What liability should I consider when purchasing Condo Insurance?

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When purchasing a Condo Insurance, how far should I go with liability protection? Can HOA or my neighbors as individuals sue me if it was my barbeque grill (lit cigarette, etc.)?

  1. Reply
    Ontario Insurance Broker
    July 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    You should look for a condo insurance policy. I will specifically include coverage for you personal property as well as liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. For additional liability insurance you could add an umbrella liability policy as well.

    A condo policy should also protect you for deficiencies in the master policy of the condo itself. FOr example – if the building coverage is insufficient your policy will protect you. A second example is if the master policy has a very high deductible per unit – you may be asked to pay the difference but a good condo policy will make up that difference.

    Find a local broker who will meet with you to discuss your needs and explain these coverages in more detail

  2. Reply
    Queen B
    July 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    i don’t write any type of property insurance (homeowners renters condo) without at least $ 500,000 PL. Its a very cheap part of your policy and well worth it

  3. Reply
    Tom Z
    July 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Yes, the condo association or an individual has a legal right to sue the negligent party that was responsible for a loss. In fact it would probably the insurance company that compensated your association that would ultimately be the plaintiff. That being said it would probably be hard to conclusively prove that it was your sole negligence that was the cause of the loss. Even if you were not at fault the defense costs could be significant. If I owned a condo I would purchase significant limits of liability insurance because the cost is relatively minor (i.e. $ 1,000,000 or more ).

    But I would also be concerned how your insurance matches up with the condo bylaws. Your condo association purchases insurance on the building and premises. Broadly speaking there are two approaches condo bylaws take to insure the property.

    One approach is the condo association agrees to cover only the exterior and common areas. You are responsible to insure the interior this can include walls, wall coverings, flooring, furnace, appliances, lighting, plumbing fixtures, kitchen and bath cabinets (basically everything inside your condo). In this scenario you are responsible not only for your personal property but also the entire interior of your condo. As an insurance agent I did not like this approach because it is very difficult to determine how much insurance you should have to be able to repair or replace everything in within the walls of your condo.

    The other approach, which I always preferred, was more comprehensive where the association agrees to cover the entire unit as it was originally built. In this scenario you only insure your upgrades (i.e. bookcases, upgrades, finished basements. etc.) and your personal property.

    You need to carefully review your condo bylaws or have a good insurance agent go over the bylaws with you. If you don’t insure the property that you are responsible for you could find yourself woefully under insured and perhaps unable to rebuild your condo.

    In addition to insuring the part of the building you are responsible for you need to determine the replacement cost of your personal property within the condo.

    Sorry for the long answer but it is a surprisingly complex question.

  4. Reply
    July 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    minimum $ 500,000 is what i write on my clients (it is not much more then the cost of $ 300,000) but I also quote $ 1mil.
    The lib. not only covers people injured in your place (after medical pays out) but also protects you in the event if you damage somebody else unit ie pipe breaks, water leaks into the unit below you etc…… answering questions like this over the net is not something If you have any further questions please let me know.

  5. Reply
    July 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    In this country anyone can sue you for anything, provided they find an attorney willing to take their case. In NY the basic limit for liability on a condo policy is $ 100,000 which you get for free. Increasing to $ 300,000 is about $ 15 a year more, $ 500,000 is about $ 25 a year more, and for the few companies that offer $ 1,000,000 it is about $ 50 a year more. I would suggest going with at least $ 500,000.

  6. Reply
    July 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Sure they can! Anyone can sue you, for just about anything here in the USA!

    The basic liability limit is $ 100,000. I’d suggest at least $ 300,000, unless your condo is more than that, in which case go for $ 500,000 with a personal umbrella.

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