Getting the Right Condo Coverage

I have just purchased a condo down the lakes of the Ozarks in Missouri. It is a second/vacation home that my wife and I plan to put on a part time rental program which will enable us to get income from it; we will also be using it ourselves from time to time. What sort of insurance would best suit my needs? My condo association currently insures the building and surrounding areas; will I need dry wall to dry wall insurance to cover all items and structures within the condo? Also how can I cover myself for liability for people visiting my condo?

Answer:

You will absolutely need drywall to drywall contents insurance on your condo. Every condo owner should have that. The condo association will have insurance, but it will be for the structure and common elements only. Your personal goods will not be insured.

Also, your contents insurance must cover any owner-initiated changes to the unit. The condo corporation's insurance is not reponsible for any owner upgrades or changes.

In addition, you should have a liability policy that will cover you in case of any accident or injury to a renter while on your property. I would actually recommend at least $2-3 Million in liability; if this is a "high end" property and you have other assets you need to protect, you might consider $5 Million. After all, if a suit against you went to court and the settlement exceeded your insurance coverage, you would be liable for the balance.

Depending on the type of renting you will be doing and the amount of time per year when the unit will be rented out, you might want to look into the type of insurance that an owner of a property carries when they will be renting it out. Since you aren't renting full time, I'm not sure if you need it, but it's something to consider.

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