All in or Walls in, Insuring a Condominium Can be Complicated

Posted in Personal Insurance

You just bought your first condo.  It may be your first purchase or you finally decided to sell your suburban home and move to Boston.   Now that you have decided on condo living, the administrative fun commences.  Insuring your new property is one of the first joys you encounter before closing. When purchasing a condo, you become a part of an association that insures your condo’s building with a commercial insurance product known as a master condominium policy.  Yes, you guessed it; not all master condominium policies are the same, and your lender’s insurance requirements for condos are different than the requirements for single family homes.  Even better, your lender and insurance provider will most likely speak different languages regarding what they need and leave you stuck in the middle. 


Assuming that you do not have your secret decoder ring from grade school, the first step is to understand your lender’s requirements and match them to your condo’s master policy. In most cases,  your lender will be looking for the master policy to cover 100% of the insurable replacement cost and the improvements and betterments made to the interior of your unit.  This is known as “all in” or “walls in” coverage. From there, the next step is to request a certificate of insurance for the master condominium policy. You can obtain a certificate through the insurance agency that represents the association, your realtor, or the property manager.      


Armed with your lender’s requirements and master insurance certificate, it is now  time to contact your personal insurance agent.  Your insurance agent should review the documents and coordinate with the master condo policy, lender’s requirements, your individual condo unit policy (also known as an HO-6 policy), and your other personal insurance policies.