Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
UFB Secure Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Up to 5.25% APY on one of our top picks for best savings accounts plus, no monthly fee
Accredited Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
Accredited Debt Relief helps consumers with over $30,000 of debt
LendingClub High-Yield Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our top pick for best savings accounts for its strong APY and an ATM card with no ATM fees
Choice Home Warranty
Learn More
Terms Apply
Protects 25+ systems & appliances. Free quote + $50 off + 1 month free
Freedom Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
Freedom Debt Relief can help clients get started without fees up front
Select independently determines what we cover and recommend. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links. This commission may impact how and where certain products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Read more about Select on CNBC and on NBC News, and click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
Insurance

Condo insurance helps you protect your home from unexpected events — here are 4 of the best condo insurers

Condo insurance is similar to homeowners insurance except for one key difference.

Share
Fotog | Getty Images

If you are (or will soon be) a new condo owner, you may be in the market for a condo insurance policy, also known as HO6 insurance. Condo insurance is a lot like homeowners insurance except homeowners insurance protects the entire building and associated structures (like your fence or garage) in the event of damage. Condo homeowners associations (HOAs) typically have a master policy that protects the building and associated structures, but condo owners need their own insurance to protect anything the master policy doesn't cover, such as personal property and personal liability.

Because of this, condo insurance is typically less expensive than homeowners insurance. Hopefully, you'll never need to file any claims but if you do, there are many condo insurance companies that help streamline the process and get you paid quickly and easily.

CNBC Select rounded up the best condo insurance companies on the market. We evaluated insurance companies based on policy coverage, accessibility and opportunities to save, among others (see our methodology below).

Best condo insurance companies

Best overall

Nationwide Condo Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • Maximum coverage

    Not disclosed

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    Policy covers contents/belongings inside the condo, loss of use, damages to additions and alterations, personal liability, assessment fees charged by condo association after a covered loss, medical payments to others, credit card coverage

  • Does not cover

    Water backup, earthquakes, identity theft, high-value items (these can all be purchased as add-ons for extra coverage)

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Ability to manage policy online
  • Bundle with other types of insurance to receive a discount
  • Get a discount if your home has smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms or other qualifying protective devices
  • Receive a discount for having no claims on your policy
  • Receive a discount if you purchased your home within the past 12 months
  • Gated community discount

Cons

  • Smart home technology discount not available in all 50 states

Who's this for? Nationwide is a well-known name in the insurance industry, which can be appealing to those who want to go with a more established insurer. This insurance company provides coverage that's fairly standard for the industry but offers a host of discounts besides just a policy bundling discount.

Policyholders can receive a discount for having protective devices in their home, like a fire alarm or smoke detector. They can even receive a discount for living in a gated community, having no claims on their policy and having purchased the home in the past year.

Best for quick claim approval

Lemonade Condo Insurance

  • Cost

    Starts at $25/month; can vary by state, age of the home and other factors

  • Maximum coverage

    Not disclosed

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    Policy covers dwelling, personal property, personal liability, loss of use, medical payments to others

  • Does not cover

    Power, water, or heat going out, or bug infestation; some events may not be eligible for coverage, depending on the circumstances, high value items

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Ability to cancel coverage at any time
  • Affordable monthly cost
  • Make claims through the app
  • Ability to easily switch over from a different insurer
  • Can add additional coverage for expensive personal items like jewelry and cameras
  • Simple claims may be paid almost instantly

Cons

  • Not available in all states
  • Cannot enroll over the phone

Who's this for? The biggest draw of Lemonade's condo insurance is its quick processes for receiving a quote, setting up an account and getting claims approved. Customers can download the app or create an account online to get an insurance quote in just a few minutes. According to Lemonade's website, they use bots to give customers 24/7 claim filing and approval access, so simple claims can be approved quickly. Of course, though, if customers prefer to speak with human representatives, they're still able to do so.

Best for discounts

Liberty Mutual Condo Insurance

  • Cost

    As little as $47/month (based on 2021 average premium for Liberty Mutual condo insurance policies); get a quote for more personalized cost estimates

  • Maximum coverage

    Not disclosed

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    Policy covers your belongings, property damage, damage to someone else's property, personal liability, loss of use, belongings while moving

  • Does not cover

    Water damage, floods, high-value personal items

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Mobile app available for filing and tracking claims and accessing insurance ID cards
  • Discount available for installing protective devices in your home
  • Discount for combining auto and condo insurance
  • Can receive a lower premium if you're claim-free for three years

Cons

  • Slightly higher average cost compared to some competitors

Who's this for? Liberty Mutual's offerings are fairly standard for the industry — like coverage for your personal belongings or damage to your property. But this insurer offers some impactful ways to save money on your policy. You can get a protective devices discount for installing smoke detectors or home surveillance devices in your condo. Policyholders can also receive an industry-standard bundling discount for pairing their condo insurance with Liberty Mutual's auto insurance policy.

Liberty Mutual also offers what it calls the Safe Homeowner Program, where policyholders can receive a discount on their monthly premium for remaining claim-free for three years (this program is available in every state but Texas). However, for more personalized discount rates and for other ways to save, you'll have to input your information to get a quote from Liberty Mutual.

Best for military members and Veterans

USAA Condo Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • Maximum coverage

    Not disclosed

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    Policy covers personal liability, personal belongings, building items, assessments for shared losses, loss of use, fair rental value, identity theft, special military coverage, medical payment to others,

  • Does not cover

    Flood insurance, high-value personal items (can be purchased as an add-on to your policy)

Terms apply.

Pros

  • USAA Perks offers discounts for a variety of home-related products and services
  • Claims-free discount available
  • Auto and condo insurance bundle discount available
  • Protected home discount for having a fire alarm or monitored home security device installed

Cons

  • Coverage and discounts are not available in all states
  • Must become a USAA member in order to get a quote

Who's this for? USAA condo insurance offers low rates and other special benefits to those who have a military affiliation. If your condo association charges you for damages caused to building common areas, USAA will cover you for up to $50,000. This insurer also offers special military coverage: You can receive up to $10,000 for damage to your personal property caused by war, and you won't have to pay a deductible.

Another offering included by USAA that isn't typically included with other insurers is fair rental value coverage. This pertains to policyholders who rent out their space when they're not using it. USAA will reimburse policyholders if their tenant has to move out due to a covered loss.

FAQs

How does condo insurance work?

To sign up for condo insurance, choose your desired insurance company and enroll for coverage. You'll need to choose a certain coverage amount, which will depend on what kinds of liabilities and items you're looking to protect. This is the maximum amount you'd be reimbursed in the event of an incident. There are also some add-ons you can opt for, which will increase your monthly premium but will provide you with additional protection.

You'll pay a monthly premium for the policy, which will depend on the company's rates. If you never have to file an insurance claim, your monthly premium will essentially just be another monthly "bill" that you pay.

If you do need to file a claim, though, you'll typically pay an upfront deductible. A deductible is a portion of the cost to replace the items that you must pay before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest. Usually, the larger your monthly premium, the smaller your deductible will be.

So while insurance doesn't necessarily make it totally "free" to replace lost or damaged items or pay for personal liabilities, it can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket cost.

What does condo insurance cover?

At a minimum, condo insurance typically provides personal liability coverage and personal property coverage. This means that you're covered in the event that your belongings are stolen or damaged in a covered claim or if someone sustains an injury in your condo and you are at fault. There are also some optional policy add-ons available, such as loss assessment coverage, water backup coverage, identity theft protection and extra coverage for high-value items.

Unlike homeowners insurance, condo insurance only covers what's inside the walls of your unit — not the structure of the building — which is why it's sometimes also referred to as "walls-in coverage."

What is the difference between HO3 and HO6 insurance?

The main difference between an HO3 policy and HO6 policy is that HO3s are for single-family homes, while HO6s are for condos. An HO3 will cover the actual structures on your property, while an HO6 will typically only protect what's inside the walls of your unit.

What's the difference between renters insurance and condos insurance?

Renters insurance is meant to provide coverage for personal belongings, while condos insurance also provides dwelling coverage. Dwelling coverage helps pay for repairs inside your condo, such as of the flooring and cabinets. Also, condo insurance is usually required by lenders you buy your home but if you're a renter, you may not always be obligated to take on a renters insurance policy.

How do you file a claim?

The process for filing an insurance claim may vary slightly from one company to the next. Typically, you'll need to provide photos of the damage, receipts and any other documentation or proof that is related to the claim you're filing. This will help the company assess the damages.

Once your claim is approved, the timeline for payout will also vary from company to company.

Bottom line

Condo insurance is another expense new condo owners will have to budget for, but it can be well worth it should their property take on expensive damage. Just make sure you do your homework to find the insurer that best suits your needs.

Our methodology

To determine which condo insurance companies are the best, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. insurance companies that come with policies to suit an array of needs.

When narrowing down and ranking the best condo insurance companies, we focused on the following features:

  • Cost: While monthly premiums can depend on the amount of coverage an individual needs, location, the value of your possessions and other variables, some insurance options offer policies with lower monthly starting costs.
  • Policy coverage: Standard policies tend to include coverage for structural damage, personal property loss or damage, personal liability and medical payments to others. Some companies may also include water damage, water backup and high-value items as add-ons for extra coverage.
  • Coverage amount: It is common for insurance companies to provide different coverage amounts for different concerns. The maximum amounts vary from company to company. We have noted maximum coverage wherever possible.
  • Policy discounts: Insurance companies typically allow policyholders to earn a small discount for signing on to bundle homeowners insurance with other policies such as auto insurance, RV insurance, boat insurance and more. Some companies may also offer an additional discount for having certain safety features in one's home, including smoke detectors and burglar alarms. A rate reduction may be applied for those whose policy remains claim-free for a certain amount of time.
  • Availability: For some insurance companies, policy availability will depend on the city or state, as not all companies offer nationwide policies and discounts for policies.
  • Claim filing: Many insurance companies allow policyholders to file a claim via their app or through their online accounts. In loss of use cases, policyholders may be required to retain receipts to submit alongside their claim.
  • Streamlined signup process: We considered whether insurance companies offered a convenient, fast online signup process.
  • Customer support: Every insurance company on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email, secure online messaging and/or through an app. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about homeowners insurance policies and claims.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for covering high-value items, best for quick claim approval, best for discounts and best for military members and Veterans.

Note that the premiums and policy structures advertised for homeowners insurance are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the company's policies.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Chime
Learn More
Terms Apply
Chime offers online-only accounts that minimize fees plus, get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposits
Find the right savings account for you
Learn More
Terms Apply
Help your money grow by finding the savings account that offers the best rates and features for you