When your residents are looking for personal condominium insurance for their individual units, they may come to you for a recommendation. If the insurer for your entire building offers personal policies, then that’s the way to go—here’s why.
First, it’s important to educate your members on the difference between the condominium master policy and their individual policies.
As you know, the condominium master policy covers the building as a whole, including the common areas, building structure, office spaces, etc. But it does not cover your residents’ personal property. It’s vital that condominium owners understand this distinction to ensure they have adequate coverage and don’t get frustrated with you when they discover they weren’t protected after a disaster strikes.
A good way to explain the difference to your residents is to describe their insurance as “walls-in” coverage. This means that their individual insurance policy protects everything within the walls of the unit. But more importantly, it helps them understand what is not covered by the condominium association’s master policy—their unit structure, including flooring and walls, appliances, furniture, electronics, jewelry, personal belongings, and loss of use. This makes it clear that individual unit policies are a must.
Once your residents know that they need their own coverage, it’s helpful to provide a recommendation for them to consider. Using the insurer of the building for their policies can offer major perks for you and them. First, let’s look at how using two different companies can cause issues.
When there is a loss, there’s often damage to the building’s structure and common areas and to residents’ personal property. That means that there are two companies involved in resolving the claim: the insurance company for the condominium master policy, and the insurance company for the resident’s personal condominium.
This is where things can get tricky. In a perfect world, these two insurance companies would agree on everything. But in reality, they often end up disputing the nature of the claims, what’s covered, and which companies are responsible for what damage. This leads to a long, sometimes costly process and can be a major headache for you and your residents. It often results in delayed payment, which means that repairs get put off, keeping your members out of their condominiums for far longer than necessary.
When both policies come from the same insurer, you can avoid the insurance battle royale. The policies work together—it’s like salt and pepper, Batman and Robin, yin and yang. There is no endless back-and-forth between insurance companies—rather than fighting it out, the insurance company can decide which policies bear the responsibility for what damage behind the scenes, resolving and paying out claims quickly.
This is a massive benefit for you and your condominium owners and can even result in upfront payments while the company continues to make internal decisions. No one likes playing the waiting game, especially when there is physical damage that needs to be dealt with. When you and your residents use the same homeowners’ insurance company, the claims process will be easier than ever because everyone is on the same page from day one. The company is incentivized to move things along quickly and provide the best insurance experience for you and your residents. When both the individual condominium and the building are insured by the same company, everyone gets along. You avoid the seemingly never-ending arguments about who owes what and resolve your claim sooner.
On a final note, make sure you’re working with the best one for your building. Take a look at your insurance premium, and you may find you’re paying far too much for far too little coverage. Not only could you have started out with a subpar deal, but many companies raise their rates over time. Your premium may have gone up significantly while your coverage remains insufficient. That being said, when purchasing insurance, it’s important not to let dollar signs completely dictate your decisions. The least expensive policy you can find may seem like a good idea at first but generally results in stripped down, inadequate coverage. You need to look at value, not just isolated numbers.
You should also pay attention to the level of customer service your insurance company provides. Customer service is important in all industries, but even more so when it comes to insurance. When something goes wrong, you want to know that your insurance company is there for you and your residents, ready to answer the call. If the customer service is lacking, it might be a good idea to change insurers. You need an organization that’s on your side.
When disaster strikes, you and your residents already have a lot to deal with. Taking insurance company battles off your plate can make the whole process easier.
Skyway is a simple and modern way to buy premium condominium insurance online. As part of the UPC Insurance ® family, we offer reliable, comprehensive condominium insurance policies from UPC. Skyway makes buying insurance a breeze—by answering a few questions, you can get your estimated premium in just seconds and purchase a policy within a few minutes. Plus, we’re native Floridians that specialize in catastrophe-prone coastal areas. Our goal is to make it easy to get coverage you can count on. Learn more at www.skyway.com.