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Best Condo Insurance Companies: What to Look for in a Policy

Best Condo Insurance Companies: What to Look for in a Policy

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State Farm is our top recommendation for the best condominium insurance.

State Farm's rates tend to be more affordable than the rates of other competing insurers, and the company offers useful extras like valuables coverage.

Both home and condo insurance provide property owners with coverage for unexpected damage to personal property and building property, and for the costs of living elsewhere if your apartment becomes uninhabitable.

Unlike homeowners insurance, condo insurance generally doesn't cover the structure of your building; it's covered by your condo association's master policy. But condo owners need to ensure they buy a policy that fills the gaps in that master policy so they're fully covered for unexpected disasters.

The best condo insurance companies

State Farm is the best overall company for condo insurance after we identified the top condo insurance companies based on rates, coverage features and customer service experience. We also highlight policies with unique features that may appeal to particular types of condo owners, such as those putting condos on Airbnb or Vrbo.

Best condo insurance company for most people: State Farm

State Farm is our top overall recommendation for condo insurance because of its affordable rates, good service and wide availability.
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This graph lists condo insurance rates for State Farm, Farmers, Liberty Mutual and Progressive

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State Farm is more affordable than its main competitors, with prices about 22% lower than average. It is also the cheapest insurer for all but one of our sample profiles.

Not only does State Farm generally offer some of the cheapest standard condo insurance policies, but it also boasts a variety of add-on coverages to help you customize your policy.

Additional coverage features range from add-ons that are commonly available for condo insurance policies — such as coverage for water and sewer backups — to rarer endorsements such as coverage for refrigerated products and damage due to fungus and mold.

The only area State Farm doesn't excel in is customer service. At 3.5/5 stars, its customer service is just satisfactory. It has an about-average number of customer complaints, and J.D. Power rated it average as well. If you're prioritizing top-tier service, you'll be better off with one of our other picks.

Best condo insurance company for customer service: Amica

Amica has the best customer service of any widely available condo insurer in the country.
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If you're looking for the best customer service, Amica Mutual ranks first in our nationwide customer service analysis.

These high marks are reinforced by the company's low complaint index, which is calculated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Amica's complaint index of 0.32 indicates that it is 68% less likely to receive a complaint than a typical company of its size.

Best condo insurance company for home-sharing: Allstate

Allstate's exceptional coverage tailored to occasional home-sharing hosts stands out.
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If you're a condo owner who plans to occasionally rent out your space, Allstate's HostAdvantage feature may be the best option for you. HostAdvantage is a unique feature among major condo insurers and represents a great way to protect yourself from the risks of hosting temporary guests.

Typically, condo insurance policies are not written to protect your personal belongings when you rent out your place. For around $50 a year, HostAdvantage protects your belongings from theft and damage while you rent out your home.

Best condo insurance company for people in the military: USAA

USAA has top-notch service and generous coverage, but it's only available to people affiliated with the military.
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Along with Amica and Erie, the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) consistently ranks among the top condo insurance companies for customer satisfaction. However, you can only purchase USAA condo insurance if you're part of the military, you're a veteran or you have certain family relationships with a current or former service member.

If you do qualify, you should consider USAA, as its standard condo insurance policies have more generous coverage than most insurers. Its policies include higher base coverage limits and features that are usually only available for purchase as add-ons with other insurers.

USAA's loss assessment coverage has a limit of $10,000, for example, whereas most other insurers only provide $1,000 of this coverage in their policies. USAA's base policies also include identity theft coverage, which is often an optional add-on in condo insurance policies. There's also special military coverage that pays up to $10,000 for damage to your personal property caused by war. All in all, if you're a current or former member of the military, it's difficult to find a better option for condo insurance than USAA.

What to look for in the best condo insurance companies

When looking for a condo insurance policy, your options are similar to those for home insurance. The primary difference is that condo owners are looking for a policy that complements their condo association coverage, as some parts of their building may already be covered by the association's master policy.

Look for these features in your condo insurance policy.

  • It should fill the gaps in your condo association's master policy: If you own a condo, you'll be partially covered by a master condo association policy. But master policy coverage can range from an all-in policy, which covers everything but your personal belongings, to a bare-walls policy, which only covers communal areas.
  • Find the condo insurance company with the best rates: Price should not be your only consideration, but you should always shop around to see if you can find comparable coverage with lower prices from different insurers.
  • A condo insurance policy should fit your needs: Certain condo insurance companies have more coverage features, add-ons and discounts than others. For example, State Farm provides coverage for valuable items such as jewelry and electronics, allowing you to customize a policy to your needs. If you're seeking additional coverage or a specific discount, it may be worth shopping among insurers to see which features best fit your situation.
  • Customer service is key with condo insurance: You'll likely only interact with your insurer during times of need, such as after a natural disaster or a robbery. When buying a policy, you'll want to be confident the company is accessible, efficient and reliable in fulfilling your condo insurance claim.

Condo insurance should fill the coverage gaps in your master insurance policy

Before shopping for a condo insurance policy, you should make sure you understand what your condo association's master insurance policy covers. That way you can fill any coverage gaps with your condo insurance policy.

Master insurance policies generally cover the common areas shared in your building with other property owners — such as the roof and walkways — for liability and physical damage. Master insurance can be "walls-in coverage," meaning it covers the outer walls of the building to the unadorned walls of an individual unit. (This is also referred to as bare-walls coverage.) However, beyond the communal features of your building, master policies can vary, and some may actually cover things inside the walls of your condo. Most master policies fall under one of three categories.

  • All-in policies
  • Bare-walls policies
  • Original specifications or single-entity policies

You can contact your condominium association to find details on which type of master policy governs your building.

All-in policies cover not only the walls, floors and ceilings of a condo, but also the standard fixtures of a condo as it was originally built. Essentially, these policies, sometimes called all-inclusive policies, cover you for everything except for your personal belongings. This means when you're buying a condo insurance policy, you won't have to buy building property coverage, also called building item coverage, as these fixtures are already covered by your building's master policy.

On the other extreme is a bare-walls policy, which does not cover anything inside your apartment besides walls, floors and ceilings. If your condo association has a bare-walls policy, you'll need a condo insurance policy that has building property coverage for those fixtures inside your condo that you own. Fixtures include countertops, wall coverings, appliances (such as stoves and refrigerators) and any home improvements you've made.

A third type of master condo policy is an original specifications policy, also called single-entity coverage. With this policy, materials in your condo are covered if they were part of the original condition at the time of purchase, but not if they were added by the owner. So if your condo came with a washing machine and it's damaged by a fire, it’s covered under an original specifications master policy. If you added a washing machine to your condo, it won't be covered under an original specifications master policy, and you would have to get coverage for it separately as part of your condo insurance policy.

Finding the best rates for a condo insurance policy

The key driver in calculating the cost of your condo insurance is the amount of personal property coverage you purchase. But even with comparable coverage, not all insurers have the same rates. Some insurers are known for cheaper prices, and others are known for their wealth of features.

When possible, you should always get a quote to compare the prices of condo insurance policies with similar coverage levels, especially as prices can vary widely by insurer depending on your location and the features of your home.

Many, but not all, insurers have an online quote tool that instantly estimates your condo insurance premium, given your desired coverage levels and features. When an insurer does not provide an online quote, you'll generally have to get in touch with an agent if you want to compare its prices.

Additionally, certain insurers may offer discounts on your premium that apply to you. For instance, bundling your auto and condo insurance can result in savings. If you have a car, it may make sense to get both your auto and condo insurance from the same insurer, especially if the bundling discount outweighs the savings you can get from buying individual policies from separate insurers.

Condo insurance policies should have features that fit your needs

Almost all condo insurance companies include the following standard features:

  • Personal property coverage: Covers damage to your personal belongings caused by a covered peril.
  • Building property coverage: Covers damage to fixtures of your condo if they are not covered by your master association policy.
  • Personal liability coverage: Covers you and your family members for costs associated with lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage.
  • Loss of use coverage: Covers costs above and beyond your normal expenses for living elsewhere if your condo becomes uninhabitable.
  • Loss assessment coverage: Loss assessment is sometimes included as standard and sometimes available as add-on coverage. This coverage applies to events where a condo owner is responsible for a share of damage that affects the entire condominium association, such as wind damage to a window in the common area.

Beyond this standard coverage, condo insurance policies, similar to homeowners insurance policies, give you the option to add a variety of features for an additional fee. Additional features can range from identity theft coverage to protection against water backup damage.

By shopping with multiple insurers, you may be able to find an insurance feature that suits your particular needs. For instance, if you plan to rent out your condo with Airbnb or another vacation rental service, Allstate offers unique HostAdvantage coverage, which protects your belongings against theft or damage by temporary guests.

Seek condo insurance companies with the best customer service reputations

Ultimately, you'll interact with your insurer during a time of heightened stress — maybe your condo caught fire or a thief stole your valuables — and you'll want a company with a strong customer service reputation. In ValuePenguin's nationwide analysis of home insurance companies, USAA and Amica have the strongest customer service overall, followed closely by Erie, Auto-Owners, American Family and AIG.

ValuePenguin home insurer service ratings

Insurer
Overall score
USAA
Amica
Erie
Auto-Owners
American Family
AIG
Country Financial
Nationwide
State Farm
Farmers
Safeco
Chubb
Show All Rows

USAA receives a high score, but only current and former members of the U.S. military and their family members are eligible for its policies.

Frequently asked questions

Who has the cheapest condo insurance?

State Farm has the best rates for condo insurance among major insurers. Its rates are 22% lower than the average rate overall.

What is condo insurance?

Condo insurance is the type of insurance policy you need if you live in a condominium. It protects your personal property and some parts of your condo itself, such as the fixtures and walls. However, it omits coverage for most parts of your building, which are covered by your building's master policy.

How much is condo insurance?

The average price of condo insurance nationwide is $429 per year. But the price varies widely based on where you live.

Methodology

To find the best condo insurance companies, we collected quotes from four top condo insurance companies for condos in Philadelphia, Dallas and New York. All prices were for annual policies, and coverage limits were set at:

Coverage
Limit
Personal property protection$60,000
Building property coverage$18,000
Liability coverage$100,000
Deductible$1,000

Our customer service scores are based on data from J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, as well as ValuePenguin editors' ratings.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.