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Three Things Condo Owners Need to Know About Insurance

by Carol Drake at Grange Insurance on Oct 3, 2011

Condo owners beware, if someone slips at the pool or on the sidewalk in your condominium complex, you may be liable for the accident. Columbus, Ohio-based Grange Insurance offers the three most important things condo owners should know to avoid being held liable for damage caused to their complex by inclement weather or unexpected accidents.

Condo insurance typically includes coverage against theft, fire damage and smoke damage to the unit and personal possessions, such as jewelry, furniture or electronics. What unit owners need to be aware of is which common areas they are liable for per their condo association. Following the three steps below can ensure condo owners are fully protected—from their unit to the common grounds.

1. Review the condo association’s insurance policy.

Condo associations typically cover the building, roof and common areas, such as hallways or walkways. Additionally, some associations cover certain unit fixtures, such as kitchen appliances and cabinets.

"Before purchasing a condo insurance policy, find out what your condo association covers," said John Ammendola, president of personal lines for Grange Insurance. "An agent can help you review and understand the association’s policy and determine the additional amount of coverage needed for your unit."

2. Consider loss assessment coverage.

"What is probably most important to understand as a condo owner is your liability for sidewalks, garages, swimming pools and other common areas," said Ammendola. "If your condo association doesn’t cover these common areas or decides to pass the liability onto its condo owners, you may be held liable for accidents or repairs to areas such as sidewalks and swimming pools. To safeguard yourself from these liabilities, consider adding loss assessment coverage to your policy."

Loss assessment coverage is a feature of condo insurance that provides protection for the unit owners for major property and liability losses such as common area accidents or damage from bad weather. If a condo association is responsible for damage or repairs, they can decide to pass the liability to the condo owner in the form of an assessment. For example, if an ice storm damages your sidewalks and your association decides to pass the liability onto the owners in its complex, loss assessment coverage ensures that you’ll be fully covered against the cost of repairs, according to Ammendola.

3. Determine the need for other additional policy features.

Condo owners should determine if they will need to add earthquake or sewer back-up coverage. Additionally, jewelry is typically covered up to a specific monetary limit depending on the insurance provider. "If you need additional valuable coverage for jewelry, you’ll want to add that into your policy as well," said Ammendola.

Condo owners should review their insurance policy, along with their association’s policy, at least once per year to ensure adequate coverage is in place. To find an agent who can explain the different options available for condo owners, visit www.GrangeInsurance.com.

 

About Grange: Grange Insurance, with $2 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in annual revenue, is an insurance provider based in Columbus, Ohio. Through its network of independent agents, Grange offers auto, home, life and business insurance protection. Established in 1935, the company and its affiliates serve policyholders in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.grangeinsurance.com or Anderson Insurance at http://www.aiwmi.com.

 

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