How to Buy Condo Insurance

Buying condo insurance is easier than it may seem, and well worth it. Make the switch to better value!

Your condominium represents a huge financial investment. Making the small effort to find the right insurance policy will be well worth it if you have a property loss or significant liability. When you find a better policy through INSURANCE-MOD, be sure to inform your mortgage company, even if you don’t use an escrow account.

Summary
  • Insurance companies need information about your condo that they get directly from you and from public data.
  • You should pick an effective date for your new insurance policy at least a week in the future to allow time to cancel the current insurance company and issue payment to the new one.
  • All condo owners with a mortgage need to tell their mortgage companies about the change in insurance, even if they don’t use an escrow account.
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What is a condo insurance quote?

Condo unit owners’ insurance quotes represent the insurance companies’ offers to sell you protection for the condo unit, personal property, your liability and more.

Each company has a different formula for coming up with your quote, so the prices you see may vary a lot. Condo quotes take into account information like those listed below when considering the price of your policy:

  • Your coverage amounts
  • Age of your condominium building
  • The type of materials your condo is made of
  • Security features
  • Accessibility of local fire protection
  • Likelihood of natural disasters in your area
  • Crime rates in your neighborhood
  • Your credit score
  • Your pet(s)
  • Your belongings
  • Previous insurance claims

How to get a quote

You can get an insurance quote from a local insurance agent, online from an insurance company, or online from an insurance agency. Once you do choose an insurance company, don’t consider it a long-term relationship—you will save money in the long-run by switching insurance companies periodically.

Insurance companies need several pieces of information about you and your condo in order to prepare a quote for you. You will provide most of it, and some the insurance company will pull other information, such as the year your condo was built, the construction type and your credit score. You have the right to not allow the insurance company to pull your public records, but they will usually decline to offer you a quote if you do.

The following information is some of what is needed when submitting your account to INSURANCE-MOD to create quotes for you. Most of this information is also needed for your auto insurance, so you will only need to be entering it once:

 

  • The date your purchased the condo unit
  • Your social security number
  • The shape of the condominium’s roof
  • The number of people living in your condo unit
  • Protections at the condo, like: fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, burglar alarm, etc.
  • Presence of a fire hydrant close to the condominium building
  • Distance to the nearest fire station
  • If you have any dogs, and their breed

Purchasing a new policy and cancelling the old one

Purchasing your new policy
The quotes are in! Once you have your condo insurance quotes, you should read through the list of coverages and pick the one that is right for you. Don’t just go by price—read carefully for differ-ences between quotes because there may be some that are important to you.

When you have selected your quote, inform INSURANCE-MOD of your selection. The final step is to make payment to the new insurance company. You can expect a refund from the current (soon to be old) insurance company, which can be put toward the new policy.

Canceling your current policy
You will want to have the current insurance policy cancel on the same date as the new policy becomes effective. The current insurance company needs to be notified about the cancellation. There are several ways to contact the current insurance company: you can call them, email or write a letter.

The information the old insurance company needs to know to process your cancellation is:

  • Your first and last name
  • The policy number
  • The address of the residence
  • The effective date of the cancellation (same as the effective date of the new policy)

Mortgage companies and changing insurance

If you don’t use an escrow account
Even if you don’t use an escrow account to pay your condo unit owner’s insurance, you still need to inform your mortgage company of a change in your insurance company. Almost every mortgage requires you to have condo insurance (which is different from Private Mortgage Insurance). If you don’t tell your mortgage company that you switched insurance, they could see that your old insurance canceled but not know you have new insurance. They might end up buying another condo insurance policy for you!

You should contact your mortgage company to provide them with the information below, so they can confirm that you have insurance.

 

  • The name and address of the old insurance company, and your policy number
  • The name and address of the new insurance company, and your policy number
  • The mortgage loan number
  • The cancellation date of the current policy and the effective date of the new one (date will be the same)

If you do use an escrow account
Mortgage companies usually offer (and sometimes require) an escrow account that automatically pays taxes and condo owner insurance premiums when they are due. An escrow account is actually a way to have the convenience of monthly payments while benefitting from an annual insurance rate.

If you have an escrow account already or are buying a condo and will have one, then you need to give the mortgage company details about your new insurance policy. You will also need to make sure there is enough money in the escrow account for them to make the first payment of your new policy.

>> More about: Escrow and Switching Insurance

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