3 Secrets about Condo Insurance in South Florida

Blog

Facts and requirements for Condo Insurance in South Florida

Condos can be excellent
investments, particularly for those who want a home of their own but don’t want
to deal with yard maintenance and other issues that come with a single-family
home. Like any other home, you’ll need insurance on your condo unit, but how
much coverage should you buy, and what items should you insure? What does the
property’s master policy cover, and what does the association provide versus
what’s left for you to cover? Condo unit insurance is perhaps the most
difficult type of policy to set up, but a few tips can help guide you through
this process.

     1. Look at the Association Documents

First
and foremost, you need to determine what the association is responsible for
covering, and what’s been left to individual unit owners. You won’t find this
information in the master policy, though. You’ll need to dig out your
association documents and find the declaration page. This spells out exactly
what’s covered by the association, as well as what you are required to cover as
the owner. If the declaration page isn’t clear, it’s best to assume that you’re
obliged to cover everything beyond the bare floor and bare walls.

Note:
understand that master policies vary from one property to another. One condo
association might cover everything from the paint on your interior walls to the
outside building walls. Others split the interior wall, meaning that everything
from the midpoint inward is your responsibility, and that can include plumbing.
Obviously, it’s vital that you learn exactly what’s covered and what’s not so
you can make an informed decision.

2.
Structural Items

Once
you’ve determined the extent of the master plan coverage, you’ll need to make a
list of all the structural items you’re required to cover. Estimate the cost of
maintenance, the cost of labor, and the cost of materials necessary to replace
them. Increase that amount by about 20% to account for potential errors and
inflation. Don’t be surprised if this number exceeds $100,000.

Note:
You will also need to broaden your loss types covered, and include both perils
and “special perils”. Special perils are often not included on basic insurance
plans, and must be added a la carte. It’s important to cover all potential
damage types here – don’t expect the association to kick in and help you when
disaster strikes, because they probably won’t (and they’re likely not required
to in the first place).

3.
Value Your Belongings

While
protecting against structural damage is important, you also need to protect
your belongings against damage and loss. The first step to this is an accurate
estimate of their value. Don’t underestimate the value of your possessions, and
inventory everything, from your TV and surround sound system to your washer and
dryer, kitchen appliances, media and even your clothing. You might even want to
take out a special rider if you have a lot of electronics in the home (PCs,
laptops, tablets, etc.). What would it take to replace all of your items in
today’s market?

Factor
in the fixtures and features within your home as well. This should include
things like your bathtub, light fixtures, wood floors, sliding glass doors and
more.

Note:
make sure you’re purchasing a policy that provides you with replacement cost
for your possessions and fixtures. While a cash value policy is cheaper, it
won’t give you enough to replace your items because it doesn’t reimburse you
for item depreciation. Replacement cost policies give you the money necessary
to repurchase those items today.

Condo insurance in South
Florida is important and rules vary per county. Working with an experienced
insurance provider is the single best option for your needs. Avante Insurance
provides many solutions for your property needs. Contact one of our experts toanswer all the questions you may have