Owning a condo in Florida is just a dream to many but to you, it’s a reality. However, there are insurance needs that you need to be aware of, even if the condominium association has insurance because you still need to be sure that your personal belongings and the inside structure is protected against a variety of scenarios that will cost you money if they happen to occur.
What to Keep in Mind
Even the most sophisticated homeowner doesn’t always realize that when they own a condominium that they should get the same protection they would for their home. Your condominium is your home, and it is not protected from a certain insurable circumstances even when the Condominium Association has their own insurance.
This is because you own your condominium and are responsible for it. A condominium purchase is an important investment and should be treated as one, right down to every little detail – especially insurance. If you plan to rent your condo please check our article “Thinking of Turning Your Condo Into A Vacation Rental“.
Structure vs Content
Having coverage for both the structure and the contents is imperative. For instance, the structure would be everything that makes up the condo itself such as flooring, counter tops, cabinets, lighting, carpeting, etc. If you were to remove all your items such as furniture and personal belongings, what is left is the structure. Items that make up content includes your items such as furniture, jewelry, electronics, area rugs, and collectibles.
Of course, it is also important to discuss your needs with your agent if you have special items such as collectible baseball cards or expensive artwork.
What the Association Insurance Won’t Cover
If the Condominium Association has insurance, you can rest assured that there is coverage for the building’s common areas, as well as liability insurance. However, this will not help you in the event of something that happens to the interior of your home. For instance, here are a few of the things that are not covered under the Condominium Association or Homeowner’s Association:
- Burglary or Theft. If someone breaks into your condominium and robs you, the Condominium Association is not going to be responsible for your loss.
- Water Damage. If your condominium is flooded, without the proper insurance you are looking at an out-of-pocket expense to repair the damage. Whether it is a hot water heater, washer, or even an act of nature, the inside of your home needs protection that condominium insurance provides.
- Accidents in the Condo. No one wants to think about someone hurting themselves while on your property. However, if a guest slips and falls or injures themselves while inside of your condo then you are responsible for their medical expenses and even pain and suffering if they decide to pursue it. A wet floor, a bulge in the carpet, or even an injury that is simply an accident can all cause unwanted expenses and potentially ruin a friendship.
- Fire. If a fire breaks out in your condo from anything that is not the condominium’s fault, you must pay out of your own pocket. For instance, there was a pan left on the stove or lightning struck your condo and caused a fire.
- Wind Damage. Living in Florida, you are aware of wind damage. Tropical storms, hurricanes, or just high winds means that you are at risk of having property damage that is not covered by the association.
- Vandalism. This is another scenario that is hopefully rare but can occur. If someone breaks into your condo and causes vandalism, in most cases you are responsible for the damage unless the criminals are caught, and even then – this is not an immediate fix.
- Frozen Pipes. While Florida isn’t particularly known for its cold weather, if you do have an event where the pipes are frozen, this is the type of thing that condominium insurance will cover.
Peace of Mind
Having condominium insurance ensures (and insures) that you are covered in a variety of scenarios that are not traditionally covered by associations and their insurance policies.
This type of policy protects the inside of the unit as well as your personal property. In addition to that protection, you also have protection for property damage to others and bodily injury through liability protection.
According to Bankrate:
“Every customer should be aware and talk to their agent about any special items and possessions they might have,” she says. “An agent will typically ask about art or jewelry or fur, but things like baseball card collections, stamp collections and things of that nature may not come up in conversation. They should really think about what they have that is important to them so they can make sure they’re covered in case their policies are limited — jewelry, for instance, can often be limited unless you get expanded coverage.”
To talk more about condominium insurance or any of our other services, please contact us so we can answer any concerns you have. We are licensed to handle all your insurance needs and as a local insurance company, we know the unique needs that Florida residents have. So whether you are in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, or Boca Raton, Florida – we can help. We are family owned and operated and have been in the insurance business for over six decades.
Robert Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates are vested members of the community who are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your insurance advocate in times of need.