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Insurance

If you live in a condominium or cooperative, your association has insurance. So why do you need insurance, too?
Your association's insurance covers the building, commonly owned property, and liability insurance for the association. But that insurance doesn't cover losses to your unit as a result of a burglary, if water damage ruins your living room walls, or if someone slips on your wet kitchen floor and is injured.
That’s why you need insurance - designed specifically for condominium and cooperative unit owners. Condominium and cooperative policies protect you from losses to your personal property and the interior of your unit. You will also have liability protection for bodily injury or property damage to others.
The articles of the condominium and cooperative association and state law determine exactly which building components are covered under the association’s master insurance policy. In most instances the association’s coverage stops inside the exterior walls meaning that you are responsible for the interior walls and possibly for fixtures, as well as your personal property and liability exposures.

Before You Buy Insurance

Before purchasing a policy, check with your building's board to make sure you're buying the insurance you need. Find out what parts of the interior are covered by your building’s insurance and what items are your responsibility. Then make sure that you have adequate insurance to cover repairing or replacing the items for which you are responsible. The contents of your unit are not insured under the association’s master condominium and cooperative policy. So, estimate the cost to replace your contents and buy insurance for that amount. Your association’s master condominium and cooperative policy does not provide any liability coverage for your unit or your personal exposures. So, make sure you purchase adequate liability insurance, usually $300,000 to $500,000 or more, depending on your situation. If your association has insufficient funds, you may be assessed a proportionate share to pay for damage to your building and other situations. Check to see whether the condominium and cooperative insurance you purchase covers these assessments. Buy this Loss Assessment Coverage in amounts of $5,000, $10,000 or more.

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