Condo Insurance – Homeowners Insurance Tips and News Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Condominium Pros and Cons Mon, 27 Sep 2010 14:58:47 +0000

Condos are an attractive option for some folks. If you prefer to own a home but not have to deal with things like mowing the grass or shoveling snow, a condominium can be a good idea. Still, it’s not all fun and games. You still have all of the normal home expenses, including things such as homeowners insurance.

If you’re thinking about moving into a condominium, it’s important to know the ups and the downs:

Why you should go condo

  • Condos usually offer a number of amenities that you may or may not be able to afford in a traditional home. You might have access to a swimming pool, for example, or a fitness center with equipment that is prohibitively expensive to have in your own home.
  • You have to worry less about maintenance. Condos offer maintenance staff that fix up common areas, and usually repairs within your unit.
  • Security is often tighter in a condo than it is in a traditional home, or in a neighborhood. Condominiums usually have security personnel that help to look out for you and your home.

Why you should not go condo

  • Condominiums often have less storage than a traditional house. There usually aren’t attics or basements, but you may have access to storage lockers or some other form of storage.
  • Your outdoor space is going to be smaller. If you like to do some gardening, or if you enjoy having people over for outside gatherings, you’re going to be more limited.
  • Condo fees can be prohibitively expensive. To be sure, those fees pay for things like amenities and repairs, but you’re going to be responsible for paying whatever fees the condo board decides you ought to pay, whether or not you want those amenities.
  • Resale can be tougher for condominiums. This obviously depends on the market in your local area, but if another unit in your building is for sale it can be tough to sell yours.
  • You need to follow all of the condo rules. While you have a voice in what those rules are, they can also affect your ability to use your property the way that you’d like to use it.
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Homeowners Insurance for Your Condo Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:23:33 +0000 condoLiving in a condo is different from living in a traditional home. A condo gives you the worry-free lifestyle of apartment living combined with the peace of mind knowing that you’re not just throwing your rent away every month, that you’re making an investment that will, eventually, appreciate.

One of the ways that condo insurance differs from homeowners insurance is this: when you buy a condo, there’s already insurance on the building. When you buy the condo, you’re stuck with the insurance policy. You sign on to that policy. Once you buy the condo, you can talk with the other condo owners about changing that insurance, but you can’t just go out and do it by yourself.

Condo insurance is different from homeowners insurance in what it covers, too. In some cases, condo insurance will only cover common areas up to the walls of your unit. In other cases, it may cover your unit. It might have enough liability coverage, or it may not. You’ll have to look over the existing policy to know for sure, of course.

You don’t need to just deal with the coverage that the existing policy offers you, however. That’s just the minimum homeowners insurance you get with your condo. Instead, you can talk to the insurance provider about additional or optional coverage.

You can go with the same company that insures the condo, or you can go with another company. You may be able to save a few bucks, for example, by going to the company that already insures your car. On the other hand, you run the risk that there will ultimately be some finger pointing between the insurance companies should disaster strike.

With a condo, you also don’t need to purchase a year of insurance ahead. The policy is already in place. You pay for the insurance that your lender requires or additional insurance that you want, and you sign on the dotted line to close.

If you want to switch homeowners insurance companies, you may be able to do so if you talk to the other co-owners. In many cases, they’ll be fine with it. This is one of the downsides to living in a condo compared to living in a home, however: you have to put so many decisions in front of the other owners. And, in some cases, you’re stuck with what you have because of the owners’ association.

Photo via Bitman

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