While most condominium complexes include condo insurance for the building itself with their Massachusetts condo fees, as an owner you should get insurance for your personal belongs (i.e. furniture, jewelry, etc.) and the cost will depend on the value of what you wish to insure.
Owning a condominium involves two policies: your own condo insurance policy and a “master policy”. A master policy is provided by the condo/co-op board and covers the common areas you share with other condo owners in your building, like the pool, hallways, building exteriors, roof, and walkways for both issues of liability and physical damage. The condo association collects monthly dues to pay for this insurance.
Your own insurance policy provides coverage for your personal possessions and any structural improvements to your condo. It also provides you with liability protection and you will be covered for additional living expenses if you are the victim of fire, theft or another disaster listed in your policy.
It is important to know what the master policy covers
Your master policy should explicitly say what areas of the complex are and are not insured by association dues. In order to make sure you’re not either under or over insured, determine exactly what is covered by this policy. Then you’ll know exactly what items actually need to be covered under your policy. Sometimes the association is responsible for insuring the individual condo or co-op units, as they were originally built. If there have been any alterations, you are responsible for insuring those.
For example, if you or a previous owner remodeled the bathroom or kitchen then that would be covered by your individual policy and not by your association’s policy. In many cases, the association is only responsible for insuring the bare walls, floor and ceiling. So it is up to you to insure items like kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, plumbing, wiring, and so forth.
When getting condo insurance in Massachusetts, you may want to speak to an agent who can help you to get the coverage you really need.