Owning a condominium has its benefits. For a fee each month your grass is mowed, the pool is maintained and the building is insured among numerous other things. But what about the inside of your unit? Just because the building is insured does not mean the inside of your unit is insured. Before you assume that the inside of your condominium unit will be repaired if something catastrophic occurs, consult with your association manager and insurance agent.
Catastrophic damage to the inside of your condominium is not limited to hurricanes or fire. A ruptured water line or hot water heater from units adjacent to or above you can and will cause significant damage to the interior of your unit costing thousands of dollars. Over the years here in North Florida, we have even experienced damage from ruptured water lines associated with freezing temperatures.
Generally speaking, a condominium building policy only insures the building, unit studs and drywall. To determine exactly what the association is obligated to cover under their policy, refer to the Declaration of Condominiums. If you own a condominium you should insure your unit with an HO-6 Condominium Unit Owners Policy, even if your unit is a rental unit. Most HO-6 policies offer dwelling coverage and contents coverage.
The dwelling portion of the policy covers additions and alterations, succinctly put, anything screwed or glued. This is includes (but not limited to) sheetrock, cabinets, baseboards and floor coverings (wood flooring or carpet). The contents portion of the policy includes (but not limited to) anything portable such as drapes, pots, pans, bedding, dressers. For specifics on the HO-6 condominium policy, please consult with your insurance agent.
The likelihood of your condominium being damaged by ruptured pipes or hot water heater is greater than that of a hurricane, fire or flood. When it does happen it can sometimes go undetected for days, if your unit is vacant, causing significant damage. It is not uncommon for a unit to be damaged to the extent that a complete renovation, including kitchen cabinetry and tile flooring, has to be undertaken to restore the unit to its previous condition.
If you have a condominium unit and do not have unit coverage because you think the association’s policy will cover your unit, think again and contact your insurance agent. The association’s policy does not cover the inside of your unit, regardless of fault.
Thanks to Leah Hall of 8 Flags Insurance with your guidance and direction.