If you think insurance for your condominium is covered by your association fees, think again. Typically, your monthly condo fees are used to fund a building insurance policy. This generally provides coverage for perils outside of your unit like the building’s structure and covers liability if someone is hurt on the property outdoors.

But if your unit is robbed or damaged, building insurance will not provide coverage for your personal possessions. You also won’t have protection from personal liability if someone is injured inside your unit. To protect your belongings and yourself, you need to purchase a personal home insurance policy for condos (called an HO-6).

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What does condo association master policy cover?

How much condo insurance you need depends on your condo association's master policy. 

Condo and co-op owners should first review their association's master insurance policy to find out what that policy covers, and what it doesn't. In most cases, that building insurance policy should cover physical damage and liability for common areas such as the hallways, roof, basement, elevator, boiler and common walkways.

Co-ops and condominium associations also can obtain coverage for sewer backups, seepage, floods, earthquakes, employee dishonesty and changes in municipal rules and regulations. For older buildings, another option is liability coverage for claims resulting from exposure to lead-based paint.

Key Takeaways

  • Condo home insurance (HO-6) policies protect against loss or damage to your personal possessions plus covers personal liability (if someone is injured in your unit) and additional living expense.
  • Find out what your condo association’s master insurance policy covers. Most master policies cover common areas but some also cover standard fixtures in each unit --while others cover only bare walls.
  • Optional condo insurance coverage can include flood, earthquake, and floaters for jewelry, collectibles and computers.

In some cases, the building association's insurance policy also covers the standard fixtures in each unit. The condo owner might only be responsible for personal property inside the unit and for any additions or alterations made to the original structure, such as new carpeting. In other situations, the building policy covers only the bare walls, leaving condo owners responsible for insuring anything inside a unit such as cabinets, carpeting and bathroom fixtures.

Average condo insurance rates by states

State $40,000 $60,000 $80,000 $100,000
North Dakota$292$326$361$396
Vermont$316$350$382$415
Wyoming$372$394$421$447
Iowa$364$412$455$499
Hawaii$358$413$464$517
West Virginia$355$413$471$531
Nebraska$375$432$482$539
South Dakota$383$442$498$553
Virginia$368$444$520$596
Maryland$382$449$511$573
Washington$429$485$537$591
Alaska$431$488$539$590
Montana$426$489$539$586
DC$420$491$566$643
Minnesota$432$492$548$607
Delaware$420$496$565$639
Maine$411$497$574$654
Ohio$433$497$556$619
Utah$456$498$537$577
New York$467$543$615$690
New Mexico$490$545$604$671
California$466$553$637$723
Missouri$517$573$625$681
Wisconsin$518$577$630$684
Oregon$532$600$661$722
Indiana$525$602$671$744
Rhode Island$503$603$696$788
Kentucky$533$614$687$761
Pennsylvania$540$614$676$742
Nevada$548$624$695$768
New Hampshire$565$626$684$745
Idaho$523$629$723$829
Kansas$557$634$709$786
South Carolina$552$645$733$827
New Jersey$553$650$726$814
Arizona$602$662$740$818
Illinois$590$669$739$804
Michigan$607$694$775$844
North Carolina$553$698$832$966
Massachusetts$577$710$836$963
Tennessee$642$749$835$936
Colorado$674$757$834$912
Connecticut$686$823$941$1,065
Arkansas$770$867$958$1,048
Louisiana$779$887$990$1,093
Alabama$784$900$1,016$1,124
Mississippi$802$960$1,133$1,288
Georgia$821$979$1,115$1,186
Texas$807$990$1,167$1,325
Oklahoma$1,025$1,121$1,220$1,339
Florida$1,051$1,293$1,486$1,555

Other condo insurance coverage options to consider

Cash or replacement value. You can insure your personal possessions for either the cash value or their replacement cost. With cash value coverage, you receive the value of the item minus depreciation, while replacement value pays the current cost to replace the item. Replacement value costs more, but it guarantees you'll be able to replace your items. 

Deductible amount. What level of deductible can you afford? A higher deductible can mean lower insurance premiums, but if something happens, be prepared to pay out that high amount.

Unit or loss assessment. If your co-op or condo building is damaged by an insured disaster or its members are sued, and the cost of that damage is not fully covered by the association's policy, this type of coverage would pay for your share of an assessment charged to all unit owners.

Flood or earthquake. Generally HO-6 homeowners/condo policies don't include coverage for either floods or earthquakes. If you live in an area where either might occur, consider adding that coverage. 

Floaters. Most policies set limits for items like jewelry, collectibles, and computers. If you own expensive items, you can pay extra premiums to have those items fully insured under what is called a floater. Without a floater, a policy will cover such items only under general categories and offer reimbursement up to a maximum of only a few thousand dollars (limits vary). For example, a standard policy may cover only up to $1,000 for jewelry without a floater.

Discounts. Insurance companies offer an array of discounts. Factors that could reduce your premiums include smoke detectors, alarm systems, deadbolt locks, closed-circuit television, a secured-entry system or a doorman. If you insure your unit with the same company that underwrites your building's insurance policy, you might get an additional reduction in premium. You also could qualify for a multi-line discount if you purchase your condo/co-op and auto insurance from the same company. More discounts might be available depending on your age or whether you're a non-smoker. Building location may play a role in your rates. Typically, the better quality and newer the dwelling, the lower your premiums will be.