing. Having a list of your belongings and their estimated values will ensure that you have sufficient personal property coverage.

Building Coverage

If you have homeowner’s insurance, these are the main points you should be aware of for building coverage:

  • The structure and any outlying buildings (e.g. a shed, fences, a carport) should be covered by your policy.
  • Your coverage should be high enough to cover the total rebuilding cost of your house as well as other structures on your property.
  • Since you have more space to cover than a condo, the price for building coverage will be higher than it will be for a condo.

For condo building coverage, you should be aware of different key points for building coverage:

  • The condo association’s insurance policy should cover the majority of the building. For example, if your windows or front door are damaged, or you lose some roof shingles, these should all be covered by the condo building’s policy.
  • The condo association’s policy will not cover your storage locker. You should make sure your locker and its contents are included in your personal coverage.
  • You need enough building coverage in your policy to ensure that if the inside of your condo is damaged (e.g. you have a fire), that you will be covered for the cost of repairs.
  • Your condo policy should also provide coverage for a “special assessment”. This covers you in case that the condo corporation does not collect enough fees for the required building maintenance and you are subjected to additional costs to repair or maintain common areas.

Liability Coverage

Your homeowner’s insurance liability coverage should protect you in the following situations:

  • If someone gets injured in your house
  • If you cause property damage to someone else’s house
  • If someone is injured on your property — this can include your front walk or in a pool or on a trampoline

For condo insurance, your liability coverage should protect you if someone gets injured in your condo or you damage someone else’s home. You should not need your liability coverage to cover you if someone is hurt in your condo’s lobby or by the condo pool. This is covered by the condo association’s insurance policy.

Amount of Coverage

The amount of coverage for a house is higher than it is for a condo.

For homeowners’ insurance, an insurance company needs to be concerned not only with liability and your personal belongings but also the cost of rebuilding your house from scratch — if need be.

For a condo, your insurance policy tends to cover only your personal belongings, unit upgrades and liability so that the coverage amount can be lower.

Key Differences Between Homeowners and Condo Insurance

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the key differences between homeowners and condo insurance. The main areas they differ in are:

  • Price
  • Personal property coverage
  • Building coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Amount of coverage

If you’re moving from a house to a condo, you may be pleasantly surprised at the decrease in your premiums for your insurance. You also need to know about how your coverage may change.

For more information on condo insurance, call Archway Insurance at 902-477-2511 or contact us here.

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