How is Homeowners Insurance Different from Condo Insurance?

Homeowners and Condo Insurance works similarly for both gives security to the owners’ dwelling as well as their personal properties. However, the key difference between the two insurance is the way they protect the structure of the home.

California Homeowners Insurance is otherwise known as HO3 Policy or Home Insurance. It covers the house, properties, liabilities, and other related structures. A home is exposed to a lot of risks such as fire, storms, injuries and more. If you’re a homeowner, Homeowners’ Insurance can protect you from devastating financial losses when unfortunate events happen.

Condo Insurance on the other hand provides protection for condo unit owners’ personal properties. The Condo Association’s Master Policy is the one that protects the building and its outer areas.

Homeowners insurance
vs. condo insurance

Having Homeowners Insurance California and Condominium Insurance California is an advantage because it provides financial assistance to expensive costs due to damages. Expenses from injuries, lawsuits or property damages can be quite expensive. The similarity between Homeowners’ and Condo Insurance is that they provide assistance when accidents occur. However, there are specific differences to consider since both insurances have unique responsibilities.


1. Dwelling Coverage

If you’re a homeowner, you must have enough dwelling coverage so you can cover the cost of rebuilding your house. Homeowners’ Insurance does not only provide coverage for your home building. It also covers other structures such as fences, sheds or garages. Owning a house is a lot more expensive than owning a condo unit. Thus, Homeowners’ Insurance provides more dwelling coverage than Condo Insurance.

If you’re a condo unit owner, you’ll only need protection for the interior part of your unit. You’ll need to secure your personal belongings such as your gadgets, clothing’s, and more. Your Condo Association’s Master Policy will take care of the damages in the exterior part.  The Condo Association’s Master Policy protects the outer walls, elevators, entrance, corridors and other structures. All condominiums have associations that manage the policies to maintain the condominium project. The members of the association are the ones who designate expenses for the structure and insurance.


2. Personal Liability Coverage

As a homeowner, your risk for potential liability claims is higher than that of Condo. This is because you will be the one to answer all expenses when incidents happen in your home premises. Whether at your lawn or in your kitchen, you are liable for damages or injuries in case of accidents.

Contrastingly, if you’re a unit owner, you’ll only need to take care of the risks that may happen inside your unit. For example, you had a party and one of the visitors tripped while in your unit. As the owner of the unit, you are responsible for accidents that may occur. So, instead of paying expensive medical bills, your condo insurance will help you pay for it. It will also pay for the repairs if one of your visitor belongings were damaged.


3. Personal Property

Personal Property Coverage is one of the coverages where Condo and Home Insurance stay similar. Whether you’re a homeowner or a unit owner, you have your own possessions such as appliances or furniture. You will need property coverage to protect your belongings in case of storm or theft. Personal Liability provides medical and legal assistance for both home and condo insurance.

However, one thing that will make a distinction between condo and home insurance would be the insurance rates. The rates would depend on how much your properties would cost. You need to make an inventory of the properties you have so you will know how much coverage you’ll need.


4. Loss of Use or Additional Living Expenses

Loss of Use or Additional Living Expenses is also a type of coverage where condo and home insurance have similarities. For homeowners’ insurance, this type of coverage is called “Additional Living Expenses”. On the other hand, Condominium Insurance calls it Loss of Use. Either of the two, this type of coverage provides financial assistance if your dwelling becomes uninhabitable due to extreme damages. Loss of use or Additional Living Expenses covers the expenses you need for lodging, meals or transportation. It provides enough compensation to support you and your family as well.

the different between homeowners and condo insurance costs

Choosing the right policy for your needs could be time consuming. However, it’s all worth it once you are able to decide the right policies for your needs.

The cost of homeowners’ insurance varies depending on the level of potential risks your house may experience. The location of your home and your neighborhood may impact the value of your insurance rates. If your home is located in areas that are prone to floods or earthquakes, you will need to add more policies.

For Condo Insurance, the rates also vary depending on the type of policies you and your condo association have. The amount of your policy depends on the scope of your condo association’s master policy.


There are two types of how master policy works:

  • All-in or All-inclusive masters policy covers attachments or installations inside your condo unit. Sinks, cupboards, built-in bookcases are some of the few examples of fixtures that all-in cover. All-in secured the exterior and interior parts of the condo unit except for personal belongings.
  • Bare-walls-in masters policy covers the walls, ceilings and floorings of the unit but not the ones attached to it.  As a unit owner, you will only worry about protecting your belongings when unfortunate things happen.

Home insurance’s coverage rate is higher since it has a lot more to cover than condo insurance. Homeowners also have higher potential risks than condo unit owners. For Home Insurance, high risks often fall to higher rates.

How to file a claim for
condo and home insurance

You can get the coverage of your costs by filing a claim. When accidents happen, filing a claim from your insurance policies is much convenient. To file a home and condo insurance claim, here are the general steps you need to follow:
  • Take note of the necessary details of the incident. Write down the date, time and make a list of all the damages including the value of each item.
  • Provide enough documentation of all the damages. Take photos or videos as much as possible. The receipts or inventory of your properties provides enough evidence so you can get full reimbursements.
  • As long as it is safe, make temporary repairs. If there are damages that require immediate repairs, you can fix them right away to avoid further damages. Make sure to have receipts of things you bought for repairs so you can get reimbursements for it.
  • Contact your insurance company and tell them about what happened. Most insurance companies require clients to report to them immediately after an incident happens. That doesn’t mean you have to call right away. However, keep in mind that the sooner you file a claim, the sooner the process begins.
  • If necessary, file a police report. Incidents that involve theft or vandalism need a police report to verify the details. Insurance companies require that you provide a police report if you’re filing a theft or vandalism claim.
  • You’ll then need to fill out claim forms that your insurer provides. It can be through online or claim portals. This is the time where you can submit all your documentations and reports.
  • You’ll receive the insurance payout once your claim is accepted.

how to save on home
condo insurance

There are some ways for home or unit owners to save from their insurance costs.
  • If you’re a unit owner, it is best for you to know the coverage of your condo association’s master policy. It will help lessen the things you need to cover because some things might be included under the master policy.
  • For both condo and homeowners, installing a smoke detector or deadbolt locks can also help you save a lot. If you have safety devices installed in your home, you can get discounts from your insurance company.
  • You can also save from your insurance rates when you increase your deductibles. A deductible is the amount of money you will pay before your insurance chips in. Once you increase your deductible, your insurance rate will decrease.

Overall, the distinctions between home insurance and condo insurance falls under their coverages. In spite of the differences, both condo and home insurance provides long-term for you and your family. Both insurance can save you from spending huge amounts of money in case of disasters.

Owning a home or a condo unit comes with great responsibility. There are many potential risks that may threaten you each day. That is why having the right insurance can give you peace of mind that helps lessen your everyday worries. If you’re interested in knowing how to protect your dwelling, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll assist you right away. Our insurance agents will help you find condo or home insurance policies that are right for you. Contact Us!