Unlike a typical home, you do not own the entire building; you only own your unit.  Thus, two property insurance policies are required for condominiums and cooperatives

  • Master Policy : Provided by the homeowner's association/governing board 
    • The policy typically insures against liability and physical damage and covers the common, shared areas. These areas include stairwells & elevators, hallways, laundry rooms, roofs, and basements
  • Personal (Homeowner's) Policy : Purchased by you, the homeowner
    • The policy (HO-6) typically covers your personal property and physical damage to the structural portions of the building that you own. Read the policy with care because normally, the policy only covers physical damage that is caused by a "named peril" listed in the policy.  Some perils include lightning, fire, smoke, vandalism and theft.
    • You can also purchase additional coverage, to safeguard against more losses:
      • Property damage caused by you
      • Third party injury liability
      • Additional living expenses (if you are forced to move out temporarily)

My Personal Policy Covers the Same Loss as the Master Policy. From Which Policy Will my Claim be Paid?

With HO-6 coverage, your homeowner's policy will pay the balance for remaining losses but only after the master insurance policy pays 100 percent of its limit.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me with My Condominium/Cooperative Insurance Problem?

Homeowner's insurance policies can be very complex and confusing. Additionally, each state has different laws regulating homeowner's insurance. Having a real estate lawyer review your master policy will help you determine what kind of homeowner's coverage you need.