Our clients at Our Old Town Insurance LLC include those who live in Florida year-round and those who live here only during the winter months. Many are new to condominium living, having lived in private homes, and come to us with questions regarding how condo insurance differs from homeowner’s insurance.
The most obvious difference is the portion of the residence the owner owns and thus needs to insure. In the case of the freestanding house, the homeowner owns the whole of the structure plus the land it sits on, thus he is responsible for keeping it all safe. This means his insurance also needs to cover any structures on the property such as shed, carports, or garages.
In the case of condo living, the outdoor property, the common spaces, and the exterior building structure are all jointly owned by all the unit owners, and so are covered by the homeowners' association's (HOA) insurance policy. Since the condo owner only owns the interior of his unit, he only needs to insure his immediate living space. Should there be a disaster covered under the HOA policy, such as a fire or a hurricane, that policy would pay for repairs to the elevators, hallways, exterior structure, etc. while his condo insurance would cover the interior of his unit as well as his furniture and other belongings. Therefore, homeowner's insurance is more costly than condo insurance.
There is also a similar difference in the case of liability insurance. If a visitor trips and falls in the owner's living room, the owner may be responsible to pay the medical bills whereas if the mishap takes place in a common area such as the outer hallway leading to the condo owner's unit, or near the pool, the HOA will be held liable. Traditional homeowners, on the other hand, are responsible not only for injuries taking place within the home but also out on the sidewalk, in the yard, and any structures such as swings or trampolines, in other words, everything on the property. Again, the cost of liability insurance is more for traditional homes.
These are but a few of the differences between the two types of insurance. But all of us at the Old Town Insurance LLC office love to have visitors so if you have any questions please stop by and see us.