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What is Condo Insurance?

Massachusetts residents who own condominium units have unique insurance needs. They typically need more coverage than renters do but not quite as much as people who own single-family houses. Condo insurance policies are specifically crafted to meet the particular insurance needs of condominium owners.

Like renters and homeowners policies, condo insurance policies typically have several coverages that create a network of protection. These coverages can usually be adjusted to meet an individual’s specific needs.

What Coverages Do Condominium Insurance Policies Offer?

Since coverages can often be adjusted, the protections included in condominium insurance policies frequently vary. Nonetheless, there are three primary coverages that most policies make available as either standard or optional protections:

    ● Structural Coverage, which may cover the physical structures within a unit
    ● Personal Property Coverage, which may cover a policyholder's belongings
    ● Liability Coverage, which may cover policyholders against certain lawsuits

Some policies also make loss assessment and other coverages available. Loss assessment coverage might help cover special assessments that an association levies to cover the association’s own deductible if there’s a complex-wide insurance claim.

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What Structural Coverage Options Do Condominium Insurance Policies Have?

In most cases, condominium insurance policies provide one of three types of structural coverage:

     ● Bare walls-in coverage usually covers only the walls of a unit
     ● Single entity coverage usually covers the walls and standard features in a unit
     ● Modified single entity coverage usually covers walls, standard and upgraded features in a unit

Do Condonminium Policies Cover Floods and Earthquakes?

Most condo policies don’t extend coverage to either floods or earthquakes. Condo owners who want protection against these risks normally have to purchase separate peril-specific policies. Earthquake coverage is generally purchased on the open market. Flood coverage may be purchased on the open market or through the National Flood Insurance Program if a policyholder lives in a qualifying area.

Who in Massachusetts Needs Condominium Insurance?

Most Massachusetts residents who own a condominium unit should have this form of insurance. In many cases, unit owners are required by the terms of their mortgage or their association’s bylaws to carry a policy. Unit owners who don’t have such requirements typically still are wise to purchase a policy, for incidents can cause devastating losses if no protection is in place.

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What Are HO-6 Policies?

“HO-6” is simply the abbreviation used within the insurance industry to identify standard condo policies. These policies are grouped with homeowners policies, which is why “HO” appears in the abbreviation. Most HO-6 policies offer similar lists of coverages. 
In addition to HO-6, unit owners may see several other abbreviations when comparing policies. Two common ones are:

     ● HO-32, which is usually an open-perils condo policy that offers broader protection
     ● HO-35, which is usually a policy that includes loss assessment coverage (see above)

An insurance agent who’s familiar with the details of condo policies can explain these and other abbreviations in further detail.

How Are Condo Policies Premiums’ Determined?

Insurance companies take into account many factors when setting condo policies’ premiums. A condo’s size and location, and a policyholder’s past claims history are just a few of the items that can influence how much a policy costs.

How Can Condominium Owners in Massachusetts Get Condo Insurance?

For help finding condo insurance for a unit that you own, contact the independent insurance agents at John P. Russell Insurance. Our team will help you compare policies from multiple insurers in Massachusetts, examining coverages and premiums to determine which of the available policies is best for your situation.

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