Condo (HO6) insurance, or condominium coverage, is a type of insurance policy that protects you, your stuff, and your unit (everything from the outermost walls, inward).
What is condo (HO6) insurance?
What does condo insurance cover?
Your standard condo insurance policy (called an HO6 policy) provides the following 5 areas of insurance coverage:
- Dwelling (aka your unit) including damages to improvements, alterations, additions, etc. you make to your unit
- Personal property, your personal belongings ie. the stuff you own
- Loss of use providing additional living expenses when your place becomes uninhabitable
- Personal liability aka liability coverage when you’re sued or accidentally caused harm to others
- Medical payments to others for covering any issues that arose at your place, or anywhere else (under $5,000)
What doesn’t condo insurance cover?
Also, your condo insurance coverage might not cover you if any damages offered after you left your condo unit vacant for at least a month. That’s because when left unoccupied, your condo is at risk for break-ins and unaddressed maintenance issues.
If you rent out your condo from time to time, you’ll want to look into landlord insurance. This type of policy protects your property and the stuff you own but does not protect your tenant. You’ll want to encourage your tenants to get their own renters insurance policy (or make it mandatory in your lease!).
How much does condo insurance cost?
At Lemonade, a condo insurance policy starts at around $25 per month. However, your personalized price depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Your deductible
- The age of your building
- Your chosen coverage amounts
- Your location
How much condo insurance do I need to buy?
Need help figuring how much your stuff is worth? Here’s our quick guide. If you don’t own very much stuff alone, $10,000 might be a good starting point. But if you’ve gathered a good amount of furniture, clothing, and valuable items, you might want to get personal property coverage closer to $20,000 or $30,000
Working out the amount of coverage isn’t only about protecting your Personal Property. You’ll also need to work out how much coverage you’ll need for Personal Liability Insurance and Loss of Use.
Personal liability insurance protects you if someone is injured anywhere on your property. Let’s say your kid has a friend over, and he slips in the backyard and breaks his wrist. Or your pet pooch gets a little snappy and bites a guest. Thanks to your liability insurance, you may be covered for legal fees and medical bills.
Loss of Use will help you with temporary living expenses if your place becomes uninhabitable due to a peril like a fire, mandatory evacuation, etc. Your loss of use coverage will help take care of the additional funds you’ll need if disaster strikes.
Let’s say you’re forced out of your home due to a windstorm, vandalism or fire and have to stay at a hotel. If your policy includes adequate loss of use coverage, you won’t have to pay a penny!
Your policy will reimburse you for any added costs of living you’re forced to make, including moving costs, temporary storage, and parking.
What’s the difference between homeowners insurance and condo insurance?
Whereas homeowners own and are responsible for everything on their property (home, garage, fence, etc.), condo owners with HO6 policies are only responsible for the outermost walls of their unit, inward.
A homeowners association (HOA) or condo association will most likely have a master policy on the actual building, covering everything outside of the walls, including common areas and the surrounding property.
Let’s say a guest gets injured in the backyard of your place. If you live in a condo, you wouldn’t be liable. Your homeowners association’s insurance would be on the hook.
If you live in a home, however, your homeowners policy would be doing the heavy lifting.
Why do I need condo insurance?
As discussed above, while your HOA may cover common areas and the property your place is on, it doesn’t cover your unit itself (walls, ceilings, floors, etc.) or the stuff inside (including you!). So if you live in a condo, you’ll want to make sure to have all of that covered with your condo policy 🙂
Pro tip: Take a good hard look at everything you own and your lifestyle, and make sure you have enough additional coverage for every scenario.
A good way to figure this out is to ask yourself, if something were to happen to your stuff, how much would you be able to cover out of pocket… today. All of it? Some? None? That’s where condo insurance helps out: you pay on a monthly basis, so if anything bad happens, you’ll be covered.