No matter where you live, it’s important to make sure you have a way to replace your belongings if they’re lost or damaged. Items like computers and jewelry can be devastating to lose and hard to replace. But several coverages, at a glance, seem to overlap. There are some small differences between these insurances, however.
Co-op and condo insurance are essentially the same. They both share buildings with other parties and offer the same coverages. The main difference between these policies and a home insurance policy is the amount of insurance required and what it covers. A home insurance policy covers the entire structure and all its attached features, while a co-op or condo insurance policy covers only your individual unit. The building manager of a co-op or condo must carry master insurance for the entire property.
Coverages Shared by Co-Op, Condo and Home Insurance
These coverages are what co-op, condo and home insurance policies have in common.
- Personal Possessions: Personal possessions coverage provides compensation for items in the home that are lost or damaged due to a covered peril.
- General Liability: Liability insurance steps in if you or anyone in your family causes bodily injury or property damage to someone else. This does not cover illegal acts but can be expanded with an umbrella insurance policy.
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE): ALE helps with expenses if you and your family must live somewhere else while repairs are being made to the dwelling after disaster.
You can also add umbrella insurance to any of these policies, which fills in the gaps left by your other liability coverages. Keep in mind that floods and earthquakes are typically not covered by any of these policies but can be added as separate insurance policies. If you have expensive jewelry, you can purchase a floater policy that extends coverage beyond your personal possessions coverage.
Essentially, the main difference between these three types of insurances is what they cover. A homeowners’ policy covers your entire owned dwelling and its attached structures and can be extended to other structures as well. A co-op or condo insurance policy only covers the unit and its contents. An overall master policy (owned by the building manager or owner of the dwelling) is responsible for purchasing insurance for the entire condo or co-op. Check your policy carefully to make sure you have flood and earthquake insurance as needed.