Are you buying your first condo? Downsizing from a single family home to a condominium? Moving to Portland Maine and buying a condo? Your insurance will be completely different in a condo. Insurance needs vary a lot from one Portland Maine condo association to another. Insuring a sleek new unit on Newbury St. is different than a historic condo in a 3 unit building in the West End. A good insurance agent knows the difference. You should, too.
Check Your Association’s Setup
What does the association’s master insurance policy cover? What are you responsible for insuring? Condominium associations’ bylaws and declarations answer these questions. Share copies of these documents with a knowledgeable insurance agent. They can help you determine what you’re responsible for insuring. Don’t rely on your neighbor’s word. Current owners can be improperly insured if their agent didn’t review the condo documents.
Some associations define a unit as “studs in.” Owners must insure subfloors and flooring, woodwork, cabinets, carpeting and other building items. Other associations are “all in”. The master policy may insure everything except your contents and improvements.
What is Your Association’s Insurance Deductible?
Many condo associations have increased property deductibles to control costs. Deductibles of $5,000 or higher are now common. Your policy should dovetail with the association’s deductible. A good insurance agent can help you decide on the right limits and deductibles.
Cover Your Own Stuff
Your Maine condo unit owners policy covers your belongings and appliances against loss or damage. It also covers your personal liability and the cost to live elsewhere if you can’t stay there after a loss. Associations may assess owners for a loss that exceeds their master policy insurance limit. Your policy can pay for some or all of that assessment. Your agent can help you choose the right limits.
Insuring Condo Improvements
Even “all in” associations may only include what was in the condominium when it was built. Did you or a prior owner upgrade countertops, flooring or fixtures? Insuring them may be your responsibility. Fortunately, upgrading your condo building insurance is easy and inexpensive. Tell your insurance agent about upgrades to your unit.
Insuring a Portland Maine Condo as Income Property
Do you own a condo and rent it to others? You’ll need a special kind of coverage. You’re still responsible for the unit like other owners, but have the added liability of a landlord. Your insurance agent can quote the proper coverage for condos rented to others.
How to Find a Good Condo Insurance Agent in Portland Maine
If your agent doesn’t ask to see your condo association documents, find another agent. It’s impossible to know you have the right coverage without them. Look for an agent who offers a choice of several insurance companies. That way, when your insurer raises your rates you can shop without repeating the entire process.
If you’re buying a condominium in Portland Maine and are looking for condo insurance, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland. We offer a choice from Maine’s top condominium insurance companies. Unlike insurance company employees who only sell one product, we’re independent and committed to you. Click here to get a condo quote or call us at 207-799-5541.