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Insurance for Community Associations Articles

Property & Casualty Articles

  • What is a Covered “Collapse” for Insurance Purposes? July 13, 2012 Recently, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued the opinion of Kings Ridge Community Association v. Sagamore Insurance Company, clarifying what constitutes a covered “collapse” under an All Risk Business Owner’s policy. On February 24, 2010, the association’s clubhouse began to shake, which was apparently caused by a failure of the roof trusses, which had deflected downward by approximately twelve inches. As a result, the drop ceiling and soffits deflected downward, and there was a substantial depression in the flat roof. Read ...
  • HOA Insurance Victimization June 20, 2012 An oft repeated scenario in common wall communities is water damage which originates from a neighboring unit. Whether a broken pipe or washing machine hose, surf’s up! and usually between midnight and 4 am (disasters are funny that way).  Read More……

Property & Casualty Article Archives

 

Directors & Officers Insurance Articles

  • Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray? April 7, 2017 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 the underlying action, two condominium owners – one of which was a past condominium president – sued a contractor and the Marbella Condominium Association, alleging improper installation of hurricane impact windows and sliding glass doors. At the root of the ...
  • When private interests infiltrate the condo board April 6, 2017 Why does one become a director? It’s generally not the applause, the pay cheque, or the pleasure of being bombarded in the elevators by other residents’ questions. Some directors cite interest in playing their part to help their home thrive, others blame their neighbours’ persistence, and others are there to fix some old mistakes.  Regardless of one’s original motivation for becoming a director, directors have a tremendous responsibility, including managing the property and ensuring compliance with the condo’s governing documents ...
  • Trio of Recent Decisions on the I v. I Exclusion Should Remind Policyholders to Annually Review the Language in Their Policy to Avoid Losing Coverage March 2, 2017 D&O policies vary quite a bit from carrier to carrier, and language on “standard” exclusions can change from year to year. Accordingly, it is important to do a yearly review of your D&O policy to make sure your company has the right coverage. Three recent federal court decisions interpreting the “insured vs. insured” or “I v. I” exclusion remind us why examining specific policy language and understanding how it may apply to your business is so important.   Read the article………
  • Texas High Court Finds for Insurer in D&O Coverage Dispute March 1, 2017 The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of an insurer in a case that hinged on the applicability of an insured-v.-insured exclusion in the carrier’s directors and officers (D&O) liability policy.  The Court’s action reversed the ruling in Great American Insurance Company v. Robert Primo by the Court of Appeals for the 14th District of Texas in Harris County (14-13-00492-CV, 455 SW3d 714, 12-18-14).  The case grew out of various actions and counter actions by Robert Primo and Briar ...

Directors & Officers Insurance  Article Archives

Condominium Insurance Law

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  • Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:52:30 +0000: Property Managers' and Condominium Association Leaders' Hurricane Matthew Dilemma - Financing the Repair Before the Insurance Company Pays - Condominium Insurance Law
    Property managers and condominium leaders will face an issue after Hurricane Matthew becoming all too recurrent following catastrophes—slow and underpaying property insurance carriers. While partial payments for small percentage amounts of easily agreed to damages are often made, full payment made within 90 to 120 days is almost non-existent with significant losses. Who can wait for that long to start substantial repairs? A further problem facing most coastal apartments, condominiums, and homeowner associations is the large windstorm deductible which will likely apply. A five percent deductible does not seem large, but when applied to a large building with millions of dollars as the policy limit, the deductible amounts can wind up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Insurance agents should always obtain quotes for "deductible buydown coverage." Many insurance agents fail to do this (which is clearly malpractice by insurance agents) and some in management decline...

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  • Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:30:14 +0000: Court Decision on "Your Work" Exclusion in a CGL Policy is a Head Scratcher - Condominium Insurance Law
    In Essex Insurance Co. v. DiMucci Development Corp. of Ponce Inlet Inc., U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. recently held that Evanston Insurance Company has no duty to defend a builder in a lawsuit alleging construction defects at one of its Florida condominium complexes based on an exclusion in the policy for damage to the developer’s own work.1 The lawsuit arose when DiMucci Development Corp. of Ponce Inlet Inc. (“DiMucci”) was sued by the homeowners' association at the Towers Grande high-rise in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, for various construction defect related issues. The construction defect lawsuit alleged that DiMucci ‘s work was defective on a portion of the high rise condominium complex and that the defective work caused property damage to other portions of the building that DiMucci also had constructed. More specifically, the Towers Grande Condominium Association alleged that DiMucci ‘s defective work resulted in damage to the roof and...

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  • Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:54:50 +0000: Homeowners Association Claim Filed in 2015 May be Covered by a Policy Ending in 1982 - Condominium Insurance Law
    Usually the suit limitations provision in a policy dictates when a suit to recover can be filed. However, recently the Federal District Court of Washington held that under certain circumstances that is not necessarily true. In Holden Manor v. Safeco,1 the trial court refused to dismiss a homeowners association’s coverage suit as untimely, notwithstanding the fact that the suit was filed in 2015 and sought coverage under a policy that ended in 1982. Background: Construction of the Holden Manor Condominium was completed in 1979. The Holden Manor Homeowners Association (“HOA”) purchased an all-risk policy from Safeco which covered the condominium from August 27, 1980 to August 27, 1982. The policy provided a one-year suit limitations provision and stated that the policy “applies only to loss to property during the policy period.” The HOA submitted a claim to Safeco on September 5, 2014, where it asserted that “the Safeco policy may provide coverage for...

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  • Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:30:57 +0000: Lawsuit against Condo Owner for Improvements Done in Violation of CC&Rs Did Not Amount to an Occurrence Under the Condo Owner's Insurance Policy - Condominium Insurance Law
    A federal district court in Washington recently decided that a claim against the owner of a condominium unit arising from the owner’s installation of a hardwood floor without the necessary permission (as spelled out in the Condo association’s bylaws), did not amount to an “occurrence” under the owner’s insurance policy.1 In April 2009, the condo owner (Mr. Keeley) installed hardwood floors in his condo unit. In early 2010, Mr. Keeley realized that he had overlooked a provision in the condo bylaws stating that “no Owner shall install hard surface flooring within a Unit except with the prior written consent of the Unit Owner below, if any.” On February 1, 2010, Mr. Keeley alerted the unit owner directly below his unit (Ms. Curcio) that he had installed the flooring without obtaining her consent. On February 7, 2014, Ms. Curcio sent a letter through her legal counsel making a formal claim against the Keeleys. Ms. Curcio asserted that the...

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  • Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:30:13 +0000: Which Policy Covers My Condominium Property Damage Claim? - Condominium Insurance Law
    Several weeks ago I blogged about the way insurers sometimes use “other insurance” provisions to argue that they are not responsible for paying for a loss because “other insurance” is required to do so. In today’s blog I will address a similar and related topic that comes up in scenarios involving condominium and homeowners’ associations. Condominium Owner Insurance (COI) policies are designed to insure everything inside the condo, while recognizing the Home Owners’ Association (HOAs) will insure the common areas. The HOA coverage is often referred to as "walls out" coverage, because everything within the walls of the owner's individual unit is usually that person's individual responsibility (But in some condo policies, the interior, "bare" walls are covered by the HOA master policy as well). Generally, the HOA's governing documents (CC&Rs) should typically state exactly which areas the HOA policy insures. Although the...

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Condominium Insurance Law Archives

General Liability Insurance Articles

  • When Can Employer be Liable for Employee Drinking and Driving? April 18, 2017 In some cases, employers in California may be liable when their employees are intoxicated and cause accidents. Plaintiffs may be able to sue the employers under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. Employers may also be liable if they negligently retain or hire an employee who then injures others while drinking and driving. In a recent case in Los Angeles, the principles of negligent retention and vicarious liability were demonstrated.   Read the article…………
  • Slip and Falls on the Condominium Premises and the Open and Obvious Doctrine April 18, 2017 A few years ago, I wrote an article titled “Legal Update: Slip and Fall on the Condominium Premises: Does the Condominium Owe a Statutory Duty to Its Co-owners?” The article centered around a 2015 published decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals in Francescutti v Fox Chase Condominium Association, 312 Mich App 640; 886 NW2d 801 (2015), which held that a co-owner who slip and fell on the common elements and suffered injuries to his hand and wrist could not ...
  • Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims April 12, 2017 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 – a staggering $600 million – according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the insurer State Farm.    Read the article…………..
  • Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray? April 7, 2017 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 the underlying action, two condominium owners – one of which was a past condominium president – sued a contractor and the Marbella Condominium Association, alleging improper installation of hurricane impact windows and sliding glass doors. At the root of the ...

General Liability Insurance Articles Archives

 

Insurance – General Articles

  • “Succeeds to the Interests of” Does Not Require Assumption of Obligations April 24, 2017 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 asserted the funds were misappropriated. Primo, however, contended the funds were payment for management services approved by Briar Green’s board. Briar Green sought coverage from its fidelity insurer, Travelers Casualty & Surety Company, who paid the claim. As consideration for ...
  • Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims April 12, 2017 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 – a staggering $600 million – according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the insurer State Farm.    Read the article…………..
  • Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray? April 7, 2017 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 the underlying action, two condominium owners – one of which was a past condominium president – sued a contractor and the Marbella Condominium Association, alleging improper installation of hurricane impact windows and sliding glass doors. At the root of the ...
  • Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits April 6, 2017 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 demand exceeds a defending primary insurer’s limits and has been approved by the insured and the primary insurer, an excess insurer has three options: (1) approve the proposed settlement; (2) reject it and assume the insured’s defense; or (3) reject ...

Insurance – General Articles Archives

 

Owners Insurance Articles

  • Condominium unit owners allege insurance company refuses to pay coverage (WV) April 13, 2017 Two Webster County condominium unit owners are suing Nationwide, alleging breach of contract by refusing to pay coverage claims under an insured policy.  Wilma Sue Talbott and William Talbott filed a complaint March 22 in Webster Circuit Court against Nationwide Insurance Company of America, alleging failure to honor a written contract by refusing to pay insurance coverage.    Read the article…………….
  • Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims April 12, 2017 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 – a staggering $600 million – according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the insurer State Farm.    Read the article…………..
  • Owners, never skimp on insurance — the association policy isn’t enough April 11, 2017 Q:  I am about to purchase a condominium and need to know about insurance. I understand that the condo association has insurance coverage, so do I need anything extra?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Dealing With Ice is Anything But Neat December 15, 2016 Those of us in the Northwest were recently hit with the first round of winter snowstorms. My children are avid weather watchers (in hopes of future school closures), so I understand that we are in store for several more storms in the coming months. Winter snow and ice inevitably result in a host of insurance claims. Some of these are relatively predictable. Think auto accidents and trees falling. Fortunately, many of these weather related claims are covered under standard home ...

Owners Insurance Article Archives

 

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