With hurricane season in full swing on the East Coast, Florida condominium residents may be wondering what types of damage are covered by their insurance policies and what kind of insurance is required for condo associations in the state. Because Florida law generally does not require more than basic coverage for condo buildings, condo owners are wise to protect themselves against the severe hurricane damage that can result from a single storm.
In Florida, condo associations are required to have casualty insurance to cover property damage caused by "acts of God" such as hurricanes and floods. In contrast, liability coverage, which provides funds for damage or injuries caused by a person's negligence or intentional misconduct, is not required for condo associations.
A condo association's casualty insurance policy will cover common areas like patios, pools and the exterior and hallways of buildings. However, it will not protect residents' personal property such as furniture or clothes. Florida law, summarized by the Sun Sentinel newspaper, also states that the following items within an owner's unit are not insured by the condo association's insurance policy:
- Counters and cabinets
- Electrical fixtures and appliances
- Water heaters and filters
- Window treatments
Condo owners were previously required to buy individual insurance policies to cover the contents and fixtures within their units, but the law was changed in July 2010 so owners' personal insurance coverage is no longer mandatory. However, considering the amount of damage that could occur and the limitations of condo associations' policies that leave owners' property unprotected, buying a personal insurance policy may be a worthy investment.