What Your Condo Insurance Covers vs. the Association’s Master Policy

Condo life: It’s a dream many aspire to, especially the hundreds of thousands who flock to sunny Florida from northern snowscapes each year. To protect your version of condo living, it’s important to understand what's covered by the condo association's master policy and what’s covered by an individual condo owner's insurance policy. Understanding this is crucial to ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your dream life here in the Sunshine State.


The Association’s Master Policy


Your condo association is required by Florida law to carry insurance – specifically to cover damages to the building’s structure and exterior, along with common areas. This typically includes:


  • Roof
  • Building structure and exterior
  • Building wiring, piping, insulation
  • Lobbies, hallways, and other shared spaces
  • Elevators


It should also include liability insurance for accidents occurring in shared spaces.


This master insurance policy helps protect the structural integrity of the condominium against a variety of risks, such as fires, storms, and more. It also helps maintain the property’s value.


What the master policy will NOT cover is everything you own inside your unit. Where it gets tricky is in determining what is considered “inside” versus “outside” your individual unit. And this will depend on your association’s master policy.


2 Types of Master Policies


The two primary types of condo association master insurance policies are:


  • Bare Walls. Of the options available to a condo association, this is the most bare-bones, with coverage starting at the drywall (bare wall) of a unit and working outward, away from your unit. It won’t include anything inside an individual condo owner’s unit, including the paint on your walls. This is also the least expensive option. A bare walls master policy is sometimes referred to as “bare walls-in,” “wall-stud-in,” or “perimeter” coverage.


  • All-In. This is the more comprehensive option for condo associations, and tends to include some elements inside an individual unit, such as flooring, plumbing, electrical – and perhaps even built-in fixtures within the unit and major appliances. While this added coverage is possible, it’s not common due to the high cost of this type of comprehensive coverage.


Because what the master policy covers – or doesn’t cover – can directly affect your insurance needs, it's important to 1) request a copy of the master policy; and 2) read it to understand where their obligations end.


Ideally, your condo insurance policy should complement the coverage offered by the association's master policy. For example, if the master policy is “bare walls,” you’ll need to ensure your policy covers structural elements inside your unit as well as your personal property. If the master policy is “all-in,” you’ll want to focus on having the right amount of personal property, liability, and loss-of-use coverage.


Condo Owner Insurance


A condo owner’s insurance policy, called an HO-6, covers most of what you own within your unit, generally speaking. This typically includes:


  • Furniture
  • Electronics (computers, cellphones, TV, stereos)
  • Clothing, shoes, accessories
  • Kitchenware and appliances
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Books, movies, video games, and other media
  • Sports equipment
  • Art, paintings and sculptures
  • Tools
  • Decor
  • Light fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Wall coverings (wallpaper, paneling, tiles, paint)
  • Flooring and built-in features


Whether your policy needs to include coverage for unit elements like wall coverings, flooring, and built-in features – think cabinets, countertops, central AC, sinks, bathtubs, etc. – will depend on how far into your unit the association’s master policy extends. 


Your Coverage Options


Depending on your insurance needs, you can get the following types of coverages in your HO-6 condo insurance policy: 


Dwelling (Coverage A in your policy) – This protects against damage to the interior of your unit, including walls, flooring, and improvements you've made. This is especially important if the master policy is "bare walls.”


Personal property (Coverage C in your policy) – This covers your personal belongings such as furniture, electronics, and clothing against a variety of risks, such as theft, vandalism, fire/smoke, and certain types of water damage.


Loss-of-use (Coverage D in your policy) – This provides coverage for additional living expenses if your unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.


Personal liability (Coverage E in your policy) – This offers protection if you're held responsible for injury to others or damage to other people's property.


Medical payments (Coverage F in your policy) – This can pay for minor medical bills if someone is injured on your property, regardless of who is at fault.


Protect Your Florida Condo With Edison Insurance


The first step to being able to thoroughly relax and enjoy Florida condo life is to ensure your condo – and all you own inside it – is protected. We can help. At Edison Insurance Company, we provide condo insurance coverage for a wide range of calamities, so you can have peace of mind in paradise. To find out more, contact your Edison agent. Not yet insured by us? Get an online quote now

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