A key difference between owning a condo or a home is what you’re responsible for insuring. When you purchase a home you’re responsible for the inside and outside of the building structure along with the land surrounding it. With condos’ you’re typically only responsible for the inside of your living space.
In a condo, the building’s structure, land, and common areas are usually owned by you along with the other condo owners and those parts are usually insured by the homeowners association.
Here at Velox, we see a lot of condo owners who have been sold a homeowners insurance policy and in most cases it’s not appropriate. Let’s go through the differences between the insurance coverage you need for a home vs. that for a condo.
We’ll split the comparison up into three sections:
- Dwelling Coverage Differences
- Liability Coverages Differences
- Personal Property Coverage Differences
Dwelling Coverage Differences Between Homeowners and Condo Insurance
With a homeowners insurance policy you’ll typically need enough coverage to pay for the rebuiding cost of the building along with other structures on the property like carports, sheds, gazebos, fences, etc.
With condo insurance you’ll typically only need enough dwelling coverage protection to rebuild the inside of your unit. In most cases this means from the wall studs inward. If there were a loss to the outside of the building including exterior walls, hallways, etc that would be covered by the insurance of the homeowners association. With some of the condo associations we see here in Georgia the interior structures of your unit may also be covered.
Because a homeowner has far more risk a homeowners insurance policy needs more coverage and will cost much more. This is the biggest difference between the two types of insurance.
Since each condo association has different rules and bylaws, it’s important to work with a qualified insurance agent who can help you understand your specific risks so you don’t buy too much or too little condo coverage.
Liability Coverage Differences Between Homeowners and Condo Insurance
Although a home or condo owner can both be held liable for injuries that happen inside the home or off the premises, there is a main difference between the extent of that liability between the two.
Condo insurance will not typically cover liability for accidents or claims that occur throughout the common areas of the condo. Homeowners insurance will coverage liability that occurs anywhere on the owned property.
Because the risk with condo liability is less than that with homeowners insurance liability, the same amount of coverage is also typically less expensive with condo insurance.
But just because a condo owner’s liability may be more limited, that doesn’t mean they should purchase less coverage. Choosing the right amount of liability coverage is more related to your financial situation and the best way to determine the right amount si by working with a licensed insurance professional.
Personal Property Coverage Differences Between Condo and Homeowners Insurance
Personal property insurance coverage operates almost identical with homeowners and condo insurance. The only difference is that the personal property coverage is the primary driver of the cost of a condo insurance policy whereas a homeowners insurance policy is driven more by the rebuilding cost of the dwelling.
If you’re not sure which type of coverage you need in your situation or you just want to be sure you?re paying the lowest possible price for the best coverage on either your homeowners or condo insurance, reach out to your local Velox Insurance agency for a quote. Or click here to get an online quote for homeowners insurance or click here for a condo insurance quote.