Home insurance covers the entire structure of the home along with the owner’s personal property. Renters insurance doesn’t cover any of the structure, be it apartment or home. It starts with the person’s personal property. Condo policies straddle the space between a home insurance policy and a renter’s policy.
If we start with the policy the condo association holds, it covers everything you see when standing outside and looking at your building including;
- The building’s exterior walls & roof
- The interior building structure (framework including the wiring & plumbing in the walls)
- Anything related to common areas (covered parking, light fixtures, elevators, hallways, etc.)
- It also protects the association in the event of a liability lawsuit
The condo policy starts with a different perspective. Stand in your condo and look at everything you see in your home. That’s what your policy covers and that includes;
- Everything from the sheetrock in
- Floor coverings (carpet, tile, hardwoods, laminate, etc.)
- Light fixtures
- Plumbing fixtures (toilets, sinks, tubs, showers)
- It also covers the owner’s personal property or contents (furniture, clothing, electronics, etc.)
- It also provides medical and liability coverage
There needs to be enough coverage in the policy to;
- Replace / rebuild your home if something happens to it (major water loss, fire, etc.)
- Replace your personal property or stuff
How much coverage you need begins with understanding how nice the finish out is in your condo; the grade of cabinetry, countertops, plumbing fixtures, carpet, window treatments, etc. Some simple rules of thumb are;
- Builder’s grade or economy level finish out will run $40 to $50 a square foot
- Semi-custom finish out runs from $50 to $75 a square foot
- Custom finish out ranges from $75 to $125 a square foot
- Luxury finish out $130 a square foot on up
Add to that figure the amount of coverage for your personal property and that is what we recommend for the total amount of coverage. Most companies will combine these two amounts into one number for personal property. A few are beginning to show one amount for the condo and another for your personal property simply because your mortgage company cares about how much coverage is on your home!
Do you have a question about condo insurance? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet me (@wiseinsgroup), or post it in our comments section or on our Facebook page. We’re here to help and that includes answering questions!