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Is there a guide or checklist to make sure insurance claims are handled properly? (FL)

Q: I am a newly elected board member of our community’s condominium association. As a result of Hurricane Irma we experienced substantial damages. We are in the midst of dealing with the insurance claims process. Is there a guide or

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No flood insurance for the condo? It’s potentially negligent to go uncovered (FL)

Q: We own a unit in a small condominium. Until recently, we have had flood insurance although we are not in a flood zone. Now a new owner is pushing for it, and the board is caving in. Are they

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No flood insurance for the condo? It’s potentially negligent to go uncovered (FL)

Q: We own a unit in a small condominium. Until recently, we have had flood insurance although we are not in a flood zone. Now a new owner is pushing for it, and the board is caving in. Are they

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Hurricane Insurance, Part 2: 4 Tips for Ensuring Comprehensive Hurricane Insurance Coverage

When hurricanes roll in, violent weather in the form of extreme rain and high-speed winds results in loss of life and property alike. We saw the devastating results near the end of this year’s hurricane season during Tropical Storm Lidia,

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Hurricane Insurance: 6 Tips for a Successful Claims Process

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Lidia, many board members and homeowners are now left dealing with the destruction these storms left in their wake – it’s estimated that Hurricane Irma alone caused more than

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Not Quite So Limited: Are Sublimits Sure to Limit Your Level of Coverage?

A critical component of any insurance policy is of course its limit, which is usually the most an insurance company must pay for a loss. But many property insurance policies include “sublimits” that provide a lower limit for particular losses. 

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Unit Fire Increases Association Insurance Premiums

What happens when a fire caused within a condominium unit destroys that unit, some common area, and damages other units? It becomes an expensive situation for the association. Even though insurance should pay for all of the damages, the association’s

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Insurance Carriers Exclude Color Matching Requirements from Policies

The summer of 2017 saw a number of severe storms in the Midwest, with resulting insurance claims. As policyholders have made those claims, some have been surprised to see new provisions in their insurance contracts.  Things are not always black

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NV: Board member was injured checking lights

Q: I am on the board of a small community (70 condos). On Sept. 20, 2017, in the evening, I was checking for burned-out light bulbs in the community. As I was looking at a number on a door, in

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Insurance Carriers Exclude Color Matching Requirements from Policies

The summer of 2017 saw a number of severe storms in the Midwest, with resulting insurance claims. As policyholders have made those claims, some have been surprised to see new provisions in their insurance contracts.  Things are not always black

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Clients Must Use Insurer’s Contractor or Face $10k Cap (FL)

Beginning in February, Citizens will be able to force commercial and residential property policyholders who file claims for all non-weather water losses to use the company’s preapproved contractor or agree to limit their total payout to $10,000. This arbitrary figure

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Association must follow Condo Act in event of hurricane damage (FL)

Question: What is your take on air conditioners damaged by Hurricane Irma? They are on the roof of each of our condos. Some were damaged because another roof came off the building next door, and some were blown over by

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Why Does Our Association Need an Annual Insurance Review?

You know that your association needs to have the right insurance coverage in place. So you have property coverage, liability insurance, workers’ compensation, directors and officers (D&O) and an umbrella policy in place. Premiums are paid regularly and on time.

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Floods And Flood Insurance: Don’t Be Up The Creek Without A Paddle

As we, our neighbors, families, and friends, here and in Puerto Rico, are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the prospect of making claims on our homeowner’s insurance policies can seem overwhelming in

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Helpful Tips to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim (FL)

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe after the storm with little to no damage to your property. Our thoughts remain with those whose homes and loved ones were impacted by Hurricane Irma. As local, state and

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Insurance Reminders for Community Associations Preparing for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is now a category five storm that is predicted to impact the state of Florida by late this week. As all community associations prepare their properties for the storm, they should also take specific measures to prepare for

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Indemnity Clauses: What Your Board Needs to Know

Whether a small service contract for something like snow removal, or a larger initiative like replacing all the windows in a building or HOA, boards and property managers have to exercise extreme due diligence before signing on the dotted line.

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HOA Homefront: “Bare walls” or full coverage – insurance brokers weigh in

So-called “bare walls” insurance plans are often discussed in associations trying to limit the cost of water damage claims. In a “bare walls” approach, the homeowners association insurance does not restore unit interiors, but each owner insures (via individual HO6

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Insurance Law: Some Important Cases to Know

Insurance liability is a very important issue for a condo or HOA association or a condo board. Most have built up a good relationship with their insurance agents or brokers, and many are content to leave the details to the

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Indemnity Clauses and Liability: Protection Runs in More Than One Direction

One of the unique aspects of community living, whether that community is a co-op, condo, or HOA, is the collective responsibility shareholders or association members take upon themselves when they offer to serve on their community’s board of directors. With

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Insurance Basics: Know the ABCs

For many people, insurance seems like its own mysterious realm, filled with terminologies that sound formidable and enigmatic. At the same time, people also understand the profound importance of insurance and what it can mean for the safety and security

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What’s Covered By A Condo Association’s Insurance Policy?

Part of the appeal of owning a condominium is that, unlike a home, the condo owner is likely not solely responsible for maintaining everything inside and out. Typically, the condo association oversees the management of the day-to-day maintenance of the

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Subcontractor’s Alleged Negligence Was “Occurrence,” Seventh Circuit Says

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has ruled that a subcontractor’s alleged negligence was an “occurrence” for purposes of a commercial general liability

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Insurer must defend contractor in condo water damage case (IL)

Failing to put an adequate coat of sealant to a building’s exterior, which led to water damage, can be considered an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy, says a federal appeals court in ruling that an insurer is obligated

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Board Members, What HOA Insurance Does Your Community Have in Place?

Serving as an HOA member of the Board is an important job. The homeowners in the HOA count on you to do what’s best for the homeowners and the association in general. Not all board members bring the same background

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Flood insurance: Condos and the rising tide (VA)

Perhaps you’ve noticed homes in Norfolk’s Larchmont neighborhood jacked up several feet to escape flooding, or you’ve seen chilling news photos of single-family houses or townhouses surrounded by floodwater.  Sights like these may give the impression that single-family homes, whether

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Insurance Reminders for Condo Associations at Start of Hurricane Season (FL)

With hurricane season now underway, Florida condominium associations should take the time to ensure that they and their owners are prepared for a storm. In addition to ensuring that hurricane shutters are operational and all of the necessary supplies are

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Associations, inform insurer of accidents — even if you think you’re in the clear

Q:  My association has a comprehensive insurance program with property, liability, fidelity, umbrella, directors and officers, and workers’ comp coverage. Recently an owner hired a cable company to install equipment at the owner’s expense. The worker was inside our attic

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Covering The Question Of Condominium Insurance

Question: I am the President of a medium-sized condominium association. I would like to learn more about condominium insurance, and have had some difficulty in getting information. Do you have any comments about such insurance?    Read the Q&A………….

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What’s in Your Wallet? Why HOA Boards Can’t Take Liability Insurance Lightly.

A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is made up of a group of volunteer homeowners. It’s often a thankless task, where the only guaranteed reward is knowing they’ve helped maintain and improve the value of their neighborhood. The last thing your volunteer

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The Fall Of The Economic Loss Rule And Rise Of The Independent Tort Doctrine

In Florida, the economic loss rule previously prevented parties who allocated their risks and remedies in a contract from bringing a tort action. For many years, the economic loss rule only applied in two circumstances:      Read the article…………

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Pre-Existing Conditions

It is difficult to turn on the news or open a newspaper (do people still do that?) without hearing a discussion of pre-existing conditions. The discussion relates to replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am fortunate that employer-provided

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Condominium Association Insurance: Beyond the Basics – Part 1

The following is part one of a series on navigating the insurance and risk management obligations of a condominium association. The goal of these posts is to help educate members of the board on how to buy insurance on behalf

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When a Natural Disaster Strikes, Is Your Association Covered?

Hurricanes. Floods. Tornadoes. Hail. Wildfires. Lightning strikes. Earthquakes. Blizzards. Mother Nature has quite the arsenal to throw at us! Unfortunately, every part of North America is subject to one or more of these events. Some, like hurricanes, come with enough

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How well do you know condo insurance exclusions?

Question: We insure a Condo Trust under a business owner’s policy (BOP). A condo unit owner was injured in a slip & fall in the condo parking lot. The BOP policy excludes medical expense coverage for “any insured.” According to

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Help Your HOA Board Members Understand Crime and Fidelity Insurance

While nearly all HOAs have some type of policies on the books, many HOA boards have little or no idea what type of insurance they have or need. This can potentially lead to expensive litigation and claims that can cost

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Insurance Coverage for Property Damage Caused by Defective Workmanship

One of the principal points of contention between insurers and insureds is whether defective construction work is, or can be, an occurrence, thereby triggering coverage.  The New Jersey Supreme Court has joined a growing number of jurisdictions holding that commercial

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“Succeeds to the Interests of” Does Not Require Assumption of Obligations

The individual insured, Robert Primo, previously served as a director and treasurer of Briar Green Condominium Association in Houston, Texas. In 2008 and, shortly before resigning, Primo wrote himself two checks from Briar Green’s account totaling roughly $100,000. Briar Green

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Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims

Dog bites man, man sues board. Are you adequately insured?  “My dog doesn’t bite.”  Don’t believe those four innocent words. Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid out in 2016

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Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray?

In an action applying Florida law, a federal district judge ruled in favor of a Directors and Officers liability insurer, finding that the “insured versus insured” exclusion applied to bar both a defense and coverage of an underlying action. In

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Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

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Condominium Associations May Recoup Insurance Deductibles (NJ)

One of the largest line items in any condominium association’s budget is its insurance premium. Condominium associations are required, pursuant to their governing documents, to carry adequate property insurance to address common elements (and in many cases, unit owners’ improvements),

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Insurance Policy Did Not Prevent Association Recovery from Subcontractors for Defective Work

On February 17, the First District Appellate Court issued an opinion regarding the Implied Warranty of Habitability in the case of Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Court et al. The opinion involved three separate appeals: the first relating

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Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits (CA)

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

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6 Communication Tips for a Smoother Insurance Claim Process

If you’ve been a board member or community manager for very long, then you know all too well the issues that come with submitting an insurance claim on behalf of your association. Unfortunately, claims are inevitable for any community, and

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Construction Defects and Insurance Coverage: When Is the Duty to Defend Triggered?

In Florida, an insurance company may have a duty to defend and/or indemnify its insured. The insurance company’s duty to defend its insured (as in defending the insured in a lawsuit) is broader than its duty to indemnify (as in

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Liability of Condo Associations for Damages Caused by Failure of the Common Elements

As a practitioner for many years in the area of association law, I have been aware of a long-standing difference of opinion among association attorneys as to the obligation of a condominium association to pay for damages caused to the

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Seventh Circuit Finds Faulty Work Not a Covered “Occurrence”

In Allied Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Metro North Condo. Assn’     No. 16-1868, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4107 (7th Cir. Mar. 8, 2017), the Seventh Circuit had occasion to consider whether claims of faulty workmanship could constitute “property

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ALLIED PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY v. METRO NORTH CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company issued a commercial general liability policy insuring a subcontractor who worked on a multi-unit residential property owned by Metro North Condominium Association. In 2006 the Metro North property sustained extensive water damage caused by

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Many condo insurance claims arise from liability

Condominium corporations present claims against their insurance policies for a wide range of reasons. Although, it is important to note that current trends in claims are not necessarily unique to condominiums.  That said, multi-unit residential dwellings and communities continue to

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