Why Every Condo Owner Needs Their Own Insurance

By: Curt Levine, Plastridge Insurance Agency

When you own property in Florida, and there is a Condo Association, you have a few decisions to make about your insurance. Many people believe their Condo Association will fix damages from the inside out, but we want you to know what your responsibility is as a unit owner in your community and the differences between a Condo Association and an HOA and how they are covered by insurance.

For Condo Associations, each member individually owns their unit but maintains a joint ownership in the building and its grounds. In an HOA, the homeowners own their lots and homes, and the Community Association owns common areas. Homeowners have no vested interest in common areas owned by the Community Association. So, if someone slips and falls in the community parking lot, the Association’s coverage applies. If someone slips and falls in your kitchen, the Association is off the hook, and you are responsible.

The Association Master policy typically covers the outside while you cover the inside. That means coverage for items for your exclusive use, like counters, flooring, sinks and cabinetry, etc., are your responsibility. To plug the gaps, you will have to purchase H06 insurance and contents coverage. This pertains to everyone regardless of whether you live in an HOA, Coop or Condo Association.

What does the HO6 policy cover* that your Master policy doesn’t?

  • Personal liability
  • Personal property (contents)
  • Special Assessments
  • Loss of use
  • Medical payments

Your Master Association’s liability policy only applies if a visitor or resident is injured in the property’s common areas – like elevators, lobbies, walkways, swimming pools and clubhouses. Personal liability insurance provided by an H06 policy protects you and members of your household when you’re responsible (liable) for bodily injury or property damage to others. If your child accidently knocks their friend down the stairs and breaks his arm, you’ll be glad you have H06 coverage. It could also pay settlements to injured parties, or cover the cost of defending you from lawsuits.

Personal property coverage applies to everything in your unit that is not a fixture. This means electronics, toys, furniture, décor, clothing, books, kitchen equipment, etc. H06 personal property coverage applies to your goods while they are at home and also when you take them away.

Special assessments are when the HOA’s insurance is exceeded or a loss isn’t covered, so an assessment is needed to raise the money. Every unit owner will share the cost, and the HO6 will cover your share.

Loss of use coverage kicks in when your unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event which forces you to move out temporarily, so you will receive money to stay elsewhere until your place can be cleaned up and restored.

If a visitor in your home slips and breaks an ankle, your H06 takes care of their medical payments for the ER visit.

Protecting your investment and your finances is important and the right policy can help.

*Coverages vary by policy, so a conversation with your agent will help you better understand.

If you would like to contact the author with questions or are interested in insurance for your Condo Association or HOA, please call Curt Levine at (561) 819-1671 or email him at clevine@plastridge.com

For personal insurance call Dyanne Mariano at 561-276-5221 or email her at dmariano@plastridge.com

**Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes. Royale Management Services does not endorse or recommend any particular insurance provider.**