HO-6 insurance: How much condo insurance do I need?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/12/2007 - 03:40
Many individuals think that since the association owners have purchased insurance on the association they don't need insurance to protect their home. While it is true that the association owner will cover if your condo roof flies off, it will, however, not cover damage to any item inside your condominium. So, you need to get a separate coverage for your own safety.

What does HO-6 insurance cover?

A typical condominium insurance covers damage to your condominium, your belongings from perils like lightning, explosion, hail, windstorm, fire, civil disturbance, vandalism, theft, damage from falling objects, aircrafts or other vehicles and smoke.

How much condo insurance do you need?

To be able to determine how much condo insurance you need you must make a checklist of things you have to insure. You can begin by reading the master policy for the association. By reading the master policy you can find out what it covers and how much your condominium will be protected in case of any damage.

You can make a list of the things you would be responsible for like the flooring of your condo or the wall coverings, the plumbing fixtures, cabinets, any built-in appliances, lighting fixtures and any improvements made to your condo. Take some time out to add everything up to get an idea of home much condominium insurance you need.

Making a list of the personal property that you own would be a good idea to assess properly the amount of insurance you need to buy. Ask your agent for a content replacement option and how much it would cost you. Set your personal liability at a high limit to get a good amount of coverage. You could do the same for 'Loss Assessment' to cover you for big losses.

What you need to know before buying condominium insurance?

Master policy: Go through your master policy for the condominium to find out how much you are covered under that policy. Based on that you could assess what you need to cover to protect your condominium and your possessions from any damage due to a peril.

Deductibles: There is usually an association deductible in condominium insurance. So in case of a disaster be prepared to pay the deductible that will be divided amongst the unit owners.

Coverage required: Determine what you need to cover in your condominium and based on that draw up an assessment of the amount you need to invest in insuring your property.

Cash value or replacement cost: Find out which one you are opting for. A cash value will give you only the current value of an item minus the depreciation costs while a replacement cost would offer the total cost of replacing the item.

Interior structure and contents: Your association will not cover your personal property and the contents inside your condominium. You need to purchase coverage for the structure of your home and the contents inside your condo separately.

Flood and wind coverage: Make sure you buy flood if you live in a flood prone zone. Wind coverage is generally included in a typical policy.

Related reading:

I have a question about ho-6 insurance. I need to purchase an ho 6 insurance policy which will, among other things, cover replacement cost for internal real property (drywall, wall coverings, carpet, window treatments, etc.). What's the rule of thumb on how much coverage to get for internal real property? The purchase price of my condo was $115k.

Posted: 12 Jun 2007 03:02 Post Subject: How much condo insurance do I need?


First of all, read a copy of your associations policy. Find out what the master policy covers and what it doesn't.

Next, Make a list of what you may be structurally responsible for, for example: Any kind of flooring(hardwood,ceramic, and/or carpet), Wall coverings, Cabinets, Built-in appliances, plumbing fixtures, Lighting fixtures, and any improvements that have been attached and/or built on. This would go under your coverage "A." Most policy start out at 1,000, as you can see it can exceed over 100,000 easy. Take ten Minutes to add everything up, it will give you an idea.

Also, Make a list of your personal property, this would go under coverage "C." I would make sure you have a contents replacement cost option.

Have your personal Liability at a high limit, like 300,000-500,000 this is very inexpensive for a good amount of coverage. This would be Coverage "E."

Make sure you have high limits on "Loss Assessment," most commonly there are inadequate limits on this coverage. I would suggest having 50,000, also a very inexpensive option.

LOSS ASSESSMENT HELPS WHEN - Big Losses occur---> Associations limits gets exhausted----> Remaining damages divided up between condo owners.
Then go over any additional coverages you may need, for example: water backup, scheduled property, Earthquake, ID Theft, and many more.

I Hope this helps you in purchasing an ho 6 insurance , GOOD LUCK!



Posted: 12 Jun 2007 08:39 Post Subject: HO 6 insurance for condo: $15k-$20k should be sufficient

On a $115k Condo, you would probably be alright with $15k-$20k worth of condo insurance. You can figure your personal property limit fairly easily by adding up your personal belongings. There are no "Rules of Thumb" for ho-6 insurance but I think if you come in somewhere in that range you should be fine.

Posted: 14 Jun 2007 03:56 Post Subject: ho 6 insurance policy..lets try it !

My Friend,

There are no basic thumb-rules designed to determine the volume of ho6 insurance one may need but yes, the purpose of such rules may be summerized as follows:

# Find and rule the the causes of fines and foreclosures
# Sge-restricted condominiums should be set up abiding by the discrimination laws.
# You should also know how to draft documents (both the general developments docs as well as those pertaining to the homeowner's associations).
# Gain expertise towards settling issues referring to the clashes between govt. rules and association rules.
# Gain expertise to solve the liability disputes.
# The client-related issues arising out of construction defect litigation and false claims should be confined to you.

Regards, Evan T. Smith

Posted: 30 Jun 2009 09:48 Post Subject:

Hi Guest, the ho-6 insurance can be divided into two parts. One part would cover the dwelling and the other would protect your personal belonging. At times the condo master’s policy would provide all in coverage, i.e. it would also cover your condo unit. However, the dwelling coverage generally covers the interior of the unit from,

* Fire & storm
* Accidental water damages (except flood; you need * separate policy for that)
* Damages caused by freezing of water pipes
* Theft and vandalism
* Explosion, and the like

For your personal belongings, you may add up the costs of each item and purchase coverage upto that level.

Posted: 09 Feb 2010 07:18 Post Subject: florida HO6 policies

Is glass a mandatory coverage for Florida HO6 policies. What is the form number?

Posted: 03 Mar 2010 09:10 Post Subject: black mold

i currently own a condo where black mold was discovered. it is not know yet if it came up from the unit below. what is my 1st step? is black mold covered thru the master policy or my h06?

Posted: 15 Apr 2010 05:41 Post Subject: Mandatory or not ?

Is it mandatory to have this insurance on a Florida Condo. If it is not can you plese direct me to written documentation saying that it is not mandatory. Thank you !

Posted: 26 May 2010 01:37 Post Subject: ho6

The purchase price of my condo is with new air conditioner I am installing$60,000. The outside of the building is not my responsibility. How much coverage do I need.

Posted: 21 Jul 2010 07:39 Post Subject: allstate condo insurance

I am looking for a NJ HO-6 policy that covers sewer and drain backup damage in my Condo.. My preset policy carrier is AllState and they preclude sewer and drain backups. My Condo Association as a $5000 detuctible on their insurance, which leaves me vunerable up to their $5000 detuctible.

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 02:18 Post Subject: ho6

does this also cover central air conditioner? :D

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 09:55 Post Subject:

I am looking for a . . . HO-6 policy that covers sewer and drain backup damage in my Condo.

This is a standard exclusion in all HO policies (not just HO-6) from all carriers. It is in the same category as "tidal waves", "water" (other than sudden bursting of pipes, or contingent to another covered loss), and "flood", but even a NFIP flood policy is not going to cover sewer backup.

The Commercial Property and Liability Policy owned by the Condo Association is not going to cover sewer backup either, in the same manner as an HO policy.

Although once covered, mold (your choice of color) has also become a standard exclusion in both homeowner's and commercial property policies as the result of frequent claims in the past (mostly in the 1990s).

Central air conditioning/heating units are only covered to the extent they are damaged as the result of some other covered loss (such as fire or collapse) external to the unit. They are not covered for mechanical breakdown (wear and tear) or inherent defect (covered by a manufacturer's warranty) -- for example, if an electrical component of the A/C causes a fire, the damage external to the A/C would be covered, but the internal damage to the A/C most likely would not.

As a condo owner, your liability for property damage includes all of your personal property and the hard assets of the condo to the interior walls. The structure itself, is covered by the Condo Association's policy. So when attempting to determine how much coverage you require, you'll need at least as much as it would required to completely rebuild the interior of the unit -- walls, fixtures (plumbing, electrical, etc), appliances, floor and window coverings -- and to replace your personal property -- clothing, furniture, linens and towels, china and silverware, guns, jewelry, fine art, books and valuable papers, electronics, and other contents (some of which, based on type or value, may need to be covered with an "inland marine floater" of one type or another).

The services of a local agent are invaluable when it comes to understanding and determining your coverage needs, and the proper coverage "forms" necessary to properly protect you and your "stuff".

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 10:16 Post Subject:

Is it mandatory to have this insurance on a Florida Condo. If it is not can you plese direct me to written documentation saying that it is not mandatory.

Insurance is rarely "mandatory" according to state laws. However, a mortgage lender or a Condo Association's CC&Rs may have their own requirements that force you to obtain certain minimum coverages as a "condition precedent" to financing or occupancy. This is not unlawful.

If those things are true, then state insurance laws permit you to obtain coverage from any agent or company of your choosing. You cannot be required to use the lender's own insurance company or the Condo Association's agent or insurer.

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 08:37 Post Subject: HO-6 Condo Insurance

Does HO-6 Condo insurance cover personal contents along with appliances , plumbing, walls on inside?

Posted: 13 Aug 2010 12:31 Post Subject:

Yes, that's why you buy an HO6. Liability and PERSONAL PROPERTY coverage.

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 03:09 Post Subject: ho6

I'm trying to get the HO6 just for one month, due a requirement from a Private Loan.

Posted: 28 Aug 2010 01:24 Post Subject:

You cannot buy a ONE MONTH homeowner's policy. Minimum term is one year. You could obtain a policy for a year, and then cancel the coverage after a month or two, but you will pay a cancellation charge for doing so.

Posted: 16 Oct 2010 10:45 Post Subject: Leak from second floor

The upstairs condo unit had a leak that cause my ceiling to collapse. Is that covered under a HO6? Or should that be covered by the condo assocation policy?

Posted: 17 Oct 2010 02:28 Post Subject:

It is covered under your HO6, and also covered under your upstairs neighbor's HO6. If liability was proved to be that of the HO association instead of your neighbor, then the HOA's liability coverage would apply to the claim. You can turn it in to your insurance company and let them worry about it, and sue your neighbor and/or HOA for your deductible.

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 03:30 Post Subject: HO-6

In VA we are purchasing a new condo townhome (stackable) and we are uncertain of what is adequate and what is inadequate coverage. If the dwelling is covered by the Master Policy, why do we need additional of $100K. What is adequate personal property of a fully furnished 2600 sf 3bd/2.5ba home with fam room, dining room and living room? How much insurance is adequate for Loss Assessement? Do we need water back-up ins as we are on the 3rd and 4th floors of the 4 story stackable townhome?

Posted: 29 Oct 2010 10:19 Post Subject: financing companies

can a finance company require the homeowner to purchase building coverage on top of the hoa building insurance policy in place.

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 04:57 Post Subject: Building Property

My HOA insurance policy states that I must insure my FLOOR & WALL COVERINGS. I understand floor coverings, but what does wall coverings entail?

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 05:07 Post Subject: Condo Building Property

My HOA insurance policy states I am responsible for for floor coverings and wall coverings. What does this entail?

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 04:37 Post Subject: HO 6


Posted: 22 Dec 2010 03:42 Post Subject: secondary smoke damage

I live in a condo (in Georgia). The first floor is a retail level. Recently a Cigar Bar (inside smoking allowed) opened directly under our unit. The stale cigar smell is finding its way to our condo - specifically our master bedroom and bath. We have talked to the business owner and to the management company of the building in regard to secondary smoke health hazard and the smell damaging our carpet, bedding, walls, clothes, etc.
Does our master insurance policy cover such things or our H0-6 policy (or neither)?

Posted: 22 Dec 2010 03:10 Post Subject:

Your insurance does not cover such incursions as cigar smoke. If anything, it is a liability claim against the Cigar Bar's insurance.

Have you talked with any city officials about this -- building and safety, or health department?

Posted: 24 Dec 2010 08:28 Post Subject: wind insuarnce

Is it necessary to include wind insurance for your own condo even if the HOA condominion has it coverd? thank you

Posted: 25 Dec 2010 08:39 Post Subject:

Is it necessary to include wind insurance for your own condo even if the HOA condominion has it coverd?

Probably not. Your HO-6 coverage is primarily for your contents, personal liability, and damage you do negligently/accidentally to the interior of the dwelling. The structure itself, and exterior portions such as the roof, are generally the responsibility of the HOA -- see your CC&Rs for details.

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 05:22 Post Subject:

In condos in California, if your next door neighbor caused fire and burned your condo unit, if it covered under your own condo insurance or is it covered under the neighbor's condo liability?

Thanks a lot.

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:33 Post Subject:

If there was NEGLIGENCE involved on the part of your neighbor, then he bears most of the liability (to the extent you had no ability to prevent a loss to your property -- known as the "last clear chance rule" -- if there was something you could have done to mitigate your loss, then the portion beyond that point might be your liability) and his insurance would be primary when it comes to covering your loss. Of course, you can simply file the claim with your insurance company and let them deal with the subrogation matter. They may or may not recover your deductible, and if they did not, then you could still file a small claims suit against the at fault party for your deductible.

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 02:15 Post Subject:

Thanks for your answer, what happens if the condo neighbor caused fire to your unit but has no condo liability insurance?

another scenario is if the neighbor does not have condo liability insurance but he owns another home and has homeowners insurance (HO-3), will the homeowners insurance liability cover his fire damage to other units?

Thank you very much.

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 10:32 Post Subject:

Thanks for your answer, what happens if the condo neighbor caused fire to your unit but has no condo liability insurance?

another scenario is if the neighbor does not have condo liability insurance but he owns another home and has homeowners insurance (HO-3), will the homeowners insurance liability cover his fire damage to other units?

Thank you very much.

Posted: 05 Jan 2011 06:54 Post Subject:

what happens if the condo neighbor caused fire to your unit but has no condo liability insurance?

That's part of the reason you have your own property coverage. You would sue the rat for not having liability insurance, and have to pay back any money you collect to your insurance company (it's called subrogation), up the full amount they paid on your behalf.

if the neighbor does not have condo liability insurance but he owns another home and has homeowners insurance (HO-3), will the homeowners insurance liability cover his fire damage to other units?

Probably not, but it would be worth filing a claim, since liability is a "personal" thing, and a claim could follow to another underlying policy. To be successful, you would have to prove that he DIRECTLY caused the fire that led to your damages (such as he left a candle burning, or he was careless in the use of a welding torch -- something like that).

Posted: 07 Jan 2011 11:38 Post Subject:

What happens if the fire is not due to "NEGLIGENCE"? Then who is responsible for the damages to the other units? The Condo Association's Master insurance liability or the neighbor's condo liability insurance or your own condo liability insurance?

Thank you.

Posted: 25 Jan 2011 10:07 Post Subject:

I would like to ask

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 01:37 Post Subject:

What happens if the fire is not due to "NEGLIGENCE"?

Sorry, did not see this until now. What was the cause of the fire? Where did it start?

Posted: 03 Feb 2011 06:50 Post Subject: Insurance

Does Florida lew require for a owner to have HO-6 policy?

Posted: 04 Feb 2011 02:35 Post Subject:

No state REQUIRES anyone to have insurance on a condominium. You lender probably does, in order to protect its interest in your property.

Posted: 29 Apr 2011 02:25 Post Subject: HO6-sheet rock, state of Florida

my insurer says that the condo association, not the HO6, is responsible for the sheet rock to replace damaged walls. Can you please clairfy? Thank you

Posted: 29 Apr 2011 02:54 Post Subject:

Your insurer may be wrong. You'll have to read the CC&Rs for your association to know what you are or are not liable for in the event of a fire or other loss inside your unit.

Posted: 17 May 2011 02:15 Post Subject: basic insurance for condo

Florida law required liability insurance, what is minimum

Posted: 18 May 2011 10:15 Post Subject: HO-6 Insurance

Just FYI - most condo associations do not cover bursting pipes and this is also not covered under contents coverage of an HO-6 policy. The only way to be covered in the event that your pipes burst and flood your unit or an adjacent unit is to add some dwelling coverage as well. You can also add special causes of loss instead of named (fire, wind, hail, theft, etc.) so that you are covered regardless of what caused the loss unless it's specifically excluded from the policy (like earthquake).

Posted: 22 May 2011 12:51 Post Subject: who pays for condo water damage to my unit caused by unit ow

both unit owner above me in condo caused much more than 5000 of water damage to my unit 2 days ago.We both have Allstate insurance and my Allstate agent says I will have to pay the $250 deductible and then my agency will file a liability to the above owner above who also had damage but to a lesser degree than I have.I (tubing for his ice maker was installed by him in faulty way it went halfway around his kitchen), so I have much damage to kitchen, dinning room and living room-floors, walls, and maybe cabinets. Our association mgr had trouble getting access to above condo by owner so the damage continued until he could get access to that unit. My condo is a wreck...moving furniture ourselves mostly and flooring torn up to dry condo, etc in all room.. I'm covered for $5000 and so is he, I think.

I'm having trouble getting an Allstate Adjuster appointment to come to my condo to access the damage. What can I do about that also?

Posted: 15 Jun 2011 08:31 Post Subject: CONDO INSURANCE


Posted: 15 Jun 2011 10:15 Post Subject:

How much personal property do you have? That's how much coverage you need.

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 04:15 Post Subject: Condo HO6 Illinois insurance questions


I had a fire sprinkler system leak that caused damage to my condo/townhome from a licensed workman that put a screw threw the pipe. Their company wouldn't pay for it and to matters worse, another company that did remediation took the screw out of the pipe while it was on and caused more damage. Anyways, I had to make a claim with my insurance company.

The question I have is, my insurance company says my association is liable for inside structural walls as per Illinois Condo Act for an HO6 policy. My association says, they didn't cause the damage, and therefore aren't liable. This is my townhome, and the damage was to inside walls.
My insurance after much work, is going to pay for the drywall, but said that my association should really pay for that. I don't understand, isn't the inside of my place the insurer's responsibility or am I wrong? Please let me know, and where it says that in the IL Condo Act.
But, I had to pay for the fire sprinkler to be fixed.

Thanking you in advance.

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 05:13 Post Subject:

As far as I know, association is responsible for building and all common areas.

The walls inside your townhouse damaged by your fire sprinkler is your responsibility and should be covered under your insurance. So, your insurance should be paying for it not association.

Your fire sprinkler fixing costs would be borne by you, but the damages may be recovered through the insurance.
Talk to your insurer or insurance advisor about this.

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 05:16 Post Subject:

My association says, they didn't cause the damage, and therefore aren't liable.

The fire sprinkler system needs to be inspected and maintained according to law. Do you pay for that with your own money or does the association pay for that with the fees they collect from you and all the other owners?

The answer to that question will tell you who is responsible for the damage done to and by the sprinkler system.

I'm betting that the association pays and is responsible, and that your insurance company was correct to begin with. It should not have been your responsibility to order and pay for the initial problem, and certainly the contractor that created the additional damage bears liability for the aftermath of his shoddy workmanship.

You need to get the state contractors licensing authority involved in this, and you may need to file a direct written claim for all your losses against the COA, which they will deny, and then you take them and the contractor to small claims court, where you should win.

Posted: 24 Sep 2011 12:28 Post Subject: Fire Sprinkler, Insurance, Association and contractors

Thanks for your feedback. I pay for fire sprinkler inspections, not the association because these are townhomes.

My adjustor cites IL Condo Act Section 12 1a that the association is liable for bare walls, floors, ceiling, etc. Basically, they say they aren't liable for the fire sprinkler pipes, because that is structural too and the association says they didn't cause the problem so not liable (and that it would be different if it was one big building with centralized sprinkler pipes). I got my insurance to pay for drywall reluctantly (because they say under the IL Condo Act Section 12 a 1) that that is structural and the association's responsibility. And this is INSIDE walls in my unit. So, I said I basically don't own my unit then? He said I do, but I don't. And I was told because I made a claim with my insurance, I can't go after the contractors now...my insurance will for themselves.

And again, I had to pay for the fire sprinkler pipes.

Posted: 24 Sep 2011 09:03 Post Subject:

Are all the units in your association sprinklered? If so, then, like the primary structure, the sprinklers belong to them not to you, even if you are paying for the inspections. According to Section 12(b) (paragraph 2):

Common elements include fixtures located within the unfinished interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, and ceilings of the individual units initially installed by the developer.

That would certainly sound like the sprinkler system -- if it was not a subsequent addition to your unit specifically.

As a condo owner, you don't own the structure, you own a revocable "right to occupy". That's why you don't have to carry coverage on the structure itself. You are responsible for covering the interior walls inward.

Also, you should take note of Section (f):
(f) Primary insurance. If at the time of a loss under the policy there is other
insurance in the name of a unit owner covering the same property covered by the policy, the association's policy is primary insurance.

I guess you'll have to go through the CC&Rs to see what is specifically said about the space between the interior walls and the exterior walls. But something sounds fishy to me, and your Association is shirking its responsibility to you as the unit owner (probably trying to avoid a premium increase).

Posted: 25 Sep 2011 12:45 Post Subject: Fire Sprinkler, Insurance, Association and contractors

Thanks again for your replies, all the help I can get on this is appreciated.

Yes, all the units in the development came with by law per village ordinance, with sprinkler systems included. As far as Section 12 b: Common elements include fixtures located within the unfinished interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, and ceilings of the individual units initially installed by the developer. I have a question about this phrase. What do they mean by unfinished interior surfaces of the PERIMETER walls, etc? I thought perimeter means outer which would be shared with common area, i.e., like inner wall of outside walls. This fire sprinkler pipe was in an inner wall inside my unit, not part of perimeter walls...even though the sprinkler goes throughout the whole place. So, does perimeter walls, floors, ceilings, etc. have another meaning here???

Also, my property management firm which seems to tell my association what to do, says they didn't cause the problem so they aren't liable. They said it would be different if 1. either their workers caused it, or 2. It was one big condo/apartment like building with sprinkler systems throughout. They said they aren't liable. Would that be in my by laws? Where would I look for that? Is that what you mean by CC&Rs? They told that to my adjustor and when he read back that they should be paying for it, the owner of the property management firm said that there is a $2,500 deductable anyway. The fire sprinkler system repair cost me over $500. And the management firm said the drywall they wouldn't pay because of the $2,500 deductable too, so I got my insurance reluctantly to pay for it.

Thanks for pointing me to Section F. I don't totally understand that though. Does that mean any damages done in a unit who has condo insurance that wasn't caused by the association or property management firm, that the association is required to pay as primary insurance? If this is true, everytime a claim is filed, someone would give it to the association and then the premiums would be skyhigh. Need your feedback on this.

Yeah, my association is really the property management firm, and they are really difficult to deal with.

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