If you know anything about the housing market in Boston and surrounding communities, you know that it is expensive, fast-paced, and on fire! Online real estate giant Zillow reports that Boston’s median home value is $600,000. Therefore, getting into the market may be tough for first-time buyers, but there are some housing options, such as condominiums, that can be a plus in many ways.
Why Buy a Condo?
Given the tight real estate market in our region, buyers from the millennial generation right up to baby boomers may find that condominium living is a great choice. Condos are a perfect investment for people who want to own their own property but either can’t quite swing the expense of a house or want the amenities without the upkeep in responsibilities.
There is definitely a strong appeal to buying a condo: from the swimming pools to the gyms, or not having to worry about shoveling the feet of snow every winter. There are, however, distinct differences when it comes to insuring your condo unit as compared to single-family homes.
Condo Insurance: Master Policy VS Unit Insurance
When considering buying a condominium, there are two areas of coverage that owners need to have: master insurance through the condo association and insurance that covers your specific unit.
HOA Master Policy:
A typical master policy for a homeowners association, or HOA policy, will cover damage to your condo building, grounds, and other external features. There are two main types of master insurance that will determine the extent of your coverage.
An “all-in” condo master policy covers the fixtures in your condo such as the appliances, wiring, plumbing, and carpets, but does not cover personal property that you own. A “bare walls-in” condo master policy does not cover anything contained within your walls. The plumbing and electrical may or may not be covered.
For the interior of your unit and all of your possessions, individual condo insurance will cover potential losses, such as theft or damage from fire. Individual Condominium Unit policies, therefore, need to cover your furnishings, appliances, possessions, and sometimes installed fixtures and other attached features in the unit. It is wise to add liability insurance that can protect yourself from claims and lawsuits in the case that someone is injured in your condo or you are responsible for damage to someone else’s property.
Many condo owners purchase an umbrella policy or choose to contract with the same insurance provider that works with the HOA. That way there will be no gaps in potential coverage between the master insurance and the individual unit insurance.
Condos are such a great option in the growing Boston and New England market. They offer so much to people of all ages. Before you buy, find out what is covered by the HOA master insurance and what items are left to the owner’s insurance. If you need help sorting out the differences and filling in the gaps, contact Phil Richard Insurance. Our experienced specialists can help answer your questions. Call us at (978) 774-4338 or visit our site.