Water damages that are sudden and accidental are covered by condo insurance in Florida

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  • Water damages to the condo's exterior are usually covered by your condo association's master policy.
  • You are responsible for purchasing coverage for the interior of your unit and personal belongings.
  • Condo insurance does not cover water damages from flooding and lack of maintenance. 

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Condo insurance, like homeowners insurance, protects your home from water damage, fires, lightning, and windstorms. But if you own a condo, you're usually obliged to cover damages to your unit's interior like built-in appliances, personal property, liability claims, and any additional living expenses you need to make if your unit is temporarily uninhabitable. 

The condo owner is responsible for the building's exterior under dwelling coverage. Your HOA's master policy will cover some water damages, but you may be responsible for other water damages depending on the situation. 

Does condo insurance cover water damages?

Your homeowners insurance policy will cover damages to your dwelling if you're a homeowner. So you'll need condo insurance if you live in a condo or co-op, also known as HO-6. Condominiums are owned and managed by the condo association. That being said, the HOA will have a master policy to cover the building and common areas like the lobby or gym. 

A standard condo insurance policy will cover what your HOA does not; for instance, your unit itself, and your belongings. Your HOA master policy may have "all-in" coverage which protects the entirety of the dwelling, including your interior unit. It is a good idea to check your condominium's shared insurance declaration page to see if you need to purchase dwelling coverage for your unit's interior. 

When does homeowners insurance cover water damage?

Water damage is usually covered if the damage is sudden and accidental. "Coverage under your condo insurance policy may cover water damage resulting from plumbing, appliances, water heaters, and HVAC systems," according to Progressive.

Here are a few of the incidents where condo insurance will cover your water damage

  • Burst pipe: Condo insurance will typically cover a burst pipe as long as the damage is covered in your policy. Having a home service professional come in for routine maintenance can curtail water damage. 
  • Water leaks: Condo insurance may cover damage if water leaks through the roof and into your unit.
  • Mold: If the mold resulted from a covered water damage event, condo insurance will reimburse you for it.

When does homeowners insurance exclude water damage?

  • Flooding: Like a homeowners insurance policy, condo insurance does not cover water damages due to flooding. You may need to purchase additional flood insurance to restore your condo after flood damages.
  • Lack of maintenance: Water damage resulting from neglect will not be covered. Before the damage happens, purchase a home warranty to cover repairs related to wear and tear. 

Does Florida's condo insurance cover water damage?

Florida is home to severe hurricanes and floods each season. As a Florida condo owner, you may wonder if HOA covers water damage to your condo. Like policies in any other state, Florida's condo insurance will cover water damages as long as it is a listed peril in your policy. And remember, condo insurance will not cover damages due to flooding and lack of maintenance. 

Florida condo insurance's annual premium is about $997 per year, which is almost twice the cost of the average nationwide premium average of $512, according to a 2019 report from the NAIC. Weather-related risks and increased frequency of claims contribute to high condo insurance costs in Florida. 

How to file a condo insurance claim for water damage

If you need to file a claim, Stacey Giulianti, cofounder of Florida Peninsula insurance says to make sure you get photos and videos of the damaged property. You should also note the date and time of the incident and any other information available. 

"Every carrier has a listed telephone number for calling in condo unit insurance claims," Giulianti says. Upon discovering the water damage, contact the insurance company immediately after. The provider should assist you in finding a home service professional for water mitigation and dry out service. 

You should also contact your insurance company to let them know about the incident. They'll assign a claim adjuster to inspect the damage and coordinate with the condo association's insurance company to work out coverage. You will then receive a claim number from the insurance provider to track your claim's progress.

"Water damage is the number one source of property damage for non-weather-related losses, says Boris. It's important to take steps to prevent this common occurrence from damaging your condo. 

Alani Asis

Personal Finance Reviews Fellow

Alani Asis is a Personal Finance Reviews Fellow who covers life, automotive, and homeowners insurance. Prior to Insider, Alani was a Mortgage Support Specialist and a personal finance freelance writer based in Hawai'i. You can reach her via email at aasis@insider.com or through Twitter @AlaniAsis. 

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