Condominium ownership is a unique combination of individual and group ownership. The distribution and description of building ownership is usually detailed in two documents - the master deed and the declaration of trust. Responsibility for insuring the unit interior walls, glass, cabinets, appliances and fixtures may lie almost entirely with the association, entirely with the unit owner, or somewhere in between. Improvements made by the unit owner after purchase may be treated differently. And the responsibility for insurance may not be consistent with the actual ownership. For example, in many condominium arrangements, the unit owner owns the interior of the walls, cabinets, etc, but the association has the responsibility for insuring the building items for the benefit of the unit owners. In this case, the unit owner may own many thousands of dollars worth of building items, but be responsible for insuring almost none of it.
There is no standard condominium unit owners policy which can be relied upon to insure every condominium properly. Coverage must be carefully designed to comply with the terms of the above documents and the provisions of the master policy. If this is not done, there could be a duplication of coverage or worse, no coverage in the event of a loss.
To write a condominium unit owners policy properly, the above documents must be consulted, and the coverage provided by the master policy must be determined. Then the coverage needed by the unit owner can be ascertained and the appropriate policy written.
Some associations offer guidance to unit owners through an insurance coordinator. We are also happy to offer our services, but we must have the condominium documents and the master policy, or name of the agent writing it, to do so.
Unless we have reviewed the current condominium documents and the current master policy, we are unable to make a representation as to the appropriateness or adequacy of the building coverage provided by your policy. Even if we have done this in the past, condominium associations often make changes in master policies from term to term.