Condo Insurance Misunderstood

By Scott Buser

Condo unit owners often find themselves in a state of confusion when it pertains to property insurance coverage for their unit.  Many mistakenly look to the Association’s insurance policy for coverage, but are often told that coverage has been denied due to the master policy’s limitations. According to Florida Statute Chapter 718, the Condo Association is required by law to purchase several insurance policies to protect the Condo Association’s interests.  The statute requires the Association to purchase a property insurance policy to adequately cover the Condo building to its Full Replacement Cost. The required property policy is to insure the envelope of the building, its interior infrastructure, drywall throughout the building (including inside the units) and the Condo Association’s common elements, including pool, gym, and party room. The Condo Association’s property policy does NOT provide coverage for any personal property, fixtures, floor and wall coverings, appliances, cabinetries, and most everything contained within the confines of the unit. These items are the sole responsibility of the unit owner to insure.

Unit owners protect their interests and possessions through their own homeowner’s insurance policy called an HO-6. In addition to covering the unit owner’s tangible possessions within the unit, the HO-6 policy also contains a personal liability limit. Personal liability is coverage for the unit owner when a 3rd party is accusing negligence or bringing legal action against that homeowner. A claim scenario I see frequently is water damage to a fellow unit owner caused by the policyholder negligently leaving a bathtub/sink running which overflows and eventually intrudes that 3rd party’s unit causing damage to their personal property or belongings.

There are other crucial coverages included within the HO-6, including loss assessment reimbursement, displacement or loss of use coverage, and medical payments coverage.

As a unit owner, the HO-6 policy is a necessity and a vehicle of protection that every homeowner should consider. For assistance navigating through this world of insurance, please contact me at sbuser@bbftlaud.com.

Scott Buser is a Senior Vice President at Brown & Brown Insurance and has been an Insurance Agent in South Florida for over 14 years specializing in Condominium Insurance. Brown & Brown is one of the world’s 10 largest insurance intermediaries and is publically traded on the NYSE under BRO.

Condo Insurance Misunderstood