Condo Association
Insurance

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What is a Condo Master Policy?

Condominium associations generally are responsible for their complexes’ common areas, and that responsibility creates both property and liability risks. One way that condominium associations in California can protect against many of these risks is by purchasing a condo master policy.

A condo master policy is a specialized policy for condominium associations. The coverages in these policies are different from the provisions included in most other types of policies, and there are usually multiple coverages in these policies.

What California Condominium Associations Need Condo Association Insurance?

Broadly speaking, most condominium associations in California should consider condo association insurance. Not carrying insurance can lead to devastating losses that necessitate special assessments, and insurance is often even required by loan terms and/or association bylaws.

What Common Areas Are Covered by Condo Association Insurance?

Exactly what areas a condo association insurance policy covers are dependent upon the policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions. In many cases, a policy may cover:

  • Common walls (i.e. shard walls, exterior walls)
  • Passages (i.e. entryways, halls, stairwells, elevators)
  • Amenities (i.e. exercise centers, pools, business centers, community rooms)
  • Maintenance areas (i.e. lawncare sheds, utility rooms)
  • Exterior features (i.e. landscaping, walkways, fences)

Policies sometimes cover other kinds of common areas as well. An insurance agent who’s familiar with condo association insurance can help associations find coverage for any unique common areas that they’re responsible for.

What Types of Condo Master Policies Are Available?

Condo master policies provide various levels of protection, and policies can be categorized based on how much they cover within units:

Bare Walls-In:

Often only cover basics, such as walls within units, electrical and plumbing

Single Entity:

Often cover standard features that are included with a base condominium’s build-out

Modified Single Entity:

Often cover standard features and upgrades made to a condominium’s build-out

Modified single entity policies are also referred to as “all-in policies.”

What level of policy condo associations purchase is usually up to them, although bylaws might stipulate a specific type of policy.

How Much Are Premiums for Condo Master Policies?

Premiums for condo master policies vary, because they’re based on many factors. Some of the items that will likely impact an association’s payment include the:

  • Location of a condominium complex
  • Size of a building or complex
  • Number of units in a complex
  • Age of building(s) in a complex
  • Common areas to be insured
  • Chosen coverages and terms

An independent insurance agent can help associations find out how much purchasing a policy for their complex will cost. In general, premiums are affordable when spread across all unit owners and 12-months’ worth of dues. An independent agent can ensure associations find the most affordable policy that provides all necessary protections, though, because independent agents are able to compare policies across insurance companies.

How Can Associations Save on Condo Master Policies?

Insurance companies offer several ways to save on condo master policies. Below are a couple of the more common opportunities.

First, insurance companies often offer various discounts. These may range from property discounts for approved security features, to loyalty or new customer discounts. Associations should check with their insurer to see what discounts are available.

Second, raising deductibles generally results in lower premiums. Raising deductibles increases an association’s risk exposure in the event of a claim, but the amount of additional exposure is limited. In return, the premium savings can be substantial.

How Can Condo Associations in California Get a Condo Master Policy?

For help finding a condo master policy, contact the independent insurance agents at Crusberg Decker Financial. Our California agents have the expertise necessary to find you the best available policy, and we can recommend the best policy no matter what insurer offers it.