Do You Need Flood Insurance For A Condo?

Plumbing difficulties, such as a burst sink pipe, HVAC malfunction, or frozen pipe damage, are likely to be covered by most condo insurance policies. In general, if something goes wrong in your apartment and causes water damage, your condo insurance should cover the costs. This usually refers to unforeseeable “accidents” caused by carelessness or wear and tear.

Any unforeseen damage that occurs: without culpability (no one is found at fault) and originates within your unit (doesn’t come in from another area) is usually covered by your condo insurance.

Wear and tear damage – No

Let’s say a pipe bursts and leaks, but it wasn’t an accident. Because the pipes were rusty or the water heater was old, the leak was caused by wear and tear. Because you neglected your plumbing, you now have an issue.

Your condo insurance is unlikely to cover any damages caused by your carelessness. It is your obligation to maintain the functionality of your equipment. If an insurance inspector concludes that the damage was caused by negligence, your claim is likely to be denied.

Floods – No

Flooding is not covered by condo insurance, nor is it covered by most homeowner’s insurance. Any water that first reaches the ground and then enters your home is referred to as “flooding.” Hurricanes, mudslides, and neighboring bodies of water can all cause water damage.

We strongly advise you to purchase supplemental flood insurance for your condo. Storms or broken pipes can cause floods in even low-risk and moderate-risk properties, and flood damage can be quite costly.

Are you unsure if you require flood insurance? See our list of 11 flood insurance questions here, and when you’re ready, call one of our insurance consultants at (855) 244-7671 to talk about whether flood insurance is right for your condo.

Water backup – No

Sewer or drain backups, like floods, are typically not covered by standard condo insurance. If your HOA is to blame for the backup, the homeowners’ association master policy will most certainly cover the majority of the costs. Unless you have extra condo water insurance, you will be responsible for your own charges if the cause cannot be discovered or if there is a drain backup in your condo.

Common area damage – No

Let’s imagine there’s water damage in your condo community’s common amenities, such as the roof or the public bike storage. Because you are not responsible for these damages, your condo insurance does not apply. The homeowners’ association has a master insurance policy that protects them from liability and property damage in shared spaces. Here’s more information on the differences between your condo insurance and the HOA’s insurance. (When you move in, ask your HOA for a copy of their policy so you can make sure your personal condo insurance covers the difference.)

You are only liable for common area damage if it is caused by your negligence. For example, if you ignore a burst pipe in your property, it could cause damage to the stairs outside your unit. You may be to blame for the damage, and you will be held liable for the expense. If the damage was caused by a plumbing accident rather than wear and tear, your condo insurance may be able to help cover the costs.

Let’s imagine there’s a leak in a common space, and it travels inside your unit, causing damage. Your condo insurance may cover the costs initially, but they will most certainly seek recovery from the HOA’s insurance company. The HOA is responsible for the maintenance, liability, and damage of common areas.

Neighbor’s water damage – Partially

Let’s say a pipe in your upstairs neighbor’s house bursts. It causes water damage in their house, which then leaks into yours, causing damage to your walls and furniture. In the vast majority of cases, you are not to blame for the harm.

Your condo insurance may be able to help you with the costs of repair and replacement in the short term. Your insurer may then work with your neighbor’s insurance company to recoup your expenses. This is beneficial to you since you acquire the money you need to repair your property without having to deal with any of the negotiations or contacts.

Some insurers, on the other hand, may be hesitant to get involved because it is not their job (or yours). It’s possible that you’ll have to deal directly with your neighbor and their insurance carrier.

Regardless, you should have a conversation with your neighbor to figure out who is responsible and how much it will cost. You don’t want to have any problems with your neighbor in the future, so it’s essential to communicate openly right away.


Your condo insurance may or may not cover flooding and other sorts of water damage. You may wish to consider obtaining supplementary policy for complete protection. Flood insurance is especially important to consider because flooding is both prevalent and expensive—even in moderate-risk areas.

What type of insurance policy is required on a condo?

A condominium is covered by two types of property insurance policies: a homeowners association policy and an individual condo policy. Building managers use money received from association fees to acquire HOA policies, also known as master policies. The building structure, including common rooms, elevators, external walls, and roofs, is covered by HOA policies.

Individual condominium units are usually not covered by HOA policies, thus owners must acquire condo insurance, also known as a HO-6 coverage in the insurance market. HO-6 insurance often provide just basic structural coverage. Your condo coverage, for example, may only cover damage to the ceilings, floors, and walls of your unit. Liability and property protection are also included in HO-6 policies.

Is flood insurance really necessary?

Flood insurance is not needed for California homeowners, but it is often required by mortgage lenders if your home is located in a high-risk flood zone. Because these “special flood danger regions” are re-evaluated over time, it’s recommended to consult the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Maps to see if your home is at risk of flooding.

If you want to get a federally backed mortgage, you’ll need flood insurance, according to a map of California’s flood zones. This is usually the case for zones that begin with the letters A or V. If you live in a Zone B, X, or C location, your home has a less than 1% annual probability of flooding, and you won’t be needed to obtain flood insurance.

Even if flood insurance isn’t needed, it’s usually a good idea to consider it unless your home is distant from any dams or levees and is at a higher elevation than the rest of the neighborhood. Damage to your property will not be covered by your homes insurance policy if a flood occurs, as flooding is usually a specified exclusion. And unless a federal catastrophe is declared, you’re unlikely to obtain government assistance.

Risks of flooding in California

Flooding threatens the majority of California, and every county has been declared a flood disaster at least once. Heavy rains in northern and central California have caused rivers to flood in recent years, causing harm to the surrounding environment.

These floods have the potential to cause harm to your home and belongings. While flood insurance doesn’t cover everything and has policy restrictions, you could easily be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs if you don’t have it.

Is insurance higher on condos?

Condo insurance costs on average $429 per year, however this varies greatly by state. The difference in cost between the most expensive and the cheapest states for condo insurance is $695 per year, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

The average yearly and monthly condo insurance rates by state, as well as the difference from the national average, are shown in the table below. California, for example, has a $535 annual average condo insurance rate, which is 25% higher than the national average.

Who is responsible for water damage in a condo Ontario?

When water damage happens in a condominium complex, it is not always clear who is responsible for paying for repairs. In most cases, if water damage occurs on common property, the condo corporation’s master insurance policy will cover it, as well as any damage that occurs as a result of it. Owners can still be charged a portion of the expense.

Does the damage exceed the deductible?

If the water damage affects any of the units or common property, and the damage exceeds your condo’s insurance deductible, the loss can be claimed on the building’s master insurance policy.

Are there betterments and improvements?

If the cost of repairing the water damage exceeds the deductible, the condo corporation’s master insurance policy will cover the costs. This excludes enhancements and upgrades. Any renovations made to a unit will not be covered if it is damaged.

Water damage can be claimed on a condo owner’s insurance policy, which will cover the improvements. Owners should check to see if their coverage covers upgrades and betterments.

Insurance claim or special assessment?

If the water damage exceeds the condo corporation’s insurance deductible, it must be decided whether it will be covered under the master policy or passed on to the unit owners as a special assessment. When the condo insurance policy is renewed, claiming the water damage loss will result in higher rates or a larger water damage deductible. To circumvent this, the cost may be given to owners as a special assessment, requiring them to pay their portion of the repair costs. Condo owners must ensure that special assessments are covered by their condo insurance.

Condo owners will be responsible for their part of the deductible if the water damage is covered by the condo insurance policy. Because condo master insurance policies can have hefty deductibles, sometimes as high as $50,000 or $100,000, they should make sure their policy covers this. If a condo owner is found to be responsible for the water damage, they may be ordered to pay the full sum.

Is the water damage overland flooding or sewer backup?

The majority of condo master policies exclude sewer backup and overland flooding. This form of coverage is provided as an endorsement to condo owners’ insurance, however if it is not covered and a disaster occurs, a special assessment may be required.

Did the water damage destroy a condo owner’s belongings?

The condo corporation’s master insurance policy does not cover the contents of the unit. The contents insurance included with a condo insurance policy will cover an owner’s personal items if it is damaged. They will decide whether to file a claim or pay for the damage themselves, depending on their deductible and the extent of the damage to their belongings.

Condo owners need insurance

Condo owners pay for water damage in their building in one way or another, whether it’s through higher condo fees, insurance deductibles, special assessments, or out-of-pocket payments for damage to their things.

Condo owners must obtain the appropriate insurance for their unit in order to reduce the danger of major losses and the costs of water damage throughout their ownership.

Do condos in Florida need flood insurance?

While the Condominium Act mandates the purchase of property insurance by condominium organizations, flood insurance is optional. The only time your condominium is required to obtain flood insurance is if your declaration of condominium requires it. Otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time pushing the issue. Of course, every unit owner has the option of purchasing their own flood insurance, and I expect that most mortgaged apartments will be obliged to do so in the future.

Do you really need condo insurance?

If you rent a condo or a townhouse, you probably don’t require condo insurance. Your landlord should carry condo insurance to cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding the unit in the event of a covered risk, such as a fire. However, you should think about getting renters insurance.

What happens if a condo is destroyed?

The homeowners’ association/corporation can elect to repair the devastated parts of the building, notably the common areas, if the condominium has been declared habitable or safe for human use by the local government. The impacted condo owner is responsible for repairing his or her own unit.

What is condo owners insurance?

Condo insurance is coverage that helps protect a condominium unit against losses and repair costs. Theft, vandalism, fire damage, water damage, and other issues are frequently covered by condo insurance.

Condominiums are a terrific alternative to renting an apartment or buying a single-family house, but they come with their own set of insurance requirements. But, if we may be so bold, we know a thing or two about “unique” after years of dealing with a little, talking green guy.

Is flood insurance a waste of money?

Flood insurance is a waste of time when it comes to covering ground water. Surface water that inundates two acres of land or more than one property is only covered by flood insurance.

So, how do you feel about docks? In most cases, flood insurance will not cover docks or any other structure that is built over water. This would also include boathouses. It’s difficult to know when flood insurance will cover something and when it won’t.