What is Condo Insurance?

Condominium unit owners have specialized insurance needs. Generally, unit owners are required to carry more protection than a renter’s policy offer, but less coverage than a homeowner’s policy. Condo insurance is uniquely written to give condominium owners the particular mix of protections for their own unit, as well as provide excess coverage to common areas according to the specific condominium association bylaws.

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What is an HO-6 Condo Form Policy?

Within the insurance industry, condominium insurance falls within the domain of homeowners insurance. Being a variation of a homeowner’s policy, condominium policies are also abbreviated with a combination of “HO” and a number. The abbreviation for a condominium policy is referred to as an “HO-6.” 

The HO-6 policy is a broad form plan designed to protect against losses to both dwelling and personal property arising from 16 named perils including fire or lightning, falling objects and vandalism.

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What Coverages Are Included in Condominium Insurance Policies?

Condominium insurance policies provide three main coverages. These coverages are:

  • Dwelling Coverage, which covers physical damage to the owner-occupied unit
  • Personal Property Coverage, will pay for damage to personal belongings
  • Personal Liability Coverage, designed to protect an insured from lawsuits resulting from the legal responsibility of bodily injury or property damage to others

Of these three coverages mentioned above, Dwelling coverage tends to vary the most per individual unit owner.  This is due to unique Condominium Master Policies, which may be primary for some losses.  There are also a wide range of Condominium bylaws that may impact the required Dwelling coverage limits and deductible.

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How Much Structural Coverage Should Massachusetts Condominium Owners Have?

As previously mentioned, the amount of Dwelling coverage will vary depending on the Condominium Association’s Master Policy and Condominium Association Bylaws. There are two common types of Master Policies which provide a different level of protection for structures within individual units:

  • Single Entity policies, designed to cover all real property but only the cost required to return the building and units to the original condition
  • All-in policies, similar to single entity policies as they cover all real property of the unit, but these policies extend coverage to permanently installed fixture upgrades

In most cases, unit owners require a Condominium policy that covers the Master policy deductible and to fill any gaps in the Master policies coverage.

Condo policy coverage can be enhanced by purchasing endorsements or policy packages.  Scheduled Personal Property, Special Personal Property Personal Injury and Loss Assessment Coverages are among many additional options available.  Ask one of our agents about the advantages of purchasing optional endorsements for your HO-6 policy!

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How Can Condominium Owners in Massachusetts Obtain Condo Insurance?

When shopping for a Condo policy, condominium owners must fully review their Association's Master Policy and Bylaws. This generally requires time and patience. Understanding what limits and loss types that are, or are not covered, and sifting through technical terms is not an easy task.  For help going through this process, contact our Personal Lines agents that understand how to write a comprehensive Condo policy!  As a respected independent agency, we can compare coverage and rates from multiple insurance carriers.  By providing our agents with your Master Policy and Condominium Association bylaw information, we can deliver you an affordable policy to compliment the Association’s Master policy.

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