Property insurance for condominium units is sometimes required by state statute or code. In Mississippi, no such requirement exists.
Title 89 of the Mississippi code governs real and personal property, and chapter 9 addresses condominiums specifically. The Mississippi code defines a condominium as a, “form of ownership of property under which units of improvements are subject to ownership by different owners and there is appurtenant to each unit as part thereof an undivided share in the common areas.” Mississippi Code § 89-9-29, addresses liabilities of unit owners and states, “a unit owner shall be liable for injuries or damages resulting from an accident in his own unit to the same extent and degree that the owner of a house, an office, or a store would be liable for an accident occurring therein.” Title 83 of the Mississippi Code governs insurance, and, like Title 89, does not expressly require insurance for real property.
Even though Mississippi does not require condominium unit owners to have property insurance, most banks and lending companies in Mississippi require proof of insurance prior to issuing a loan for the purchase of a condominium unit. Many potential condominium unit owners may be unaware that they will be required to carry individual insurance; master insurance policies for condominiums typically only insure common areas of a condominium community, and not the units themselves, the unit owners, or their possessions. Individual owners will need to obtain HO-6 policies, which cover condominium units. These policies can protect personal possessions, structural improvements made to the unit, additional living expenses resulting from a loss, and can provide a condominium owner with liability protection in the event someone is injured in the unit, or even if the surrounding units are damaged as a result of a loss that occurred within the policy holder’s unit. HO-6 policies can also protect against fire, theft, burglary, smoke, vehicles, hail, and most other natural weather events. However, earthquakes are typically not covered under most standard HO-6 policies.
Even if insurance is not statutorily required, it is still imperative for a condominium unit owner to obtain property insurance. In Mississippi, even though insurance is not required by statute, it is still expressly stated in the Mississippi Code that a unit owner will be liable for damages or accidents. A HO-6 policy can prove invaluable for a unit owner when confronted with such liability.