Condo Insurance on the Building The Hard Reality of Not Knowing You Must Have Insurance On Your Stuff


By Kay Wilson-Bolton 2.15.15

The devastation from fire is irreversible. The reality of a total loss of all earthy belongings is unimaginable and the loss of life for people or pets is traumatic and tragic—for some it is unbearable.

Even worse news comes when the renter or the homeowner in a condominium association, apartment or planned unit development with attached walls learns there is no insurance for their contents.

In most cases, when a homebuyer hears the HOA dues pays for fire insurance, the assumption is that is enough. Little thought is given to the need for insurance on the contents inside the walls. The insurance industry has initiated a program called “HO6” or “Walls-In” where buyers are required to carry insurance on contents but there is no assurance the policy stays in place.

The real estate industry, which includes property management companies, managers and HOA’s, must take on an extra layer of responsibility and advise buyers and renters of the wisdom and necessity of purchasing insurance on their contents. The cost for contents of a normal dwelling unit is surprisingly affordable.

In a recent fire in a multi-unit complex where all contents were destroyed in two of the units, all four families were shocked to learn the fire insurance included in their HOA dues was of no benefit to them but only to the lender carrying the mortgage.

Not only is the family without a place to stay, they have to continue making the house payment and replace every necessity for daily living…shoes, jackets, blankets, towels, computer, hair brushes, cell phones, all identification, dishes, medications. It feels overwhelming.

When there is adequate fire insurance coverage, there is money for lodging, mortgage payments and replacement of some items. The burden of picking up the pieces and moving to normal living is minimized, but the enormous burden of no coverage is almost too much to bear.

Let’s remind anyone who rents or pays dues to an HOA which carries fire insurance on the buildings that fire insurance on the contents does not exist and must be purchased separately.

This is not a lesson that we want anyone to learn too late.

Kay Wilson-Bolton has been a real estate broker in West Ventura County Since 1976.




About Kay Wilson-Boltonhttp://www.kaywilsonbolton.netWith a full-time career in real estate, I can add to your bank of knowledge, not only in real estate but in many areas of life that deal with people and relationships and choices. My real estate career has taught me many lessons about planning ahead and looking forward. I believe in helping along the way so that they can be the best they can be in any situation. I serve as a Fire Department Chaplain and Coordinator for the Many Meals Project which serves homeless and hungry families in my community. The event is far more than many meals. As a result of my work with the homeless population in my community, I received the Good Neighbor Award 2017 from the National Association of Realtors and named as a Champion of Homes in 2015 by the California Association of Realtors. I make pastoral visits to the inmates in the County Jail System and offer them what God says about "all things being new" and His remarkable plan for our lives. I have served my community as Mayor and in many volunteer capacities. I serve others by serving God first. My husband is involved in prison ministry and is a graphic artist. We live a simple life in Santa Paula with an office cat named Scout, three rescued poodles and a cat named Tony Diane at home.

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