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Condo Insurance

from Bill White Insurance Agency

Condo Insurance

Condominium insurance is unique. You can almost think of it as a hybrid between a homeowner policy and a renters policy because it has attributes of both.  As the condominium unit owner, you’ll need property insurance to cover some part of the physical structure you own and occupy, as well as your personal property.  On the condominium policy, the amount of personal property and structure coverage is combined into one limit of insurance.  If you’re looking for condominium insurance in Springfield MO, here is some good information to get you started.

What You Need To Know About Missouri Condo Insurance

Like a homeowner or renters policy, the condominium insurance policy covers property against theft and other damage, subject to the limits and deductibles you select. The policy protects your personal property virtually anywhere it’s located with few limitations.

The “what you’re covered for” part, or the actual “perils” you’re insured against, typically comes with a couple of coverage choices.

Broad Form Coverage – lists specific “perils” you are insured against.  A grocery list of the most common causes of loss like fire, lightning, windstorm, theft and so on.  If the peril isn’t on the list, you don’t have coverage. 

Special Form Coverage – works in reverse and says you’re covered for “all risks” of direct physical loss, subject to a list of common exclusions.  Again, a grocery list of common exclusions like earthquake, flood, nuclear hazard, war and so on. Unless the peril is specifically excluded, you’ve got coverage.  Special form coverage is a little more expensive since it’s open to unforeseen perils.

Loss Settlement can work a couple of ways as well.  While actual cash value (ACV) policies still exist, most policies offer replacement cost settlement, which ensures that you will be paid the full replacement cost of items that are damaged or stolen, without any deduction for depreciation.

Also know that whatever coverage option and loss settlement option you select, there may be special limitations on certain categories of personal property like jewelry, coins, guns, furs and silverware to name a few.  Policy limitations are for “loss by theft” specifically for these items, and you may need to arrange a special schedule of insurance for some items.

How Much Condominium Insurance Do You Need?

To begin to answer that question, you really need to understand what ownership of your unit means, and what you’re personally responsible to repair or replace after a loss.  Your condo association will have a policy that covers most of the physical structure and common areas, but the association policy will only replace damaged property to a designated point.  Depending on the association agreement, you will be responsible for the infill of your unit from some point in.  It’s not uncommon for the unit owner to be responsible for everything from the wall studs in, including drywall, paint, floor coverings, cabinetry and countertops, appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures.

Once you have a good idea of the reconstruction cost of the infill for your unit, you need to add in the replacement cost of your personal property.  Include your furnishings, computer and electronics, clothing and other personal belongings.  Add the two, and you’ll have a good idea of how much insurance you need.

Protect Yourself and Your Guests

The liability insurance side of your condo policy protects you and your family against bodily injury and property damage claims for which you may be liable. Legal defense is also provided in the event you are sued after a covered loss, subject to the limits you have selected.

In addition, you can select various limits of medical payments coverage, which will pay for medical expenses incurred by a visitor who is injured at your residence, regardless of who’s at fault.

Optional but Very Important Condo Coverage - Loss Assessment

As a condominium unit owner, you’ll be a member of your condominium association.  As a member, you may occasionally be subject to “loss assessments” or funds collected through mandatory assessments to members.  What are some things for which you as an association member can receive an assessment? Good question. The answer is usually found in association bylaws, but it could be a large property loss to common areas, or a large bodily injury claim paid to a guest that exceeds the limits of the association policy.  If you’ve purchased loss assessment coverage, your condo policy will step in to pay an assessment, charged for a reason that would be covered by insurance, subject to the limit you purchased.  Best advice, buy as much loss assessment coverage as you can.

Extra Coverage Doesn’t Have to Cost a Lot

Many people supplement their condo insurance coverage with personal umbrella liability insurance for broader protection. And remember, if you have special valuable items such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles, ask about our Valuable Articles which provides broader coverage and no deductible in the event of a covered loss.

Find unique insurance that is right for your Missouri condo

Contact us to identify the best combination of coverage, value, and price for you. We can help make sure your Missouri condo insurance continually meets your needs.