Have you just bought a house, condo, or co-op unit that is overseen by a board or HOA? If so, you know that you need to get homeowner's insurance. However, your HOA or co-op board may also have insurance that covers your property to some extent, and that can often make homeowner's insurance seem unnecessary -- but it's not. Your own homeowner's insurance is likely going to offer more comprehensive coverage than what the HOA or co-op has. That extra insurance from the HOA is nice, but it is meant more for community coverage. Having your own homeowner's insurance is the only way to ensure you have coverage for anything that goes wrong.
Condo associations, homeowner associations, and co-op boards usually carry some form of corporate insurance. This covers the property and structures that belong to the association or board. For example, condo association insurance might cover hardscaping and the exteriors of the complex, like gates, but co-op insurance might cover stairwells, unit-exterior doors, and all walls, even inside the unit. Homeowner association insurance might cover even less.
That means you have to make up the difference in order to have all of your stuff completely covered. If you live in a co-op, you might need insurance for just your personal belongings and liability. But in a condo, you'd need enough insurance to cover damage to exterior walls or garage doors, for example. In a house governed by an HOA, you'd need coverage for external structures like tool sheds.
Remember Flood Insurance and Riders
Homeowner's insurance will cover most of your needs, but it usually doesn't cover floods or quakes. There are separate policies for those, and your insurance agent can set those up for you. You may also want to ask about riders to add to your homeowner's coverage for special circumstances or situations, such as collections, expensive jewelry, and silverware sets. Firearms and other weapons, too, may need a special insurance rider because these items aren't always covered by basic homeowner's insurance.
Contact your insurance agent before you make a decision, too. Whether you already have some form of residential insurance like renter's insurance, or whether you have only car insurance, the agent you have can give you pointers on what to look for. You can also call other insurance agents in your area to compare prices and advice. Education will only help you as you search for that perfect home.Share
25 January 2017