Home Insurance, what’s in your portfolio?

The Villages of Stoneybrook is a hybrid community

of detached single family homes and condos (which could be accurately described as townhouses). The current bylaws had their beginning as a planned retirement community of luxury condo’s. The nonstandard vague and broad insurance provision of our bylaws has been particularly problematic with uncertainty. Most homeowners have acquired their own insurance (often at the insistence of their mortgage companies) and a few condo owners reportedly hold no personal insurance at all. This article presents some generic background information for typical home insurance policies.

Single-Family Home (detached)

A single-family home — a house — is a single, detached building that is generally home to one owner or family. The owner is responsible for maintaining and insuring the entire home and the property included with the home. A house differs from a condo or townhouse in that a house is surrounded by land on all sides. Homes may also be included in a Home Owners Association for common area amenities and maintenance. Typical insurance policies would be a H03 basic open perils policy or a H05 full open perils policy

Condo

A condo owner only has title to the condo interior and does not own the land on which the condo — also called a condominium — sits. Insurance is generally less expensive for a condo owner than for the owner of a house because the condo owner is only responsible for damage or accidents that may happen inside the condo unit. The buildings, land, exterior areas, and all public areas are insured by the condo association. The condo association also maintains the exterior areas, including lawns, siding and roofs. Condo associations tend to place heavy restrictions on owners for what is visible from the outside of the condo. Expenses paid by the condo association are funded by the condo owners via association dues. The insurance for a true condo is a H06 condo policy (interior only)

Townhome

A townhome owner owns the unit interior and the land on which the townhome — also called a town house — sits. A townhome differs from a house in that a townhome is not free-standing. Several townhomes are connected to each other. Insurance is generally more expensive for a townhome owner than for a condo because the owner is responsible for the exterior areas of the unit and any patio area that is included in the owner’s title. The owner is also liable for any accidents inside or out on that owner’s part of the property. The townhome’s association would insure the public areas, including parking lots, public buildings, sidewalks, and any recreational facilities. Townhome owners commonly pay association dues. The owner is also responsible for maintaining all exterior area of the unit, including the lawn, siding and roof. The typical insurance policy would be a H03 basic open perils policy.

More detail on the coverage of standard policy types can be found at

http://www.insurance-education-group.com/home-policy-forms.html