A must for any Northern Virginia condo owner is condo insurance. This is not an orginial thought. Master insurance policiies that are paid by your monthly condo dues covers the basic structure of the condos. If you want to insure your contents (furniture, clothing, jewelry, etc), you need to have your own condo insurance.
Another item that condo insurance can cover, with an additional annual premium of approximately $25, is loss assessments.
A loss assessment is a special assessment that is be levied against condo owners when the condo association is facing increased delinquency in monthly dues. For instance, when a condo neighborhood is seeing an increase in foreclosures, the condo association is likely to be seeing increased delinquency in the payment of condo dues. This affects the overall condo budget, and if not corrected by the passage of time and influx of new owners, will need to be corrected by a special assessment. These assessments can be in the thousands of dollars.
Northern Virginia, particularly Western Prince William County where many condos where constructed during the real estate boom, is experiencing a lot of turnover due to foreclosure and short sale. These distressed sales are negatively affecting condo budgets. A dramatic example of this delinquency rate is the Gainesville condo community of Park at Piedmont. So for existing and new condo owners, paying an additional $25 or so, per year to cover loss assessments seems a no-brainer.
Ask your insurance agent about loss assessment coverage for condo owner policies. Some policies will cover up to $50,000 per occurence. That is incredible piece of mind for a condo owner.