Homeowners Insurance Coverage – Preventative Maintenance

You may think preventative maintenance for hurricanes would be getting a game plan for evacuation or planning how to board up windows, but one of the most important items for owning a condominium is preparing your insurance coverage. Hurricane season starts June 1st, and every owner should have a personal condominium homeowners insurance policy known as an HO6 plan.

A few key elements of owning a condominium that everyone must know are, loss of use is not an obligation of the association, and insurance coverage by the association does not protect you and your unit in full. If a storm occurs and damages a building to the degree that it cannot maintain occupancy then you will have to find alternative living conditions for weeks, months, or even years. What would you do?

Have a conversation with your insurance agent or contact an agent to discuss the following:

Dwelling coverage

Many condominium owners are under the false impression that after a storm or other peril, the condominium association is responsible for restoring their unit to a similar condition prior to the event. Most condominium coverages stop at the drywall and all other items such as, flooring, cabinets, moldings, paint, etc. are the responsibility of the unit owner. Also, betterments and improvements are defined as changes made to the condominium that alter or improve the interior from the original developer offered state. Have a conversation with your agent to review the condominium declarations to understand where your coverage starts and how much limit you need to restore your unit to its pre-loss condition.

Personal content coverage

No matter what event occurs, the association is not held responsible for your contents. Replacement, cleaning, movement, and storage of belongings is all your responsibility. Everyone underestimates the value of their personal belongings. Have a conversation with your agent about having the appropriate limit of coverage for your contents.

Loss of use coverage

After a storm or other peril and your condominium is uninhabitable, you will incur additional living expenses and loss of use coverage will provide you with reimbursement for those expenses. Coverage limits are normally based on a timeline, normally up to 12 months, rather than an expense limit. Have a conversation with your agent about maximizing your loss of use coverage.

Loss Assessment coverage

These policies allow for loss assessment coverage defined as your share of a special assessment due to a loss sustained by the association and shared with all owners. Most policies have a standard loss assessment limit of $1,000. Have a conversation with your agent about a higher limit, as much as $25,000. The additional premium for this increase is minimal compared to the coverage offered. Then, when the condominium association must bill a special assessment after a storm (or other peril) you can submit a claim, pay your deductible, and avoid a substantial financial expense in a challenging time.

Personal Liability coverage

This covers the named insured for incidents that occur on premises in or around their unit and for which they are held liable. For example, injuries that occur in their unit to guests. This coverage also follows the named insurance off premises wherever they may be. Typically, a $300,000 limit, but have a conversation with your agent about a higher limit.

Bottom Line

These preventative maintenance measures take a few moments of your time, but the benefits will be your peace of mind knowing that you did everything possible to lessen your risk and fault of systems. Please feel free to contact Certain Management for more information

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