Choosing Coverage Limits for Your Condo Insurance

You know more about your condo and assets than anyone else — and a Farmers® agent can help as you use those insights to select coverage limits for your policy.

Here are some of your key considerations:

Learn what your complex’s HOA policy covers

Review your homeowners association's bylaws, or ask to see the master insurance policy. You will want to understand the coverage an HOA’s insurance policy provides — and then select the coverage you want for your individual policy. 

HOA policies are generally classified either as “all in” or “bare walls.”
 

All-in

“All in” typically means the HOA’s plan covers everything except your personal property and any improvements you make to your unit.

Bare walls

A “bare walls” policy, on the other hand, means the HOA’s policy likely covers only the building’s exterior and internal structural components. Everything else — fixtures, flooring, appliances, and personal belongings — would be your responsibility.

Consider estimating repair and replacement costs for a worst-case scenario

If your association requires an “all in” policy, talk to a reputable contractor about the cost of rebuilding any additions you might have made.

It can be more complicated if your HOA requires a “bare walls” policy. You can consider estimating how much it would cost to repair or replace your condo’s interior, including all walls, floors, special features, fixtures and built-in appliances, according to current codes at today’s prices.

Think about checking the following: 

  • Learn if building codes, ordinances or laws have changed since your condo was built. New regulations can make it more expensive to replace plumbing, heating, ventilation or electrical systems. You might also need to accommodate changes in design or materials.
  • Ask your Farmers agent, real estate agent, local builders association or reputable contractor for a fair estimate of reconstruction costs (per square foot) in your area. This may be different from new construction costs, so be sure to make that distinction. Provide a complete description of your condo — including any upgrades you’ve made.
  • Estimate the cost to rebuild: Multiply the cost-per-square-foot figure you receive by the total finished square footage of your unit. 

Estimate the value of your personal belongings

Take inventory

Take a complete inventory of your personal property. Be sure to include everything — furniture, small appliances, equipment, tools, electronics, decorations, clothing, accessories, valuables and collectables. Make notes for each item with important details like manufacturer, serial number, purchase date and estimated value.

Consider your valuables

Also be sure to get an appraisal at current market value for valuables like fine art and jewelry; standard policies usually cover these items, but at relatively low limits. If you need additional coverage, you can add personal articles floaters to your policy for their full value.

Gather documentation

This is also a good time to collect receipts and photos or videos for each item — this can help speed the process if you ever need to file a claim. Once you’ve completed your inventory and used the information to choose your coverage, store everything in a safe place — whether a fire-proof safe, a safety deposit box or a cloud storage service.

Estimate your total net worth

After taking an inventory of your property, you’ll need to think about liability coverage so you can protect your assets and investments from unexpected lawsuits. Knowing your total net worth can help you determine how much coverage you want.

Estimate additional living costs

Consider what extra cost there might be to live elsewhere while your home is repaired or rebuilt — this expense is often overlooked when people choose their homeowners coverage.

Talk to a Farmers® agent about insurance for your condo.

Learn about all the options and potential discounts so you can choose the coverage you want.

Find an agent

 


Doug Levy, an emergency communications consultant, has moved 17 times in 18 years.

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