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Bare Walls In Master Policy Insurance

“Bare walls” or “bare walls-in” insurance is a type of master policy held by condominium associations. It is a limited type of coverage that protects common areas and commonly used areas of a condo, such as a lobby, stairway, or shared laundry area. It also covers the structure of the building, up to the drywall inside individual condo units.

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When deciding to purchase additional coverage, it is always a good idea to compare your potential policy with the condo association you are looking to live in. Once you have figured out their coverage, fill in the gaps with your own. Below we go into more detail to help you understand what bare walls insurance is and what it covers.

Key facts
  • Bare walls-in coverage only protects common areas of a condo structure. This includes stairwells, laundry rooms, and exercise rooms.
  • Bare walls coverage is a type of master policy of a condo association.
  • Firewalls are covered with bare walls coverage if it is a multi-family dwelling.

What bare walls-in policies cover and what they exclude

Bare walls insurance is the most basic type of master policy held by condominium associations. It provides coverage to the exterior of the building, common areas, the roof, and all the walls up to the drywall of the individual condo units. It provides less coverage than walls-in and all-in master policies.

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It is important to note that bare walls coverage does not cover flooring, countertops, bathroom and kitchen cabinets, sinks, toilets, and other fixtures. It also will not cover any alterations, renovations, and improvements done by the condo unit owner. An HO-6 policy should be obtained in order to fill the gaps left by bare walls master policy coverage to ensure your condo is protected from all common perils. If your building only has bare walls-in master policy you will likely need to set your dwelling coverage limits higher.

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Bare walls coverage: examples of events covered

Now that you have a general idea of what bare walls-in coverage is, it is important to dive deeper by understanding some specific instances in which it would be beneficial. Below we provide you with examples, so you have a clear understanding of how it works.

  • A fire breaks out. If a fire breaks out and the condo building is a total loss, the insurance will cover the reconstruction of common areas. This includes lobbies, stairwells, laundry rooms, and exercise rooms, as they are all used by the condo community as a whole.
  • There is water damage. If there is an intense storm or a pipe bursts, it destroys the stairways inside the building that are used by all residents to get to their units, to an egress, or to another common area. Bare walls coverage will fix the stairs and floors associated with the water damage.
  • A tree falls onto the building. If a tree falls into the condo and takes out a few units and the laundry room’s bare walls coverage will kick in. It will provide insurance benefits for the laundry room, as it is a common area. It will not, however, provide insurance to the condo units themselves as they are personally owned dwelling units.
bare walls-in master policy

Don’t be left bare

When purchasing a condo, you will need to ensure that you purchase the right HO-6 condo coverage that meets mortgage requirements and allows you to feel protected. Make sure to set dwelling condo coverage limits that complement your association’s master policy. With the bare walls-in master policy you might need to set your dwelling limits higher than if your building had walls-in or all-in coverage.

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Katelyn is a freelance copy editor and writer based in Massachusetts. She holds Bachelor's Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science, both from Fitchburg State University, as well as a Master's Degree in Public Administration from UMass Amherst. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
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