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Pick the right insurance plan for HOA living

REThink Real Estate

Q: Do homeowners association (HOA) dues include insurance? A: It depends. Let's eliminate the exception first: If you buy a single-family home that is located in a development that has an HOA, the dues almost certainly do not include insurance except on common areas, like the roads, parks, community centers, offices and pools. However, if you are buying a condominium or townhome, your HOA dues likely do include some of the insurance you'll need as a homeowner, but not all of it. As with single-family homes, HOA dues on attached homes cover all the common areas, but when the homes are attached, the exterior walls, exterior windows and roofs are also common. So are boilers, elevators and common basements or storage areas that are shared by more than one unit. What's critical for you to know is what's not covered, as many first-time buyers aren't aware of what a standard homeowners insurance policy would normally cover. Your interior walls? Not covered under your building's or...