Condo Owners’ Insurance – Don’t Move In Without It!
Here in Washington, there was a sad lead story on tonight’s 11 o’clock news.
A lovely old condo building on Adams Morgan had a 4-alarm fire that burned today for seven hours. There was a sad looking shot of the unit owners sitting in a large circle in the park across the street talking with the building managers. The building itself looked pretty sorry, with a wrecking ball hanging overhead from a tall crane.
Thank God no one was hurt.
Another building on that block had a serious fire about fifteen years ago, and that fire brought home to me the importance of advising clients buying condos and coops to make sure they call their insurance agent. Many people are under the false impression that the owner’s association master insurance policy will cover them in the event of a fire or other catastrophe that seriously damages the property.
While the master policy will cover repairs to the building, owners need their own policies to protect their personal belongings – things like furniture, clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, your DVD and CD collection, and your computer.
The people who own units in this building will have to continue to pay their mortgages and condo fees during the months of reconstruction, even though their apartments are not habitable. Those with unit owners coverage will have their interim living expenses paid by their insurance companies.
For the past bunch of months, I’ve been whining about the contractors who invaded my house after a pipe burst. I’ve been living in my basement apartment with two cats and Willie-the-hyperactive Labradoodle puppie, which is somewhat inconvenient. Compared to the victims of this fire, I got off easy.