Now is a good time to review your condo (HO6), wind and flood insurance with a knowledgeable and reputable local agent familiar with the Florida condo market. HO6 policies provide liability protection, medical payments, and cover losses due to water, hurricane, lightning and condo association loss assessments up to certain limits with defined deductibles. Typically the condo association insurance policy covers the building replacement including electric wiring, plumbing, AC system and drywall inside your unit but all other damages to your interior contents like personal property, flooring, interior painting, furnishings, window treatments, light fixtures, fans, built in cabinets and countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms are the condo owner’s responsibility. Most HO6 policies cover replacement costs but confirm this with your agent.
Water damage is the most common type of loss. A condo owner who has a sudden and unexpected leak from an appliance, for instance, which causes damages to a unit below, is not liable for the damages to the other unit owner unless there is gross negligence. Florida law states that each condo owner handles his or her own water damage under the HO6 policy and pays the policy deductible – typically $500.
Many condo owners rent their units while they are away so review your coverage for this circumstance. Some insurance company policies only insure specific rental periods like weekly or monthly andyou may have the wrong company, wrong coverage or no coverage at all. While you are away and your unit is vacant, be sure you have a home watch person checking in at a minimum of every two weeks and that these visits are documented in writing or by email. This is usually required by the insurance companies and will help should you have a claim.
Flood insurance for the overall building is the responsibility of the condo association, but you may want to get flood insurance for the interior contents and structures if your condo is on a lower floor. Flood insurance has maximum per unit coverage amount so be sure to check your interior flood insurance policy with your agent to confirm that the overall maximum coverage cap per unit is not exceeded. He or she will be able to confirm the condo association flood insurance policy coverage and your interior flood insurance coverage are compatible.
And take a few moments to take photos or videos of the interior of your condo from all four corners of each room and store these photos in a safe place. This will compliment your inventory record and serve to show the quality of your contents should they need to be replaced.
It only takes a phone call to start the process.
This article was written with assistance from Rob Forsythe (www.forsythe-insurance.com). Future columns will include assistance or comments from other knowledgeable sources on other pertinent topics.