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What is Condo Insurance?

Condo owners have unique insurance needs. They usually don’t need quite as many coverages as homeowners do, since condos tend to be smaller than single-family homes. They usually need more protection than renters, though, because condo owners actually own the units they live in. To meet condo owner’s particular insurance needs, insurance companies in Massachusetts offer condo insurance.

Condo insurance policies may be likened to either homeowners or renters policies, for they have many similar coverages. Their protections, however, aren’t identical to either of these other kinds of insurance.

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What is an HO-6 Condo Form Policy?

Condo owners may hear their policies referred to as “HO-6 condo form” policies by professionals within the insurance industry. This is simply jargon that identifies these policies as cond-specific policies.

HO-6 one of several abbreviations that are used to delineate different types of homeowners, condo and renters policies. Abbreviations run from HO-1 (basic form homeowners policies) to HO-8 (older home form policies). A couple of other common abbreviations are HO-3 (special form homeowners policies) and HO-4 (tenant’s form renters policies). 

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Condo Insurance Massachusetts

What’s the Difference Between a Condo Association Master Policy and Condo Policy?

Condo complexes and the units within them are usually protected by two distinct insurance policies that work together.

Condo association master policies are normally purchased by condo associations to protect themselves and the property they’re responsible for. In most cases, these policies cover:

  • The common areas in a condo complex (i.e. entryways, common walls between units, amenities,  etc.)
  • Any equipment that’s owned by the association (i.e. exercise equipment, pool equipment, etc.)
  • The condo association itself from certain liability lawsuits

In some cases, condo association master policies also provide structural coverage for features that are within individual units (i.e. cabinets, counters, fireplaces, etc.) The amount of structural coverage provided for in-unit features varies a lot, though, and not all master policies offer this coverage.

Condo policies are normally purchased by individual condo owners to protect themselves and the property they own, which is their unit and belongings. The protections offered by a condo policy might cover:

  • The features inside a condo owner’s unit (i.e. cabinets, counters, fireplaces, etc.)
  • The personal belongings that a condo owner has (i.e. clothing, furniture, books, etc.)
  • The condo owner themselves from certain liability lawsuits

When choosing a condominium insurance policy, condo owners should carefully review the protections offered by their association's particular master policy. Exact coverages can vary for both types of policies, and condo owners will want a condo policy that complements their association's master policy well. The right condo policy will fill in coverage gaps without creating unnecessary duplicate coverages.

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What Factors Do Massachusetts Insurers Consider When Underwriting Condo Policies?

Massachusetts insurers take into account many different factors when they’re determining a particular condominium insurance policy’s rates. Some items that insurance companies might look at include:

  • Where a condo is located
  • What a condo’s building is constructed from
  • How large a condo is
  • Whether a condo owner has previously submitted insurance claims
  • What coverages and limits a condo owner selects

In other states, insurance companies may take into account a condo owner’s credit history. Massachusetts, however, prohibits this practice.

Condo Insurance Massachusetts

How Can Condo Owners Get Quotes for Condo Insurance Policies?

Condo owners can quickly get multiple quotes for condo insurance policies by working with an independent insurance agent. Since independent agents aren’t affiliated with any one insurance company, they can obtain quotes for condominium insurance policies from multiple insurance companies that operate in Massachusetts. With several quotes in hand, it's easy to determine what insurer offers the best coverage at an affordable price.

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