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Owning a condominium is an exciting step in life. You now own real estate without the hassle of maintaining an entire building or a yard. You get to be a part of a community of people and know that whenever you’re away from home, you don’t have to worry about the state of your home. Owning a condo allows you ownership of your property at a cheaper price tag than many houses as well. For some, it’s a wise investment as a rental property. For others, their condo becomes their home and they integrate themselves fully into the surrounding community.
For all, owning a condominium comes with a set of responsibilities. Unlike houses, condos often come with a specific set of rules and policies to help maintain the building and keep up a certain appearance. You’re a part of a homeowners association that will have their expectations for how you treat your condo.
One very important decision you’ll need to look at when you purchase your condominium is which condo insurance policy to purchase.
What is Condo Insurance?
You’ve got the keys to your shiny new condo. You’ve started moving boxes in and decorating the interior to your liking. As you settle into your new home, the last thing on your mind is what you would do if your brand-new space were to be damaged or destroyed.
We’re not about to get all doomsday on you, but it is important to think about how prepared you are for a potential disaster. When you live in a condo, not only is your home affected by your choices and events outside of anyone’s control, like natural disasters, but also by the actions or inactions of the other people living in your building.
With a condo, you have less responsibility for the maintenance of your building, which is fantastic! But it also means you have less control over risk factors. Thankfully, many homeowners associations are quite strict with regulations, but accidents happen.
Condo insurance protects you and your property financially should anything happen to your unit. If you’re planning to make your condo your permanent home for the foreseeable future, there’s a high chance that eventually you’ll find yourself facing unexpected expenses.
Don’t allow those expenses to ruin your plans. Make sure you’re covered with the best condo insurance.
Do I Need Condo Insurance?
A question many people turn to when learning about condo insurance is, “is it mandatory?” While condo insurance isn’t required by law, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need it.
If you purchased your condo using a mortgage, it will almost always be required for you to hold condo insurance until your mortgage is completely paid off. In that case, yes, condo insurance is required for you.
But even if you check all the boxes of not being required to hold condo insurance, you should consider whether or not you could afford to cover the costs yourself if something were to happen to your condo, small or large. Condo insurance makes sure that you’re not out of pocket if unexpected expenses arise due to damage, theft, or vandalism. So rather than asking, “do I need condo insurance,” ask, “can I afford not to have it?”
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What is Covered by Condo Insurance in Arkansas?
All plans are not created equal. There are a few coverages that are standard on most plans, but be sure to read your policy carefully to understand what is and isn’t covered. Typical condo insurance plans offer coverage for:
- Liability in case you are at fault in someone getting injured while on your property and decides to take legal action.
- Guest Medical to help cover the medical bills of someone who is injured on your property—whether or not you are at fault.
- Building to cover repairs to the structure of your condo.
- Unit Upgrades for any structural upgrades that weren’t present in the original building.
- Personal Property to protect furniture, clothing, electronics, and other contents of your condo that may be damaged. This is usually covered either by cash value at the time of damage (which may be a cheaper plan because it accounts for depreciation) or replacement cost (which may be more expensive because it does not consider depreciation).
- Living Expenses in case you need to stay in a hotel during repairs or rebuilding.
When considering the coverage you need, be sure to consult your building’s master policy. This will tell you if certain parts of your unit’s structure are covered or not. Some master policies include built-in appliances, cupboards, and fixtures. Others only cover the walls and floors. Some may even require you to cover these yourself.
If you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage, you may be able to add on additional assurances. Coverage like:
How Much Condo Insurance Should I Purchase?
When you look at the people you know, they’re all different. Everyone has different assets and needs. An annoying part of purchasing insurance is that there’s rarely a straight answer to “how much insurance do I need?” Sure, your mortgage loaner might have a minimum requirement, but perhaps your needs differ from their standard numbers.
The best thing you can do is get a customized insurance quote specific to your situation. G&G Independent Insurance specializes in curating quotes personalized to you. We search over 50 companies to find the policies that will fit you like a tailored jacket at a price you can afford!
Ready to find your perfect condo insurance plan?
How Can I Save Money on Condo Insurance?
We’re all looking for ways to save money. But at the same time, we don’t want to skimp on protection and find ourselves paying for it later. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your condo insurance without sacrificing the quality of your coverage.
- Increase your deductibles if you can afford to pay more upfront in case of a disaster.
- Bundle insurance packages. Consider purchasing your car and condo insurance together.
- Adding security and safety features to your condo, or being aware of security and safety features currently in place can reduce premiums because you’re less of a liability.
- Pick an insurer and stick with them. Often discounts are added for long-term holders.
- Alternatively, shop around every few years. Make sure that better offers haven’t arisen by comparing your policy to other policies regularly.
- Annually reassess the value of your assets. If you’ve sold or gotten rid of some things, or if you chose a cash value policy that accounts for depreciation, make sure to adjust the amount of coverage you’re holding for the things you own.
- Ask about discounts. Many discounts exist but aren’t always advertised. Make sure you’re researching the potential discounts available to you.
- Don’t just pick the first company you find. G&G Independent Insurance makes it easier than ever to compare multiple companies at once. Find the best rates for you and create a custom plan so you’re not paying for extras that you don’t need.