A typical condo unit-owners policy covers the following:

Personal Property

Personal Liability

Improvements & betterments you’ve made to your unit

We want to assist all unit owners with some information that will prove useful when looking at your own unit owner’s coverage. To help you understand what coverage the master policy affords for improvements and betterments we have included the chart below so you know what homeowner insurance to purchase on your unit. Insurance companies have their own unique way of insuring improvements and betterment on a master policy.

request a quote

The choice falls into five major categories: "all-in", "all-in per condo documents", "original specifications" “All-out”. See definitions below:

ALL-in

This means the master policy will insure any improvements to the building made by unit-owners. Even though the unit-owner might have spent large sums of money to modernize the kitchen and bath, the improvements would be covered on the master policy. The unit owner doesn’t need to insure the improvements on a homeowner’s policy. The insurance companies that offer "all-in" coverage usually do so with an endorsement.

All-in per Condo DOCUMENTS

The insurance policy refers to the insurance section of the condominium documents to interpret what is covered on the master policy.

original specifications

Coverage only includes property in "units" and private storage areas which were initially installed in accordance with your condominium's original plans and specifications. If you have original specification coverage it means: All-in with exception that improvements or betterment's are not covered on your master policy.

ALL-OUT

Policy only covers the exterior of the building and will not cover any interior finishes (e.g., flooring, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, etc.).

Some recommended coverages:

The master policy covers the building and the association’s liability exposures. This is subject to the type of building coverage and the master policy deductible. The association’s policy will not cover personal liability for unit owners, damages to unit owner’s personal property, any assessment charges assessed by the association, or loss of use associated with a claim. In addition, some betterments and improvements that may seem permanent may not be covered (e.g., lighting fixtures/chandeliers, draperies, non-permanent floor coverings, etc.).

If you do not have ‘all-in’ coverage, then the association’s policy will also not cover the structural damages to the interior of units.

Therefore unit owners need to carry unit owner’s coverage, otherwise known as an HO-6 policy. (Those who are renting their unit must have a “unit rented to others” endorsement on the policy).

This will allow you to cover your personal liability, personal property, non-covered betterments and any potential loss assessments. The unit owner’s policy should also respond toward a portion of the master policy deductible, if this is determined to be the responsibility of the unit owners.

1. dwelling

At least 20% of a unit’s appraised value unless condo documents indicate “all in” coverage. If condo documents indicate All In coverage, then at least $10,000 over the master policy deductible. This will be sufficient to cover the master policy deductible and some potentially uncovered betterments/improvements.

• Please make sure the dwelling limit has the special coverage endorsement which expands the range of perils insured against.2. PERSONAL PROPERTY3. LOSS OF USE4. LIABILITY COVERAGE5. OTHER COVERAGES TO THINK ABOUT

2. personal property

This is up to your discretion but should cover everything you have moved into your unit. Imagine turning your unit upside down and shaking it; everything that falls out is your personal property. Minimum coverages can range from $10,000 - $25,000 depending on the insurance carrier.

• Some items such as jewelry, fine art, firearms, furs and musical instruments may not be covered by the personal property limit and need to be scheduled for an additional premium.

• Please make sure the personal property limit has the special coverage endorsement which expands the range of perils insured against.

• This coverage is typically worldwide and covers your belongings if they are damaged/stolen from your car or on vacation, not just in your home.

3. loss of use

This is offered automatically as a percentage of your personal property coverage. In the event of a claim this coverage will pay to house you while your building/unit is being repaired. If the unit is a rental it may pay for lost rental income.

4. liability coverage

We recommend at least $500,000, but $1,000,000 is even better. This is one of the more important coverages and costs relatively little.

• Personal liability protects you in the event that you are sued for bodily injury or property damage caused by your negligence. For example, this could result from a slip-and-fall accident that occurs on your premises, a dog bite incident or a water leak into your downstairs neighbor caused by your negligence.

5. title

• Loss assessment – this coverage will help pay for any assessments by the condo association that are associated with an insurable loss.

• Water/Sewer Backup coverage – This will cover any damage resulting from a backup of sewers or drains that may damage your unit or personal belongings.

We would love to answer any questions that you might have. Our policies have all the bells and whistles and you can typically bundle the unit owner’s policy with your auto insurance for significant discounts on both.

Worried you aren’t completely covered? Consider purchasing an umbrella insurance policy that extends your liability coverage above and beyond what is provided by your homeowner’s policy.

Clients who find out about their coverage only after a claim are often disappointed, frustrated, and at a loss. Please plan appropriately and contact us for a personalized one-on-one consultation to ensure your property and family are properly protected.

Contact Massachusetts business and Personal insurance Agency

Best Massachusetts Carriers For Insurance Coverage