There are a lot of perks to living in a condominium in Florida. There’s less maintenance (no lawn!) and easy access to social amenities.
Condo insurance isn’t required in Florida but you may be required to purchase coverage through your condo’s association.
Like any residence, you’re responsible for insuring your personal property when living in a condo. In Florida, there are five types of coverage available for condo owners:
- Coverage for the structure of your condo
- Coverage for your contents
- Coverage if your condo becomes inhabitable
- Coverage for personal liability
- Coverage for loss assessment
Table of Contents
Structural coverage For Your Condo
There are two ways to insure the structure of your property in Florida:
Replacement cost: This is insurance that pays the policyholder the cost of replacing the damaged structure without paying the deduction for value depreciation. However, there is a maximum dollar amount.
Actual Cash Value: This type of insurance is that in which the policyholder receives an amount equal to the replacement value of the damaged structure minus an allowance for values depreciation.
In Florida, home insurance can change depending on how old your home is. If you own an older home in Florida, it is best to insure your home for the total amount it is worth. For example, if your home is worth $350,000, you should insure it for that much.
If you don’t have acceptable insurance, your insurance company will only pay a portion of the cost to replace or repair damaged property and the cost of home insurance can vary.
Coverage For Your Contents
Personal property insurance or homeowners insurance protects all of the personal items inside of your home from natural disasters. These items include furniture, appliances, and personal possessions like jewelry.
Like any insurance policy, there are exceptions to this rule. Jewelry is one example. If you own over $100,000 in jewelry, not only are you lucky, but most insurance policies will only cover up to a certain amount. That all depends on the type of insurance you have.
To obtain the full value of your personal possessions in case of a natural disaster, there are extra policies you can take out. An umbrella policy is a policy that protects your high-value assets from damage.
Coverage If Your Condo Becomes Unlivable
Living in Florida, it’s only natural that a hurricane will cross your path eventually. Hurricanes and other strong storms can bring hail, strong winds, and torrential downpours. And those factors can render your condo uninhabitable.
With loss of use insurance, there are three types of coverage:
Additional Living Expense – If you come home one day to find your condo eliminated by a natural disaster, this type of insurance helps you maintain your living expenses if you have to live somewhere else while your condo is being repaired.
Such expenses include groceries, rent or hotel bills, or the cost to store your belongings while your home is being repaired.
Fair Rental Value – If you own a rental property or other tenant occupied space, and they become unlivable, this type of insurance will cover the lost rental income minus utilities.
Prohibited Use – This is when a government agency specifically forbids you to return to your damaged neighborhood even though your condo is undamaged.
The thing to remember with loss of use insurance is that it’s only payable if the damage was caused by covered disasters.
Coverage For Personal Liability
A good time to consider purchasing personal liability coverage is when you move into your first place. Even if you feel you have nothing to lose at this stage in the game, your future assets and income may be at risk.
For example, if you invite friends over to your condo and one of them gets seriously injured, you may be responsible for beyond what their health insurance covers. And if you can’t cover the damages, the courts can garnish your wages.
At the end of the day having liability coverage is all about protecting you from situations that could lead you to be responsible for another person’s damages.
Coverage For Loss Assessment
Loss assessment coverage pays for any charges brought to you by a property’s association like a Homeowners Association. These charges can be either property damage or bodily damage.
For example, let’s say a hurricane damaged your association’s pool area beyond repair. The association had a meeting and decided to charge its members the fees to restore it to its former glory.
It’s important to remember to look over your condo’s association policy too. It will help you to determine what you’re responsible for and their limits. This should be the deciding factor to determine what your limits should be.
As with any insurance policy, make sure you speak to a licensed agent to help you navigate around association by-laws and your state’s limits. They can help you decide what will work best for you.