Renters insurance is a necessary purchase for any apartment dweller. The coverage provided and a renter’s needs, however, change depending on whether the space is an apartment or a condominium. Knowing which policy will best fit your needs is essential to purchasing the correct policy.
Definition: Apartment v. Condominium
In an apartment, a renter has no ownership rights to anything extending beyond their possessions. In contrast, a condominium owner owns everything from the wallboard in as well as a percentage of the common areas.
When an apartment or condominium is owned by a third party, in either situation any insurance purchased by a renter will cover only the renter’s personal belongings. The only distinction may come in the form of the value of the insurance in a condominium based on the amount of insurance and coverage purchased by the owner. Based on this, the remainder of this article discusses the different coverage between renters insurance and property insurance for a condominium.
A renter’s insurance policy only covers the renter’s furniture and other personal items. These policies are typically less expensive and more readily available that condominium insurance policies.
A mortgage lender will undoubtedly require a condominium owner to purchase and maintain insurance on the property. This insurance will cover damage to any part of the condominium starting from the wallboard and moving inward. Any damage to the structure of the building or common areas will be covered by the insurance carried by the condominium association.
Injury to Others
Both a renters insurance policy and a condominium policy will cover injury to others occurring on the property. The distinction between the policies is that in a renters insurance policy, such coverage will only extend to any injury received inside the apartment. Injury outside the walls of the rented apartment will be covered by the insurance carried by the apartment owner. A policy covering a condominium, however, will extend outside the condo walls to include any injury occurring as a result of the owner’s actions in the common areas. Because of this, condo insurance coverage for injury to others is often more expensive.
When purchasing either a renters or condominium insurance policy it is important to research coverage and prices. While many insurance agents will encourage you to purchase the policy immediately, do not be pressured into purchasing a policy that will not cover your belongings or needs. If you need clarification, ask for it; and if an agent or company seems untrustworthy, do not work with them. Remember, also, that insurance is a commodity, and that many times it is claim payment and support that will make all the difference in which policy will work best for you.