Condo Master Insurance: All You Need To Know

Condo master insurance covers the physical structure of a condominium and any common areas within it. It is sometimes called Condominium Association Insurance or an HOA Master Policy. All condominium complexes require condo master insurance because it protects the association and the unit owners.

What is Covered?
Condo master policies, from companies like Garrity Insurance, protect the condominium association from being responsible for damages that occur to the exterior of the building or the common areas inside. It also protects the HOA from personal injury claims related to the property. Condo master insurance usually covers any damage or injury on playgrounds, parks, parking garages, walking trails, or grassy areas.

Common Areas
Most condominium complexes have common areas that residents share. These common areas include fitness centers, pools, hot tubs, event spaces, a clubhouse, and a master office. Most master policies cover these common areas.

Bare Walls-In Coverage
Like most insurance coverage, policy language determines what the plan will cover. For the physical structure, three options are usually available. Bare walls-in coverage only includes materials necessary to build the units, including the drywall, insulation, wiring, piping, roofing, framing, and the exterior. This type of policy does not cover anything inside the unit.

Single-Entity Coverage
Some HOAs may choose a single-entity coverage. This coverage includes the items listed above and some built-in items, like light fixtures and finishes. This insurance only covers the original items of the unit. If an owner upgrades after purchase, these items are not covered.

All-In Coverage
An all-in policy includes everything above and most built-in appliances and upgrades the owners make to the unit anytime after purchase. This could include granite countertops, upgraded appliances, and new flooring. Condo owners protected by an all-in policy will likely only need additional insurance for their personal belongings.

When damage occurs in a condominium-covered area, the association flies a claim and pays a deductible. Usually, the HOA divides the deductible among the condo owners. This makes repairs with high deductibles easier to take care of. Condo master insurance policies have liability coverage to common areas, meaning that if someone is injured while using a common area, that person is protected.

There are dollar limits to master condo insurance policies, and when an association reaches the limit, they are responsible for paying the remaining expenses out of pocket. Individual owner's condo insurance policies often pick up where master condo insurance ends, so it is essential to have good coverage in both places.

Understanding Coverage
While no one expects these things to happen, vandalism, wind, fire, and other natural disasters occur. Associations can incur medical fees as well as legal fees associated with such perils.

Is Personal Condo Insurance Necessary?
Even the best master condo insurance doesn't provide complete coverage for individual condo owners. Owners will want to protect their personal belongings like electronics, jewelry, small appliances, and other items of value. Many people use a mortgage to purchase a condo, and most mortgage companies require that owners have a condo insurance policy, also called an HO-6. This is a personal condo owner's only way to ensure their belongings are protected.

Damages to condos can be extremely costly, and master condo insurance can help. With personal condo insurance in addition to the master policy, owners can be sure their belongings and home are protected.

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