Many condo owners are not completely clear on where they stand regarding insuring their property, and whether they have an adequate level of coverage to protect their home and investment. A part of the reason for this confusion is that there are multiple types of insurance policies at play in a condo building.
The master policy is paid for by the building association (using your monthly assessment payments), and includes all the common parts of the building – the exterior, roof, floors, elevators, lobby, common areas, etc. This policy also usually includes the interior walls of your condo (called a “bare walls-in” policy), but not always, so you should look into the specifics of your building’s particular master policy. Some “all in” master policies, for example, include appliances and major fixtures inside the condos themselves. The master policy also covers owners against liability if someone gets hurt in the common areas of the building.
Condo owners have a separate policy, the homeowner’s policy, which covers everything from the walls in – improvements to the condo, flooring, appliances, and personal belongings. The homeowner’s policy will also cover you against liabilities in case someone gets hurt while in your actual unit (for which the master policy is not liable).
The important thing to remember is that these statements are a general rules of thumb. As an owner, it’s best to check the specific of your master policy and homeowner’s policy before the time you actually need to file a claim. Doing so is the only way to be sure you have the appropriate level of coverage for your condo.