Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
BanditKing
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by BanditKing » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:09 pm

I purchased a new condo last week, and will be closing the end of March. I called my insurance company to get a quote and what I received seemed high. Can I get a sanity check?

Purchase price: $155k
Condo age: 8 years
Safety: Sprinklers, fire alarm system

Insured coverage:
Dwelling $145k (number based on their component estimator worksheet - 2.5 bedroom, 2.5 baths, attached 2-stall garage, hardwood cabinets, wood floors)
Belongings: $70k (this is pretty close my "stuff" value) includes Replacement cost
Loss of use : $28k (is a fixed amount)
Liability: $300k (minimum allowed)

Deduction: $1000

Price: $627/yr

I dropped the dwelling coverage to $100k in the pricing tool just to get a comparison, and it only dropped the price by about $70/yr or so. Dropping belongings to $50k knocked $12 off.

I've seen people talking about condo coverage in the $250-300 range, so I may just have a little sticker shock. I'll admit I haven't shopped around much - I've been exceedingly happy with my insurance company (USAA) for almost 30 years in both costs and customer/claims service. They currently hold my vehicles and homeowners (which will be ending once I sell my place, naturally).

Thoughts?

Alan S.
Posts: 6913
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 6:07 pm
Location: Prescott, AZ

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by Alan S. » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:35 pm

Check with the HOA to see what the CCR's require you to insure. Some CCR's require a master policy to cover the construction to the bare walls, and you only have to purchase coverage for your personal property or improvements attached to the building.

When you find out what you need to purchase, get some quotes and check with some of the owners to see what insurance company they are using. If there is a master policy and that insurer is competitive, you might consider going with them. Then would eliminate disputes between insurers for any gray areas of coverage. Consider whether you want to purchase loss assessment coverage or if quote includes a basic amount if you are assessed.

Some companies specialize in this insurance and would tend to be competitive and other companies who write owner occupied homes competitively may have no appetite for condos. It may also help to check the savings of placing your auto with whoever writes the condo.

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3337
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:11 pm

You need to shop around.

My insured amounts are about half of yours. I bundle my condo, auto and umbrella so I get a small break on each. I am one unit of a six unit building, so not a detached home (if yours is and if that matters).

My annual cost is less than $150.

User avatar
Duckie
Posts: 5087
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:55 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by Duckie » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:13 pm

BanditKing wrote:I've seen people talking about condo coverage in the $250-300 range, so I may just have a little sticker shock.

I'm with Liberty Mutual and my condo insurance runs between $500 and $600 so $627 seems reasonable to me.
Last edited by Duckie on Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Traveler
Posts: 473
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by Traveler » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:46 pm

I have a 1350 sq ft townhouse that is worth less than yours and mine is $720/year with Liberty Mutual. Disclaimer that I have two claims on my record from my former home so I think mine would be lower with a clean history.

Hypersion
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:20 am

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by Hypersion » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:00 pm

Your Dwelling seams very high rule of rule is 20% of value, you have almost 100%. Unless everything inside your house has just be upgrade or your HOA master policy doesn't cover anything I would look into lowering this. Are you sure the calculator is for a condo policy and not a regular Single family home.

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1069
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by heartwood » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:38 pm

Hypersion wrote:Your Dwelling seams very high rule of rule is 20% of value, you have almost 100%. Unless everything inside your house has just be upgrade or your HOA master policy doesn't cover anything I would look into lowering this. Are you sure the calculator is for a condo policy and not a regular Single family home.


Our HOA coverage is from the studs-out so anything studs-in is our responsibility to insure. We bought our first condo two years ago and had zero support from State Farm in assessing how much to insure the dwelling for. We went with the same amount as the house we were selling. We'd been with State Farm for 40 years with 2 small claims. So same coverage, the condo insurance was twice the stand-alone house and only insured from the studs-in v. the house which was eveyrthing plus a free standing garage. We discussed this with Sate Farm and others. We were told that condo insurance is more expensive than home insurance.

Last year after talking with several other of our association residents we replaced our condo, personal articles and umbrella coverages with Chubb. After we bound the policies Chubb sent an assessor out to review the condo. They prepared a written report showing replacement cost for everything within the studs or for which we were liable: A/C units, heating system, cabinetry, molding, floors, etc, plus furniture, and all our personal belongings. Our Contents insurance was determined in large part by us based upon our estimates of value for clothing, furniture, etc. Our Alterations and Additions coverage (studs-in replacement cost) is slightly less than 50% of purchase cost. Twenty percent seems very low to me considering appliances, walls, cabinetry, plumbing, tile, floors, painting, etc that you'd lose in a major fire.

jlawrence01
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Southern AZ

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:30 pm

That sounds very high to me although I live in N. Illinois as opposed to Wisconsin.

I would strongly recommend getting several quotes. I have had very good experience using West Bend Mutual, which is based north of Milwaukee. They only sell through independent agents.

BanditKing
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by BanditKing » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:07 am

Thanks all. I'll shop around for a couple other options as well, I just wanted a sanity check here.

That said, I did talk to a friend of mine who lives in a similarly-aged condo that is slightly bigger than mine (about 1800 sqft, but without an attached private garage) and he said he pays around "$550ish" for similar coverage, although he does have a sizable vehicle claim with his carrier that may affect his policy price.

I'll follow up this thread after I've done some shopping. I've always been happy with USAA, but maybe condos just aren't their forte.

August
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:03 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by August » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:39 am

Alan S. wrote:Check with the HOA to see what the CCR's require you to insure. Some CCR's require a master policy to cover the construction to the bare walls, and you only have to purchase coverage for your personal property or improvements attached to the building.

When you find out what you need to purchase, get some quotes and check with some of the owners to see what insurance company they are using. If there is a master policy and that insurer is competitive, you might consider going with them. Then would eliminate disputes between insurers for any gray areas of coverage. Consider whether you want to purchase loss assessment coverage or if quote includes a basic amount if you are assessed.

Some companies specialize in this insurance and would tend to be competitive and other companies who write owner occupied homes competitively may have no appetite for condos. It may also help to check the savings of placing your auto with whoever writes the condo.


+1. Condo HOA's vary so much in what is covered under the master policy vs what is covered under the condo unit owner. I'd also consider raising the Loss of Use limit if you can. It is my experience that HOA's can drag their feet sometimes on doing repairs, and I have seen customers unable to live in their units for months after pipe bursts and fires. On the other hand if you are in a LCOL area, 28k may be enough for several months in an extended stay hotel.

BanditKing
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by BanditKing » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:09 pm

Just as an update on this. I went to one of those "give me quotes from different companies" sites and I've gotten three separate quotes today and two are significantly better than what USAA offered.

American Family - $260 or $334 (some fuzzyness about how much discount is removed if I don't do my car there - need to verify)
Allstate - $285/yr
Liberty Mutual - $684/yr (?!?)

I appreciate the feedback from everyone.

User avatar
OAG
Posts: 1037
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:54 am
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Re: Condo Insurance Quote (Wisconsin)

Post by OAG » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:02 pm

I had this problem several years ago. Long time USAA member and their price was really high. Having come from a single family home (non-condo) the price was right in line with the single family home rate. I asked them if they had considered the Condo Master Policy coverage and they had not but when they did the rate came way down. It was pretty much inline with an apartment renters rate (which is fully in line with what I felt it should have been). After all if the Condo Master Policy will replace everything to the walls all you need to cover is Liability inside your home and your contents. By the way I did stay with USAA as the Savers account (for me at least) really helps with the annual insurance costs.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979.

Post Reply