A condominium unit might be an apartment, a town house, or a penthouse. The defining difference is not the type of property, but the type of ownership that exists. To clarify, a property owner might own a building of eight apartments, hold a single deed on the building and is the owner of an entity, The Building. If you rent an apartment in The Building, you rent space within a designated area. It is your responsibility to protect and insure your possessions within your apartment. This is where renters insurance enters the picture.
When possessions are destroyed or stolen, or there is a tragic accident at your home, renters insurance can be the difference between landing quickly on your feet and financial disaster. Depending upon the specifics of your policy, renters insurance will replace or repair property that has been stolen or damaged, provide emergency lodging, or pay legal fees. A building owner is not responsible for a renter�s personal property, legal liability to others within the premises, accidental injury or property damage that might arise within your premises or from your personal actions.
The condominium owner has a deed to private living space, plus "common areas," like entrances, clubhouses, pools, and the like, that are frequented by all condominium owners and their guests. In a building with eight apartments, you hold a deed on an apartment and, according to the provisions of the deed, are the owner of the apartment plus a designated share of the public areas. The building personified as the condominium association is an entity with power to manage, buy and sell individual units within the building, as well as maintain and manage the property that encompasses the building into an entity.
Condominium owners have unique insurance requirements covered only by an insurance policy specifically designed for condominium living. Condominium insurance provides coverage for the owner's personal possessions, improvements to the interior of the unit, and legal liability for injury or damage suffered by visitors.
Coverage of the building is usually the responsibility of the condominium association. A condo owner may incur added responsibility for common areas like lobbies, hallways and recreational facilities, and legal liability for a visitor injured there, if the condominium association coverage proves inadequate. A careful review of the condominium association's proprietary lease will reveal the structural parts of the building already covered. Some associations are responsible only for bare essentials, such as walls, floor and ceiling, and the owner is required to insure interior decorations, plumbing, dishwasher, dryer, wiring fixtures, etc.
Renters insurance and condominium insurance are not the same because the properties involved are different. Both offer protection for personal possessions and legal liability, but there is coverage available to cover the unique circumstances of condominium ownership.