Condo and co-op apartments are underinsured on average by nearly $125,000, concludes a recent analysis of more than 250 units by appraisers at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
In addition, many condo and co-op owners face insurance coverage gaps resulting from building associations having reduced their commercial insurance limits and increased their deductibles during the last few years.
In response, Chubb has created cost-effective insurance packages for the owners of luxury condos and co-ops. Now available in Illinois, the new policies, Masterpiece Condominium Preference and Masterpiece
Cooperative Preference, can provide high limits of property and liability
insurance coverage. They include $100,000 in coverage for assessments resulting from the portion of a loss not covered under a building association’s master insurance policy. Separate $10,000 limits apply for assessments resulting from deductibles under the association’s policy.
“Rising construction costs, rising liability awards and rising condo and
co-op association insurance premiums have left unit owners with significant gaps in their insurance coverage,” said Daniel McCabe, vice president of Chubb & Son and national marketing manager for Chubb Personal Insurance. “Masterpiece Condo and Co-op Preference provide unit owners with substantially greater coverage than standard insurance policies for property and liability losses that occur within their apartments or common areas of the building.”
McCabe explained that while many condo and co-op owners tend to focus on insuring their furnishings and other personal belongings, they should also be concerned about their responsibility under a master deed to pay for repairing damage to interior portions of their units.
This often includes kitchen cabinetry and appliances, bathroom fixtures, flooring, interior walls, ceilings, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, windows and exterior doors. Owners also should realize that their association may assess them for uninsured or underinsured property or liability losses that occur elsewhere in
Chubb is introducing its new Preference policies now to take advantage of a continuing boom in condo and co-op sales nationwide, according to McCabe. In the second quarter of 2004, sales of existing condos and coops reached a record of nearly one million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Sales activity was 15.4 percent higher than the corresponding quarter of 2003. In the Chicago vicinity, the increase was 13.5 percent during the same annual period, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.
Preference is Chubb’s latest offering in the condo and co-op insurance
marketplace. Masterpiece Deluxe Condo and Masterpiece Deluxe Co-op, introduced in the mid-1980s, helped Chubb grow among insurers of condominiums and cooperatives. Although the Deluxe policies continue to provide more coverage than many standard industry policies, Preference offers higher limits and added coverages.
Preference includes $25,000 in jewelry coverage, $50,000 in fine arts
coverage and $25,000 in silver coverage, written on either a blanket or
itemized basis. Other features include $10,000 for off-premises electronic data processing equipment and $10,000 for electronic data restoration, which respond to the theft of laptop computers and personal digital assistants as well as corruption of data due to computer viruses. Separate limits of $2,500 are included for both lock replacement and fire department charges. In addition, Preference policies in Illinois include Masterpiece Family Protection, which responds to the financial consequences of a home invasion, child abduction, car jacking or stalking threat.
Additional information on Chubb’s personal insurance offerings can be found at http://www.chubb.com/personal.
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