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Buying Condo Insurance

Condo owners do not need the full property protection of a homeowner's policy, but they do need to have some of the benefits of such a policy. You are not responsible for the structures or the public access, but you will need to protect your personal property and provide liability insurance for the parts you call your own.

The property insurance portion of a condo insurance policy covers all of your possessions, including those inside the dwelling and those stored outside. For maximum protection, use a video camera and make a recording, called a home inventory, of all of your property. Move from room to room through the property, opening drawers and closets and making sure that everything in the room is recorded. This includes your clothing, your decorations, furniture and appliances. The general rule of thumb is that if it belongs to you and can moved to another location if you move, then it is insurable as part of your personal property.

Bodily injury liability for your condo is similar to the same type of coverage for your car. It will pay for the medical care of anyone other than yourself and your immediate family who is injured by you or your property. For you and your family, a health insurance policy is the best defense, but liability will prevent your neighbors from suing for damages or injuries.

Make sure that your policy includes coverage for all of the perils common in your area. Similarly, flood insurance is not part of any standard insurance policy, but it could be a necessity to anyone, anywhere in the country. Flood insurance has to be purchased separately from other types of coverage, but it provides a level of protection that nothing else comes close to.

Ask your insurance agent about home insurance discounts you may be eligible for, such as a security system that is monitored off site, or discounts for being married or even the location where your condo is located. There are more than a dozen discounts available for condo insurance, but the offerings vary from state to state and insurer to insurer, so check with your insurance agent to get the best discount for your area.

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