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There are certainly advantages to owning a condominium. No yard work other that what you grow on your balcony or patio. Garbage day for most is any day they toss a bag down the chute. For many people, condominiums offer the benefits of home ownership without the responsibilities of a single house and large lot.
But homeowners insurance can get a little tricky. As a joint owner of the condominium public areas, exteriors, etc., each unit is responsible for paying a monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fee to cover items like property insurance. HOAs generally have one of two types of master policies: Bare walls-in and All-in.
The bare walls-in covers all real property from the exterior framing inward, but stops at fixtures and installations within the condo unit. Anything within your four walls is your responsibility. The all-in policy covers fixtures, installations or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors and ceilings of individual units. These policies typically have deductibles which are assessed from each unit owner. You can obtain assessment liability coverage through a homeowners policy. Check with the HOA to see what the master policy covers.
Much like a single-dwelling owner, your condo needs to be covered by homeowners insurance. If your condo is mortgaged and/or there is a line of credit, you must have homeowners insurance. Most policies cover structural damage, in this case the interior of your unit, damage to or loss of personal belongings, liability protection, and coverage for additional living expenses.
As with any insurance decision, it is best to consult your agent or broker to figure out which protections you need. Make an appointment and make sure you will be covered when you need it.