A lot of people think that, if they live in a condo, they don’t need to worry about insurance because the homeowner’s association will have their back. That’s true to an extent – most NJ condos will have insurance for the building and common spaces that’s been organized by the homeowner’s association, but what about your stuff?
They won’t have arranged cover for your personal belongings, so if your condo is damaged by fire or theft occurs, for example, you’ll be liable for any costs yourself, which is why there is a real need to cover NJ condos with multiple policies.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Condo insurance is a policy that covers the things that your homeowner’s association does not, things like replacing your belongings if they’re stolen, repairing your unit after a fire, and covering the liability costs if someone gets injured in your unit. Condo insurance is usually known as HO-6 insurance, and it is really important for anyone who lives in a condo to take out a policy.
Is Condo Insurance a Legal Requirement?
Technically, you don’t have to have individual condo insurance in NJ, but most mortgage lenders will make it a requirement of your mortgage to purchase insurance for the duration of your home loan. Not only that, but often the homeowner’s associations themselves will require residents to have their own insurance too. So although it’s not actually written into law, you basically do need to have it, and even if you don’t, why wouldn’t you want it when it can offer you so much protection?
What Is Covered By a Condo Insurance Policy?
NJ condos are all different, as are NJ condo insurers and the individuals who own them, so we cannot give you a definitive list of what is covered by condo insurance in New Jersey, but here are some of the most common things covered by individual condo insurance policies:
HO-6 insurance always covers personal property like clothing, furniture, jewelry, and other belongings like electronics. Usually, they will be covered against theft, damage, and disaster, although it does vary from policy to policy.
If you own anything particularly valuable, such as art or jewelry, then you may find that only a certain percentage of their value is covered and you may need to take out an additional insurance policy to fully cover them.
Loss of Use
If you cannot inhabit your NJ condos for a period of time, maybe because they require serious repairs, quality condo insurance will cover the cost of finding you a place to stay and pay for any incidental charges you rack up as a result. You probably won’t be able to stay at The Ritz, but they’ll pay for somewhere safe and clean for you to stay until your condo is habitable again.
If someone visits your condo and falls over and hurts themself or gets bitten by your dog, for example, you could be liable for their medical bills. If you’re sued, it could ruin you, which is just another reason why NJ condos should be insured with multiple policies to protect every person who lives in them.
The homeowner’s association’s insurance policy may protect the exterior of the building and the common areas, but what about the inside of your condo? Although some master HOA policies cover the interiors of individual units, most don’t and that could result in a big bill for you. Check your Homeowner’s Association policy and see what it says. If it doesn’t cover inside your unit, you absolutely will need a policy of your own.
Loss assessment comes into play when your HOA’s master insurance policy reaches its limit and will not pay out anymore. When that happens, they will ask each individual unitholder to pay their share to make up the difference on repairs to shared areas or the building itself.
This kind of insurance could also be useful if you accidentally cause a lot of damage to the condo building because often, the HOA will try to hold you personally responsible instead of claiming through the master policy, They do this to avoid large deductibles, and who can blame them? It could leave you in hot water if you start a fire or something equally serious, though.
How Much Should NJ Condos Be Insured For?
As you can see, there are many compelling reasons for NJ condos to have multiple insurance policies for each unit, but how much should your NJ condo be insured for?
To work that out, start by taking inventory of everything in your home and adding up how much it all costs. Round that up to the nearest $10,000, and that should be a good starting point. You then need to consider what it would cost you if you were sued or caused damage to the entire building that you were asked to contribute to.
How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?
In New Jersey, the average cost of condo insurance is currently $450, which is very reasonable when you consider the high level of protection it will afford you and your family.
Schumacher Insurance Agency Offers NJ Condo Insurance
If you aren’t sure how much coverage you need or you still aren’t sold on multiple policies, get in touch with our agents at Schumacher Insurance Agency, who are experts in the field. They’ll talk you through the process, help you build the perfect insurance policy, and ensure that you and your family are well covered while you live in your condo.