Your Condo and Boston Homeowners Insurance

Major news sources have been touting that consumers and businesses can continue to enjoy at least another two years of historically low interest rates, after the Federal Reserve announced in early 2012 that it plans to continue to keep its rates below 1% to bolster the weak economy.  While this is good news, there are always other sources demanding our dollar, including state and local taxing bodies and rising prices in many other areas of necessary expenditures.  There are a couple of things you can do to shore up your budget, including refinancing your home and shopping for a more affordable property liability policy.

Today, Boston homeowners insurance policies come in many flavors to protect against many different perils such as fire, hurricane and theft. And whether you are renting or own your home, protection for all of your important items is available.

Love Condo Living - Insure Your Home

Those who own a condo understand the many benefits to living there. Condos are usually less expensive than single-family homes, but with similar tax benefits to homeowners, and are located close to amenities like shopping and entertainment. Depending on where you live, your condo may offer benefits like high-tech security, concierge, fitness and property maintenance services. And there is potential profit in your condo should it appreciate in market value and the local demand for condos is high.

It is vital to have the proper property liability coverage. In fact, these days, lenders are requiring that you do. And the policy that you want if you're living in a condo is an HO-6 condo policy. Much like a regular homeowners policy, the HO-6 carries extras that exceed those offered by standard homeowner policies.

Get Familiar With The New HO-6

HO-6 policies were recently overhauled by the FNMA and FHA. As mentioned before, an HO-6 policy is now required by lenders for new condo unit purchases. This is much different from days past, when a policy wasn't required at all, and those owning a condo unit mistakenly believed their contents were completely covered by the master condominium policy.

New lending rules mandate that any HO-6 policy must cover at least 20% of the unit's appraised value. Included in the list of covered items in an HO-6 policy are:

  • Damage incurred to personal property like clothing and furniture
  • Personal liability
  • Interior floors and walls
  • Upgrades or improvements made to the unit

 

Gap Coverage - Another Benefit

The master property liability policy on a condo building usually includes a high deductible. Many condo associations have attempted to cut their costs by increasing these deductibles even further, sometimes going as high as $50,000. As well, some policies may dictate that the condo owner is responsible for any losses which fall below that deductible, which can mean an owner must pay out-of-pocket for most or all of the belongings lost in a fire, theft or other peril.

The good news is that an HO-6 policy can protect you in certain situations by providing coverage for the gap between the master condo policy deductible and your responsibility for personal losses. However, the policy must be tailored directly to master insurance policy specifics, or it won't cover you adequately or properly.  Having your agent review the coverage and deductibles of the master  policy is crucial for adequate gap coverage.

Will You Need To Pay Additional Insurance?

Along with your condo insurance, you may also have to carry coverage for the common areas around your unit, such as the swimming pool or a picnic care. This coverage may be required by your homeowners association to be paid monthly or yearly.

Keeping Your Condo Insurance Costs Low

If you've received frequent notices of the cost of your policy going up, you might be thinking about ways you can decrease your costs.

First of all, comparing companies using the Homeowners Insurance Geek is the best way to see which companies offer what kind of coverage and for how much. But remember that switching companies may not automatically get you better rates. And not bothering to mention your past claims when you sign up with another company won't save you more money; there is more than one way for insurance companies to find out the truth about your past claims.

Paying a low premium may not be worth it if your new company has a history of being stingy. Checking a company's payment history before you make the switch will tell you how consistently they have stood by their customers.

 

Whether you are looking for Boston homeowners insurance or are interested in another city, we can help!  We have assembled useful information such as industry jargon, descriptions of various policy types and perils they protect from and useful tips to keep you and your family protected.

Categories: Homeowners InsuranceFinding DiscountsUseful TipsHome Owners Insurance by CityNews