Ensure you insure to be assured

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The March 18 Millrise condo fire news coverage showed interviews with folks who were not insured or not adequately insured for fire losses.

Even as a tenant, you would be amazed at the amount of money it would take to bring you back the possessions you lose, even if you could possibly ignore the keep-sakes and memorabillia lost.  In the early '80's I was renting a three bedroom home and lost all due to fire.  We thought $20,000 was way more than we needed to recover when we bought the insurance coverage.  Once we got up to $43,000 in retail replacement, we gave up item listing. 

When you buy a home, especially if you have less than 20% down and are obligated by the lender to have "mortgage insurance", that type of insurance only protects the lender from loss in case of foreclosure.  It does not protect you for unforeseen events that could have devastating economic consequences for you.

The lender will insist you have fire insurance.  When you buy a condo, the condo structure and common area is covered for fire loss.  But, the interior of your unit- your home is not covered except for the shell around it.  That means all that is contained within your space is your responsibility.  That is where you may become under-insured.

I suggest you itemize what you have: take pictures of everything within your unit and storage facility.  Keep that record of items away from  your condo unit.  Take a copy of that record of items with you when you see your insurance agent.  Protect yourself well.

You will feel your are going to be insured to death.   You will hear about mortgage default insurance, fire and public liability insurance, title insurance, and life and disability insurance. Each has separate events they cover for you. Be prepared.