The recently enacted Puerto Rico Condominium Act significantly affects the way condominium property insurance works, including how it works for townhouses and walk-ups. Here we explain the details for you to evaluate your apartment’s current policy and decide whether it requires any changes so that your property is properly insured.
Before the enforcement of this law, the councils of condominium owners could purchase insurance policies that included protection for the private elements of each condominium. This refers to the equipment that was originally inside each apartment, such as toilets, bathtubs, tiles, cabinets, and doors. This insurance method is known as full value.
However, condo master policies will now fall within a category known as bare walls since, under the new law, the councils of condominium owners are no longer responsible for acquiring policies that protect the private assets of each apartment. A “bare walls” insurance protects the common and communally used elements of a condominium, such as the swimming pool, gym, and facades. However, only the walls are insured inside each apartment, without including any other private element such as kitchen cabinets, floors, bathrooms, etc.
Under a bare walls policy, the apartment owner must get a homeowners or personal package policy if they want to protect the apartment’s original private elements and their improvements. One of the benefits of choosing one of these policies to cover the private elements is that, if the apartment suffers damages, the owner can make their claims directly against their insurer without needing to wait for the other owners under the condominium’s master policy.
If you live in a condominium, townhouse, or walk-up, you should check your current policy to verify that this change does not underinsure your property. Your insurance agent can guide you further and help you with this.
If you have any questions about your apartment policy, visit ssspropiedad.com or contact your insurance representative or insurance producer.