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Will my condo association's master policy cover my property?

The master policy that your condo association maintains is designed to cover the common areas you share with other tenants. It may also cover the structure of your individual unit as it was originally built, and perhaps the fixtures within your unit. To cover your personal property and get comprehensive protection, though, you should purchase a special form of homeowners insurance designed to meet the needs of condo and co-op owners. This is known as an HO-6 policy.

An HO-6 policy will cover your personal property in the event of losses caused by certain perils named in the policy. Typically, these perils include fire, smoke, explosion, vandalism, theft, riot, lightning, storm, broken glass, aircraft, and volcanic eruption. To cover additional perils, you may want to purchase separate protection.

Under your condo association's guidelines, certain items may be treated as your insurance responsibility and will not be covered by the master policy. Along with the named perils coverage for your personal property, your HO-6 policy will probably provide insurance protection for additions and other improvements you make to your property, as well as private balconies, private entranceways, and private garages.

Like a standard homeowners policy, your HO-6 policy should also provide liability coverage. So, if you're found liable for bodily injuries to others and/or damage to their property, your HO-6 policy will generally cover you up to certain limits.