(5/29/2012) When you own a condo, your homeowner's association insures the common areas of the building - the foyer, elevator, hallways, basement, shared patios and recreational facilities, etc. Any damage that occurs to these areas is typically covered by the policy and the dues you pay each month.
What about your individual unit? What does your condo insurance cover? It can get a little intricate.
Fixtures and structural components, including appliances, cabinetry, flooring, countertops, lighting, installations, additions, etc
Liability in case of visitors tripping, falling, or otherwise injuring themselves in your unit
Damage from fire, lightning, windstorms, smoke and volcanic eruptions
Damage from vandalism or theft
Damage from explosions, aircraft and vehicles
Damage from the weight of ice, snow or sleet
Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air conditioning or automatic fire-protective system.
Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire-protective sprinkler system, or of a household appliance.
Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss to a tube, transistor or similar electronic component)
WHAT'S NOT COVERED
Damage from earthquakes
Damage from floods
Water damage from drainage backups or ground water seepage
Additional expenses required from condo owners if the building is damaged and insurance doesn't cover it (called loss assessment - additional coverage can be purchased for this)
Neglect - damage caused that could have been prevented, or that is intentional
Worst-case scenarios situations, like nuclear hazard, or war and damage/loss from U.S. military personnel
Remember that while standard condo insurance policies are described here, you can always purchase additional insurance to cover most of these incidents mentioned above, as well as additional coverage for particularly valuable personal property.