HO-6 Insurance: Understanding Condo Insurance

Condo owners have very specific property insurance needs. While condo owners have dominion over their individual unit, homeowners associations are usually responsible for the exterior of the building as well as lawn and landscaping features. Likewise, there is an incredible amount of variance in the governing laws of different homeowner's associations that frequently affect the insurance needs of condo owners. As such, HO-6 insurance policies are customized for individual policyholders more often than other types of home insurance.

HO-6 Condo Insurance vs. HO-4 Renters Insurance

HO-6 condo insurance is similar, in many ways, to HO-4 renters insurance. The primary asset protected by both polices are the home contents and personal belongings of the policyholder. But whereas renters are primarily concerned electronics, furniture, and wardrobe, condo owners can be equally concerned with appliances, floors, fixtures, etc. Moreover, one of the most commonly overlooked but vital benefits for both HO-4 and HO-6 insurance is liability coverage. If you leave the oven on, a candle burning, or some other form of negligence causes damage to surrounding units, you want your insurance policy to protect you from this liability and financial ruin.

HO-6 Insurance: No Small Purchase

The cost of HO-6 insurance is usually inexpensive with small deductible, but this insurance, nevertheless, protects a huge chunk of your property's worth. A kitchen area with custom-made cabinets, engineered stone counters, hardwood flooring, and new, energy-efficient appliances can exceed $100,000 in value by itself. Indeed, when attributing the value of a $350,000 property --be it a condo or a single-family dwelling --most people tend to overestimate the value of the building exterior and underestimate the value of the interior systems and amenities. Often, HO-6 insurance policies are relatively cheap not because they protect cheap assets but because the insurance risk is comparatively low. The bureaucratic and political aspects of your homeowner's association can get on your nerves in a hurry, but there's no doubt these insulated communities and the security measures they provide create a buffer against common thieves and social malcontents.

Tips for Buying HO-6 Condo Insurance

  • The first step in buying condo insurance is checking with your homeowner's association to see what insurance is already provided for the unit. This insurance, sometimes called a Masters policy, rarely covers personal property or interior spaces, but some policies cover more than others, such as condo owner's liability. Moreover, there may be certain requirements or restrictions for the condo insurance you buy, as determined by the governing rules of the homeowners association.
  • One of the most important items to consider in this Masters Policy is the coverage cap for damages. If your building experiences a total property loss, this Masters Policy may run out. To fully protect your condo in this type of event, you should buy contingent or loss assessment coverage, which specifically address this problem.
  • Once you have the broad strokes for your HO-6 condo insurance needs, you still need to follow general guidelines for home insurance policies. Consider how local climatic dangers might require supplemental insurance, such as flood or earthquake insurance. Moreover, make sure your condo is outfitted with safety and security measures, such as smoke alarms and security systems, that will lead to discounted premiums.
  • Of these general guidelines, shopping for online insurance quotes is quickly becoming a new staple. With an online referral service, like NetQuote, not only will online quotes reduce overhead leading to lower rates, but you'll be able to comparison shop in just a fraction of the time. Plus, you'll be able to talk to insurance agents about the details of your policy, premiums, deductibles, and coverage limitations from the comfort of your own home.

See how much you could save today on your home insurance. Get your free online insurance quotes today!