There are a few things most people in Boston have in common: our uncanny ability to drive in roundabouts, our love of chowda (new England style, of course!), and our likelihood of buying a condo at some point. Ours is a highly populated city, and condos are where many of us call home.
If you’ve ever considered purchasing one, or in the process of doing so, you’ve probably been made aware of condo insurance, which differs slightly from that purchased by owners of single-family dwellings. Some lenders require that you purchase it (check out this post on the subject), but even if yours doesn’t, it’s something you should seriously consider. You’re making a major investment, and it’s wise to protect it.
Here’s what you need to know:
Most likely, the HOA fees you pay each month include insurance for common areas, but when it comes to your actual residence—within your walls—you’re on your own. So when you purchase condo insurance, you’re covering most things inside it.
This includes interior structures such as walls, cabinets, floors, and ceilings, as well as your personal property, such as furniture and electronics. Most policies will also protect you from liability, should someone get injured in your home, and will cover living expenses should your condo become uninhabitable (as long as it’s due to a loss covered by your policy).
What Isn’t Covered
If you’re buying near the water, you’re going to need to purchase flood insurance separately, as floods aren’t covered by condo insurance. Likewise, earthquakes are not covered. It’s not a common worry here in Boston, but it’s still important to be aware of. Flood insurance and earthquake insurance and different policies altogether, so if you’re in a flood zone, in the case of the former, or the type to plan for ANY disaster, in the case of the latter, you’ll need to purchase those separately.
How to Get the Best Policy
One thing to consider is what’s more important to you: a lower monthly premium with a higher deductible, or vice versa. Then comparison shop, getting rates from several insurance companies. If you have another type of insurance—auto, for instance—reach out to your agent and ask about a discount for having two policies from the same provider.
Don’t hesitate to ask around; your real estate agent and mortgage broker can probably offer you good advice, as they’re experts in all things home-related.
If you’re buying or selling a home in the Boston area and are in need of a mortgage, or have any mortgage-related questions, contact me at any time for advice or help.