What Is Condo Insurance, and What Does It Cover?

Condo insurance covers damaged or stolen belongings as well as liability costs if guests get hurt in your home.
Sarah Schlichter
By Sarah Schlichter 
Edited by Caitlin Constantine Reviewed by Brenda J. Cude

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Nerdy takeaways
  • Condo insurance, also known as HO-6 insurance, is designed to cover what your condo association’s master policy won’t.

  • A typical condo insurance policy covers your personal belongings and pays out if you’re found responsible for injuring someone.

  • Because condo policies have potential coverage gaps, it’s often wise to work with an experienced insurance agent.

Nerdy takeaways
  • Condo insurance, also known as HO-6 insurance, is designed to cover what your condo association’s master policy won’t.

  • A typical condo insurance policy covers your personal belongings and pays out if you’re found responsible for injuring someone.

  • Because condo policies have potential coverage gaps, it’s often wise to work with an experienced insurance agent.

If you own a condominium, you can likely count on the condo association to insure the building and common areas. But the association’s master policy won’t help you if your belongings are stolen or get destroyed in a fire. For those and other potential disasters, you’ll need a personal condo insurance policy, also called HO-6 insurance.

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What is condo insurance?

Personal condo insurance covers what your association’s master policy won’t, including your furniture, electronics and other items inside your unit. If someone steals your TV or a burst pipe ruins your dining room set, your condo policy can reimburse you.

Condo insurance also offers liability coverage in case your dog bites someone or a guest gets hurt in your home. (Note that some insurers won’t cover certain dog breeds.)

What is HO-6 insurance?

HO-6 insurance is another name for condo insurance. The term refers to one of several home insurance policy forms used industrywide. For example, most homeowners buy HO-3 policies, while renters have HO-4 policies.

An HO-6 policy form insures condos and co-ops. Although condominiums and co-ops have different ownership structures, insurance policies for individual owners work pretty much the same way.

Is condo insurance required?

As with homeowners insurance, mortgage lenders generally require you to buy condo insurance. Having this coverage in place protects the lender’s financial interest during the length of your loan.

Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage or bought the property outright, you might still be on the hook. Many associations require owners to buy individual condo policies, and they may specify minimum levels of coverage.

What does a condo association’s insurance policy cover?

In many cases, some of your condo fees go toward the association’s master insurance policy. This insurance generally covers disasters and liability issues such as:

Damage to the building’s exterior

For example, the master policy usually pays for storm damage to the roof or siding.

Common areas

Your association’s master policy generally covers damage to places like the lobby, elevators, hallways and tennis courts.

Injuries sustained in common areas

Say a visitor slips on an icy walkway outside the front door to the building. If they are injured and file a lawsuit, your association’s insurance would likely cover the liability costs.

Remember that the above is general guidance. Consider asking your property manager or a member of the condo board for a copy of your association’s master policy. Knowing exactly what’s included will help you figure out what coverage you need in your individual condo policy.

Pay particular attention to the deductible on the master policy. (A deductible is the amount of a claim the association would need to cover.) Find out how high the deductible is and how the association would pay it in the event of a claim.

For example, is there an established fund that can cover a deductible if necessary, or would the association need to divide the amount among all unit owners? Could a single unit owner ever be responsible for the whole deductible (if, say, negligence on their part led to a fire that damaged common areas)? Knowing your potential risk can help you choose appropriate condo insurance.

What does condo insurance cover?

Individual condo insurance generally covers your personal belongings and offers financial protection if someone sues you for negligence. Depending on what your condo association’s master insurance policy includes, your individual HO-6 insurance policy may also cover your unit’s interior fixtures and appliances.

Here’s a breakdown of each type of individual condo insurance coverage.

Personal property

Personal property coverage pays to replace furniture and other belongings if they’re stolen or damaged by an event listed in your HO-6 policy. These “named perils” typically include scenarios like fire, wind and hail.

Example: A thief breaks into your condo and steals a TV, two laptops and a necklace. Insurance would reimburse you for those losses, minus your deductible.

A standard condo policy often covers valuables such as jewelry, electronics or artwork only up to certain limits. If you have expensive items, you may need to buy extra coverage. (The insurance company will likely ask for an appraisal — a professional assessment of the item’s value — before it will cover a pricey item.)

🤓Nerdy Tip

There are two types of personal property coverage. The default is typically “actual cash value,” which means your insurer will pay out the value of your items at the time they’re stolen or destroyed. With this option, you may not get much of a payout for older items. To receive enough money to buy a new dining room set in place of your 10-year-old one, pay extra for replacement cost coverage. Learn more about the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost coverage.

Additional living expenses or loss of use

If you can’t live in your unit because of a covered event, condo insurance can pay your hotel bills and other expenses.

Example: You have to move out of your condo for a couple of weeks during repairs for a burst pipe. An HO-6 policy could pay for hotel bills, restaurant meals and laundry expenses that go beyond what you'd normally pay while living at home.

Liability and medical payments

There are two parts of an individual condo insurance policy that can help with expenses if someone is hurt in your unit or you accidentally damage someone else’s property. Personal liability coverage kicks in for pricey scenarios such as a lawsuit after your dog bites someone at the park. For this coverage to apply, you must be found responsible for the injury or property damage.

Medical payments coverage generally has a lower limit and can pay the medical bills of someone hurt in your unit, regardless of whether you're at fault.

Example: While visiting your condo, a friend trips over an extension cord and breaks his wrist. Your medical payments coverage could help with his doctor bills.

Dwelling or building property coverage

You may need to insure your unit’s interior with dwelling coverage, also known as building property coverage, depending on your condo association’s master policy. Before buying individual condo insurance, check with your association to see which of the following coverage types applies to its master policy.

All-inclusive or all-in coverage

With this option, your association’s master policy will cover all items built into your unit, including light fixtures, appliances and cabinets. It will also cover improvements you make to these elements. If your association carries all-inclusive coverage, you may not need dwelling coverage on your individual condo policy.

Single entity coverage

Single entity coverage is similar to all-in coverage. However, it doesn’t include improvements or additions you make to your condo, only the original fixtures and appliances. If you make significant upgrades to your unit, you may want to add building property coverage to your individual policy.

Bare walls coverage

This includes the walls, floors and ceilings of the unit but not anything attached to them, such as carpets or appliances. You’ll need to seek coverage for these items under your individual condo policy. This type of coverage is why condo policies are sometimes called “walls-in insurance.”

As with personal property coverage, your building property coverage generally applies only to events specifically named in the policy such as theft and fire.

Example: A fire in the unit next to yours spreads to your kitchen, destroying most of the room. Your condo association’s master policy offers only bare walls coverage, so the building property coverage on your individual policy pays for new cabinets and appliances.

Loss assessment

If your condo association goes above the limits of its master policy — say, when repairing major hail damage to the building — each unit owner might need to help make up the difference. If you have loss assessment coverage on your condo insurance, it might cover this expense.

The master policy could also have a large deductible, and the association might split that cost among all unit owners. Alternatively, the association could ask an individual unit owner to pay the entire deductible if the damage originated in their condo.

Example: Your dog knocks over a candle and starts a fire that destroys part of the building’s roof. If the master policy has a $10,000 deductible, the association might hold you responsible for that amount rather than asking all the building’s owners to chip in. Loss assessment coverage may cover this type of scenario.

This coverage typically applies only when your individual policy covers the cause of the damage in question. Say your association asks you to contribute to repairs from flood damage, but you haven’t added flood insurance to your individual condo policy. In this case, loss assessment coverage wouldn’t help you.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Some condo policies may limit the amount of loss assessment coverage you can put toward your association’s deductible. In those cases, you may be able to buy coverage under another part of your policy instead. Consider reaching out to an independent agent who has expertise in condo insurance to make sure you have the coverage you need.

Which scenarios are covered, and which aren’t?

Below are some common problems a typical individual condo insurance policy will and won’t cover. You may be able to buy extra insurance for some of the scenarios that aren’t included.

Usually covered

Usually not covered

  • Fire and smoke.

  • Explosions.

  • Wind and hail.

  • Theft.

  • Vandalism.

  • Lightning.

  • Burst pipe.

  • Earthquakes.

  • Floods from external sources, such as heavy rainfall or storm surge.

  • Intentional injuries to others.

  • Nuclear hazards.

  • Damage from birds, rodents and insects.

  • Wear and tear.

  • Damage from underground water (such as sewer backups).

Optional condo insurance coverage

If a basic HO-6 policy isn’t enough, you can typically buy extra coverage in the form of endorsements, or add-ons to your policy. Below are a few common endorsements you can choose.

Replacement cost for personal property

A standard policy covers your personal belongings on an “actual cash value” basis, meaning the insurer would pay the depreciated value of older items if you ever filed a claim. Upgrading to replacement cost coverage means the payout will be enough to buy new items.

Water backup

If a clogged drain or malfunctioning sump pump sends water into your unit, the water backup endorsement pays for any resulting damage.

Scheduled personal property

Certain valuable items such as jewelry, art and firearms may have limited coverage under the personal property section of your policy. For example, even if your total personal property limit is $100,000, your policy may cover jewelry theft only up to $2,500. If your valuables are worth more than this sublimit, you can buy scheduled personal property coverage for them.

Identity theft

Adding an identity theft endorsement may give you coverage for legal bills, lost income or other expenses after an identity fraud incident.

Vacant or unoccupied condo

If you don’t live in your unit year-round or it’s unoccupied while you’re waiting to move in, you may need vacant home insurance. (A standard policy may not cover damage to a condo that’s left empty for more than 30 to 60 days.)

How much condo insurance do you need?

To figure out the amount of personal property coverage you need, take stock of what you own and what it’s worth. Here’s how to make a home inventory.

For a quick estimate, you can use the calculator below. Consider rounding up to the nearest $10,000 to make sure you have enough coverage.

When it comes to the interior of your unit, look over your association’s master policy before buying an HO-6 policy. The amount of building property coverage you need will depend on whether you have to cover appliances, cabinets, carpets and light fixtures.

Liability coverage for individual condo insurance generally starts at $100,000. To decide how much you need, tally up the total amount you could lose if someone sues you. Include the value of your savings and investments, vehicles and other assets. Then get enough liability coverage to cover at least that amount.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If you can’t get liability limits high enough to protect your assets, consider buying umbrella insurance, which offers extra liability coverage beyond your existing policies.

Some condo policies include loss assessment, while others offer it as an optional add-on. Even when it is included, the coverage limit is often fairly low (typically $1,000). You may wish to add more coverage, especially if your condo association’s master policy has a high deductible.

Condo policies can be tricky to buy because state laws and association bylaws differ from case to case. Talking with a licensed insurance agent is often the best way to get coverage suggestions for your situation.

How much does condo insurance cost?

The average condo insurance cost is $455 per year, according to NerdWallet's rate analysis. Condo insurance rates vary widely depending on where you live, how much coverage you need and the deductible you choose. Learn more about how much condo insurance costs in your state.

How to buy condo insurance

Many companies that offer homeowners insurance also sell policies for condos. You can generally get condo insurance quotes on the insurers’ websites or by calling them. If you’d rather let someone else do the legwork, you can ask an independent agent to compare quotes on your behalf.

To get the best price for the coverage you want, we recommend getting quotes from at least three companies. Make sure each company offers similar coverage amounts and deductibles to ensure a fair comparison.

Below are some widely available condo insurance companies to consider. Smaller regional insurers may also offer solid coverage options. A local independent agent can help you find them.


Allstate offers a long list of optional endorsements you can add to your condo policy. For example, HostAdvantage covers damage to your belongings during periods when you rent your condo out to others. You can also add coverage for identity theft, lost electronic data or water damage from backed-up drains.


Amica covers condos in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. It offers standard and dividend policies. The latter generally cost more upfront but could return up to 20% of your premium to you as a dividend. If you have a claim, Amica’s partnership with Contractor Connection can help you find a professional to do the repairs.


Chubb's condo policies include $5,000 in loss assessment coverage, with higher amounts available. In certain states, you can get extended replacement cost coverage to make sure you can fully rebuild your condo even if your policy’s limits aren’t high enough. Chubb aims to issue payment for claims within 48 hours.


Farmers offers a variety of ways to save on your condo policy. For example, discounts are available if you bundle multiple policies (such as condo and auto), have a security system or haven’t smoked in at least two years. Farmers covers the theft of jewelry and watches up to $1,000 per item. If that’s not enough, you can add extra coverage.

Liberty Mutual

A Liberty Mutual condo policy includes the basics and will also cover your stuff for 30 days during a move, including in a storage facility. You can save on your premium by bundling policies, going at least three years without filing a claim or installing protective devices in your home.


Nationwide has several types of optional coverage to choose from, including extra insurance for valuables and for water damage from backed-up sewers and drains. You can add Brand New Belongings to your policy, which insures your stuff on a replacement-cost basis rather than actual cash value.

State Farm

State Farm offers wide-ranging condo insurance policies that may keep pace with rising costs by automatically increasing your coverage limits. In most states, State Farm condo policyholders can get a free Ting device, a smart plug that monitors your home’s electrical network to help prevent fires.


Does your unit have smoke detectors, sprinklers or a home security system? If so, you could be eligible for a discount on your Travelers condo policy. The company also offers a unique “green home” discount for properties certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, better known as LEED.


USAA condo insurance is available to active-duty military members, veterans and their families. Policies include up to $10,000 worth of coverage for damage to your belongings by an act of war, with no deductible. They can also pay up to $50,000 for loss assessments from your association to repair damaged common areas.

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How to save on condo insurance

There are three primary ways to pay less for condo insurance:

  • Shop around. We recommend getting quotes from at least three insurance companies to find the best price for the coverage you want.

  • Look for discounts. You might be able to save if you bundle your condo and auto insurance with the same company. Some insurers offer discounts if your unit has safety devices like smoke detectors and deadbolt locks.

  • Raise your deductible. Don't do this unless you feel confident you would have enough savings to pay the higher amount in an emergency. Otherwise, the lower premium may not be worth it.

Frequently asked questions

Condo insurance, also known as HO-6 insurance, is a policy designed to complement your association’s master insurance policy. It covers your personal belongings and, in many cases, permanent fixtures in your unit such as built-in appliances. It also helps with expenses if you’re sued for negligence or you need to relocate during disaster repairs.

Not all individual condo policies include loss assessment coverage. Even if yours does, it probably won't cover every special assessment. For example, your policy likely wouldn’t help with a special assessment to replace an aging roof because insurance doesn’t pay for wear and tear. But if a fire destroyed the roof, your loss assessment coverage would probably pay because most insurance policies cover fires.

An HO-3 policy is the most common homeowners insurance policy, while an HO-6 policy is specifically for condos. An HO-3 policy insures single-family homes with coverage for the entire building, plus free-standing structures like sheds or fences. Because condo dwellers don’t own their building or the land it sits on, an HO-6 policy covers only their own unit and what's inside.

If you have a mortgage on your condo, your lender will likely require you to buy insurance for it. But condo insurance is different from a standard homeowners insurance policy because it covers only your unit, not the building itself.


To find the average cost of condo insurance in the U.S., NerdWallet calculated the median rate for 35-year-old condo unit owners from multiple insurance companies in every ZIP code across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates were rounded to the nearest $5.

Sample unit owners were nonsmokers with good credit living in a two-bedroom condo. They had a $1,000 deductible and the following coverage limits:

  • $70,000 in dwelling coverage.

  • $50,000 in personal property coverage.

  • $300,000 in liability coverage.

  • $30,000 in additional living expenses coverage.

  • $1,000 in medical payments coverage.

We made minor changes to the sample policy in cases where rates for the above coverage limits or deductibles weren’t available.

These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.