If you own a condominium, you’re primarily responsible for insuring it. Which portions of your unit you need coverage for, however, depend on what protections your condo association’s master policy provides. Here’s a step-by-step guide for checking your condo association’s master policy and determining what parts of your condo insurance policy needs to cover.
What Portions of My Condominium Does My Condo Insurance Need to Cover?
Step 1: Request a Copy of Your Condo Association’s Current Master Policy
In order to determine what portions of your condominium your condo insurance should cover, you’re first going to have to obtain a copy of your condo association’s master policy.
You likely received a copy when you first purchased your condo. Such copies are sometimes lost, though, and it may be outdated even if you do still have yours. Therefore, you ought to request a new copy regardless of whether you know where any other copy you received is.
To request a copy of your condo association's current master policy, contact one of the association’s board members. If they can’t furnish a copy, they’ll know who is able to.
Step 2: Review the Declarations Page of Your Association's Master Policy
Once you have a copy of your condo association's master policy, review the policy’s Declarations Page. This page should detail everything that the master policy covers. It may also state what condominium owners are responsible for covering.
Step 3: Cross-Check the Declarations Page with the Type of Master Policy
In theory, everything you need to know in order to determine what coverages your condominium insurance should have is found on the Declarations Page. In practice, though, it’s a good idea to cross-check the Declarations Page with the type of master policy.
What is listed on the Declarations Page should go with the type of master policy your association has. For instance, a bare walls-in policy (which often only covers the walls of condominium units) should have few items listed on its Declarations Page. In contrast, an all-in policy (which offers robust coverages) will likely have many items on its Declarations Page.
Step 4: Get Condo Insurance for Everything Not Mentioned on the Declarations Page
As long as the Declarations Page and type of policy line up, you’re ready to start looking at condominium insurance policies. (If they don’t seem to match, ask your association's board for an explanation before getting condominium insurance.)
Generally speaking, your condominium insurance should cover everything that’s not explicitly listed as being covered by the association's master policy on the Declarations Page. This includes any items that the Declarations Page notes being the condo owner’s responsibility, as well as anything that’s not specifically mentioned on the page. For instance, if your unit has granite countertops and the Declarations Page doesn’t mention anything about upgraded features or countertops, assume you’re responsible for insuring your unit’s countertops.
Sometimes, deciphering exactly what’s meant by the Declarations Page can be challenging. Despite insurer’s best efforts, there can still be ambiguity at times. To make sure you’re fully protected, always error on the side of caution and get coverage for any part of your condominium that’s not clearly protected by the master policy.
Ask an Insurance Agent for Assistance
In order to make sure you’re properly interpreting the Declarations Page, ask a World Insurance Associates agent to go through Steps 2, 3 and 4 with you. An agent will have the knowledge necessary to understand everything on the Declarations Page of your association’s master policy, and an independent one will be able to compare condo insurance policies from multiple insurers to make sure you get one that covers all the parts of your condominium you need protection for.