HO6 Insurance- All That You Need to Know

Do you possess valuable property items at your condo and the owner association asks you for the HO6 policy? You need to get the information about the process. This article will help you in this regard.

Condo insurance or HO6 insurance policy is an essential property policy that ensures protection of your personal property, liability, and loss of assessment for your condo. The policy is proven to because for your mental peace because it provides a shelter policy for the valuables of your home that you know are covered under the policy if any unexpected or unfortunate incident happens.

The process for getting an HO6 insurance policy is also easy and simple and there are many property companies out there that will help you get the best option. If you already have bought some insurance for instance auto or life insurance, you can check from those companies to get the HO6 insurance that can offer you discounts for bundling policies. This article will also help you get knowledge about the process so that you can make a well-informed decision.

What is HO6 insurance?

HO6 insurance, also called condo insurance, is the insurance policy for the owners of condominiums or co-ops that provides coverage for personal property, liability, and a specific range of improvements that the owner wants inside his unit. Generally, insurance provided by the owner’s condo or co-ops association only covers the outer area of the condo, such as hallways, parking lots, etc. In contrast, the HO6 policy covers the potential damage that has been done inside the unit.

An HO6 policy covers interior damage, additions, alterations you have made, improvements, and additional living expenses such as if your unit is not livable for a temporary time due to covered peril. The HO6 policies are also called wall-in coverage because they protect your internal unit from any damage or your personal belongings got fire. They also cover the liability cost for you in cases for instance your dog bites any visitor at your home and he sue you for that, so the policy covers legal claims too.

Given that the condo that you own is one of the most important assets of your life, protecting it from some unfortunate event is a smart choice to make.

What does the HO6 insurance policy cover?

Generally, the HO6 insurers offer the coverage of personal property, dwellings, personal liability, additional living expenses, and loss assessment. In many cases, the condo policy provides protection of interior walls, ceilings, and floors, and other damages covered by the following perils:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Weather
  • Smoke damage
  • Vandalism
  • Frozen pipes

Condo dwelling coverage

Condo dwelling coverage provides the policy protection to the damages caused by the mentioned perils to your interior dwellings such as cabinets, floor, carpets, interior walls, fixtures, and countertops.

The policy covers damages like if your pipe bursts or freezes dwelling coverage will make it to the damaged area and fix it under the coverage limit.

Personal property coverage

Personal property is almost everything that you have bought for your home and is under your use. It is everything that you can move with you if you want to shift from your place. For instance furniture, jewelry, clothing, electronics, appliances, TVs, artwork, etc.

Note that the standard HO6 policy has some limits for certain items of personal property for example antiques, fine art, electronics, and jewelry. So it might be the case that you need to buy extra coverage or floater for these items.

Personal liability coverage

Personal liability covers any injury or harm that has occurred to any person at your place for instance someone falls, slips, or gets bitten by your dog can sue against you claiming that it was because of your negligence, personal liability can kick in and cover the legal cost or medical bills if there are any.

Personal liability coverages often range from  $100,000 to $500,000. Try to select the one that is enough to protect your assets for instance if the damage repair cost for any harm is $50,000, you would only pay the deductibles instead of paying the full amount at one time.

Additional living coverage

Many HO6 policies cover for the damage that is caused by unexpected perils which are covered under your policy and they have caused the damage to the point that your unit is temporarily uninhabited. For instance, if the fire catches your unit and damages or destroys the interior, you have to live somewhere else for the time being.

Additional living coverage provides for the hotel where you live and restaurant bill where you eat.

Loss assessment

If your policy includes loss assessment coverage, it will help you in incidents that have caused damage to the shared area of your condo such as the clubhouse, stairwells, and pools. In normal cases, damage to the outer structure of the condo is covered by the master policy of the owner association but if the amount of damage exceeds the limit of the master policy of the owner, you may be responsible to pay the difference.

Usually, $1,000 is the coverage maintained in the policy but your policy gives the option to purchase an additional endorsement to increase your limit.

What does HO6 not cover?

The following perils are mostly covered in the HO6 policy:

  • Accidental discharge of stream or water
  • Falling objects
  • Explosions
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Weight of ice or snow
  • Vehicles
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riots
  • Aircraft
  • Wind and hail
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Vandalism
  • Accidental cracking or burning of specific household system
  • Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire protection sprinkler system, or of a household appliance
  • Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss of a tube, transistor, or similar electronic component)
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But there are certain conditions where your policy does not come in to recover the damage. Such situations include:

Earthquake damage

Most standard HO6 policies do not cover personal or liability damage caused by earthquakes. Policy providers often separate earthquake policies so people who are living in areas that are prone to earthquakes should buy additional endorsement in their policy.

Flood damage

Most policies don’t cover any structural or personal damage caused by floods. Your insurer can facilitate you buying a separate flood policy if you want or ask your insurer if they can provide you with any endorsement or floater that covers floods’ damage.

Flood policy often covers:

  • Appliances
  • Air-conditioning or heating system
  • Debris removal
  • Electric systems
  • Flooring
  • Built-in bookcases and cabinets
  • Wallcoverings
  • Plumbing systems

Exterior damage

As your HO6 policy covers damage inside or your unit, any damage that is caused to the exterior structure lies under the master policy. If the covered peril damages the exterior walls and some of your personal property, the master plan will pay to rebuild the wall while your HO6 policy will replace your personal items that got destroyed in the event.

Medical expenses of the policyholder

Personal liability covers the medical bills of the person who got injured at your place, but the policy does not cover any medical bills or hospitalization of yours. For that, you have to contact your health insurance company.

Roof damage

Roof damage is covered under the master policy and your HO6 policy does not cover it. In cases where the damage of the roof caused your personal property damage, then the master policy will repair the roof while your HO6 policy will pay for the furniture or anything under the roof that got destroyed.

Difference between HO6 and HO3 policies

All home insurance policies are not the same, some are designed for high-risk homes, some provide comprehensive coverage while others are there for manufactured homes. When you plan to buy home insurance, make sure that you have the proper knowledge about each one of the policies, so that you end up buying the most suitable one for you.

For this article’s purpose, let’s figure out the difference between the HO3 and HO6 policies for you. The basic difference however between HO3 and HO6 policies is that the HO3 policy is specifically for a house that is owner-occupied while the HO6 policy is designed for condo unit owners.

HO3 policy

HO3 policy offers coverage for standard homes that include open peril coverage for your dwellings and named peril coverage for personal property. HO3 policy mainly offers the following coverage:

  • Dwellings: It covers the physical structure of your home that also includes attached areas such as garage, porch, parking lot
  • Personal property: All of your personal property that gets damaged in covered perils is covered in HO3 policy.
  • Other structures: It also covers other structures that are not attached to your home including a shed or fence.
  • Medical payments: If any guest gets himself injured, your policy covers medical bills if they claim whether you are responsible or not for causing any injury.
  • Liability: The policy covers lawsuits in case your guest got injured or you happened to cause any damage to another’s property in your dwelling.
  • Loss of use: If your home is uninhabitable for a temporary time because of any damage caused by the covered perils, the policy pays for food, hotel, parking, and laundry.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the HO3 policy:

Pros Cons
Affordable premiums Actual cash value payout
Available from all property insurance providers Limited coverage for personal property
Open peril coverage for the dwelling

HO6 policy

Because condo units are individual units in the entire building, they need separate insurance. HO6 is designed for these units compared to HO3 which is gotten by the owner of the building.  So the HO6 policy is the type of property insurance that covers condos on the basis of named perils.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the HO6 policy:

Pros Cons
Replacement cost value payout You can’t get it from property insurance companies
Protects your personal belongings and liabilities Covers personal property on the named peril basis
Some policies have loss assessment coverage

Besides having the difference of what portion of the building each of these policies covers, the other major difference between the two policies is the form of reimbursement that is paid if you file a claim. The HO3 policy covers your property with actual cash value (ACV) by default while in HO6 policy you get replacement cost value (RCV) which means that you will be paid the amount equal to the current price of the item. With ACV, the insurance company pays the actual price of the item which is going to be lesser than if you buy a new item.

Here is a major difference between HO6 and HO3 policies:

HO6 policy HO3 policy
Required by mortgage lenders Required by mortgage lenders
Meant for condos Meant for standard homes
Replacement cost value payment Replacement cash value payment
Includes physical damage coverage Includes dwelling coverage

 

Why choose the HO3 policy?

  • If you own a standard home
  • Your mortgage lender requires it
  • You need coverage for exterior home

Why choose the HO6 policy?

  • You own a condo
  • You need loss assessment coverage
  • You want your interior to be protected

How much HO6 insurance do you need?

The process of HO6 insurance policy is usually more complicated than regular home insurance because of the different types of homes insurance policies and their rules and regulations. Because of that, it is usually recommended that you should consult an insurance professional who has experience working with owners of condos before making a final decision.

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You need to check if your HO3 policy does not cover “bare walls” or “wall studs in”, you may need more HO6 insurance. After consulting with the insurance professional you can easily decide how much condo coverage exactly do you need to protect your belongings such as kitchen cabinets, wood floors, and fixtures.

Make sure that you take stock of your interior items such as furniture, electronics, and clothing and record the expensive artwork. This will help you in case you need to claim for any item so you would have a record of every item of your unit. Replacement cost is expensive but if you already pay for the replacement cash value, you would be glad when it will be covered in any misfortune event.

For liability coverage, you need to check how much is the value of your assets. If it is more than $500,000, your insurance professional may suggest you look into an umbrella policy. Also, you should also spare the policy for loss assessment in case someone is injured in the common area or the exterior is seriously damaged. If your condo association does not have a hefty deductible and your important and expensive items are not covered by HO3 policy such as diving board or pool slide, if your policy covers loss assessment, it will help you.

If you want to make a wholesome policy, you can add the following coverages too:

  • Flood insurance: Among the named perils, flood damage is not covered in most of the HO6 policies, so you have to buy a separate flood policy for your condo. But if you want to have an endorsement or floater, you can get this peril covered in your policy. This can be of more help if you are living in an area that is more prone to floods.
  • Water backup coverage: if you add this coverage, it will protect your unit in case there is a sewer or drain backup.
  • Additional coverage for valuables: if you possess some valuables such as expensive jewelry, collectibles, or other expensive items that are not covered in your regular HO6 policy, you can buy an additional floater for that.

How to buy the HO6 insurance policy?

Below are the easy steps that you can follow to get your condo policy:

  • Step 1: Get your HO6 condo quotes from the property insurance company near your area.
  • Step 2: compare equivalent quotes
  • Step 3: based on the offered quotes, select and notify the insurance company of your best value. You have to keep in mind that the best value does not mean the cheaper rates but it should be the mixture of reasonable rates and maximum coverage.
  • Step 4: Review your information and sign the condo insurance policy, make sure that the information you have entered is accurate.
  • Step 5: Make sure that your condo insurance is confirmed.

How to compare insurance quotes?

The insurance quote is an estimated amount of your premiums for the insurance coverage based on the information that you provide while applying for the policy. When you plan to buy your condo policy, try to find the offered quotes from different property insurance companies. You can do it by visiting their websites and checking their rates. By doing that, you will get multiple quotes from a bunch of companies that you can compare with each other.

When you are comparing the quotes of different companies, don’t finalize your plan based on the cost only but keep in mind the other factors too, such as:

  • Discount options
  • Website and app options
  • Condo insurance coverage options that meet your needs
  • Customer complaint history
  • Financial stability of the insurance company
  • Which companies do your family and friends recommend
  • Claims satisfaction history

Also, you can search for the condo policy at the companies where you have bought your other insurances such as auto insurance or health insurance, they can offer a discount for bundling policies.

Common asked questions

  • How much dwelling coverage do I need for my condo?

The amount of dwelling coverage largely depends on the policy of the condo owner; master policy because if his policy is all in an all-inclusive, you may be able to get less dwelling coverage. So in order to buy reasonable condo insurance, you need to confirm the policy of the condo association.

  • Is HO6 insurance required?

The condo insurance is not required by the state but if your condo has a mortgage, he will ask you to buy one in order to keep his unit protected at least till you pay him in full. So in order to keep the place safe, your condo insurance will be a protective shield for your personal property and also for the mortgage lender.

  • Does HO6 insurance cover theft?

Usually, the condo insurance covers the lost or stolen property if you have personal property coverage in your policy. Check if there is any exclusion such as the expensive jewelry may not be covered unless you have gotten an additional endorsement for that.

  • Why should I buy HO6 insurance?

You should buy HO6 insurance because it covers any possible damage caused to your valuable property and also pays for the liability claim if there is an accident that happens to your guest or visitor.

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Conclusion

HO6 policy or condo policy is the insurance policy that covers any possible damage caused to your personal property or any valuables that got stolen inside your condo. Where the master policy of HOA policy covers the damage to the entire building or the exterior of the building, condo insurance protects your valuables inside of the unit which is not covered in the owner association policy.

It also protects you from any potential lawsuit that a visitor or a guest can file against you in any unexpected accident or injury that happened at your place. A condo policy is a smart choice to make especially if you possess some valuable items at your home.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.

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