Do you know what insurance you need for your condo?

It is not uncommon for condominium owners in Santa Cruz Owners Associations to be confused about homeowner’s insurance.  If we had a quarter for every time we heard a unit owner say “I don’t need insurance -the HOA’s insurance covers everything” we could probably have retired to a tropical island already.

So what type of insurance do condominium owners need?  What does the association’s policy cover?  The first question is easier to answer than the second.

Condominium Unit owners need HO-6 insurance. HO-6 is a type of policy specifically for condominium owners.  It covers the personal property of the unit owner, improvements to the interior of the unit, liability insurance, and can also provide coverage if a unit owner is held responsible for the deductible of the HOA’s insurance. With regard to property, the HO-6 policy should take over where the HOA’s policy leaves off.  Ideally, the insurance agent for the homeowner should work with the agent for the HOA to be certain that there are no gaps in coverage.

The Association’ s insurance (should) cover what the governing documents required to cover. Well-written CC&Rs state exactly what the HOA is responsible for insuring. (But if we also had a quarter for every time we’ve seen unclear CC&Rs, we would probably OWN that tropical island…)  Most CC&Rs have a section regarding insurance, with specific paragraphs about what property needs to be insured by the HOA and also by the owner.  For assistance in deciphering your governing documents, contact your insurance agent and your legal counsel. Your Association Manager of your property in Santa Cruz should be able to direct you to a good agent that understands the special needs of Owner’s Associations.

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