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Condo Master Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Condo Master Insurance?

Condominium associations require their own property, liability and other important insurance coverage. Individual unit owners have a collective responsibility for securing this insurance. A condominium association typically collects monthly dues from unit owners and uses a portion of these funds to insure the building, common areas and the condominium association’s liability exposures.

Condo association insurance is a specialized form of insurance that’s designed for condominium associations. Policies help condominium insure complexes’ common areas, such as:

  • Walkways, fences, and exterior features
  • Entryways and hallways
  • Stairs and elevators
  • Community rooms, exercise centers, pools, and similar amenities
  • Common walls between units and exterior walls 

(Exactly what common areas a specific policy covers is determined by the policy’s terms and conditions. The common areas covered can vary from one policy to the next.)

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Condo Master Insurance Massachusetts

What Types of Protections Does Master Condo Insurance Afford?

Condo master insurance policies provide a mixture of property and liability protections. Property coverages may protect common areas from damage caused by perils such as fire, vandalism, and wind. Liability coverages help protect a condominium association from certain liability suits and claims filed against the condo trust.. In most cases, liability coverages will help pay the legal fees and any settlements associated with covered claims.

To fully understand the property and liability coverages offered by a particular condo association policy, condominium association board members should carefully review all of the policy’s terms, conditions, exclusions, and limits.

Contact a Garrity commercial insurance specialist today to discuss the right options for your building. We insure over 300 condominium associations in the Greater Boston area and are considered specialists in this field.

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Who Pays the Premiums of Condo Master Insurance Policies?

Since condominium association insurance policies normally provide protections for areas condominium associations are typically responsible to maintain and insure, these policies are usually purchased and paid for by condominium associations. Most associations, however, pass the cost of coverage onto the condo owners in its complex. 

Premium payments are frequently passed onto condo owners as part of the annual assessments that condo owners pay. Dividing a policy’s annual premium equally among all condo owners ensure that each owner pays their share of a policy’s premiums.

Condo Master Insurance Massachusetts

Does My Master Policy Cover the Interior of the Unit?

The majority of master insurance policies written at Garrity Insurance are written on an ALL IN Basis.  However, many master policies follow the docs. So, this means that the condo association must refer to the insurance section of the condo’s declaration of trust aka bylaws to see description of how the master policy should respond to claims.

Condo Trust Docs generally have three different types of requirements described below:

  • BARE WALLS:  this type of requirement limits the association’s  responsibility to cover the common elements and the building up to the studs in the walls. Then, the unit owner will be responsible to cover the interior of the unit including walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets,countertops and other betterments/upgrades.
  • Per Original Specifications: the association is responsible for insuring all real property; but only the cost necessary to return the building and units to their original condition using materials of like kind and quality as installed by the original builder. Unit owner improvements, betterments, or renovations are not included under the master insurance policy when the bylaws are written this way.
  • ALL IN Per the Docs or sometimes called All inclusive  is when the bylaws require the condo association to insure the entire building including common areas, mechanical systems such as heating and electrical, as well as the units in their entirety.
  • ALL IN by endorsement: Same as All in per the docs, but the insurance policy itself specifically states that the master policy will cover the building AND the units in their entirety.

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How Can Massachusetts Condo Associations Get Quotes for Policies?

Massachusetts condo associations can get help finding condo association insurance by contacting an independent insurance agent in the state who’s familiar with this type of insurance. An experienced, independent agent will be able to help a condo association select the coverages it needs, and then the agent can get quotes from different insurers for policies that provide those coverages. With their help, a condo association can review the available quotes and select the policy that offers the best coverage and value.

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