Insuring a co-op or condo

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Because co-op and condominium owners share their building structures, two policies—a master policy and an individual policy—are required to fully protect all parties involved. Learn more about insuring a co-op or condo.

If you are purchasing a condo or co-op, the bank will require insurance to protect its investment in your home, and your co-op or condo agreement will likely require you to have insurance, as well. There are actually two different policies necessary to fully insure co-ops and condos—a master policy for the building, and an individual policy to cover you for liability, to protect your belongings and to insure any apartment structural elements that are not covered by the master policy.

Here’s what you need to know about each type of insurance.

The master co-op or condo policy

This is the policy that protects the entire apartment structure; the building management is responsible for it and its premiums come out of your maintenance fee or association dues. The master policy covers the common areas you share with others in your building like the roof, basement, elevator, boiler and walkways for both liability and physical damage.

In some cases, the association is responsible for insuring the individual condo or co-op units, as they were originally built, including standard fixtures. In these instances, the individual owner is only responsible for insuring alterations to the original structure of the apartment, like a kitchen or bathroom remodel.

In other co-ops or condos, the association is responsible only for insuring the bare walls, floor and ceiling. In the event of a disaster, the owner is responsible for elements like kitchen cabinets, built-in appliances, plumbing, wiring, bathroom fixtures etc.

It is important to know which structural parts of your home are covered by the condo/co-op association master policy and which are not, so you can properly insure your apartment through your individual policy. This information should be in your association’s bylaws and/or proprietary lease, which can usually be obtained from the co-op or condo board, or from the company that manages the building. If you have questions, talk to your co-op board, condo association, insurance professional or family attorney.



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  1. For test preparation I highly recommend, “Americas Professor.” I love it.
    I passed the P&C test the first try, probably because I wen’t years delaying getting my license and I knew what Insurance was by working customer service and P&C customers.

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