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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

  • What’s the difference between HOA officers and directors? July 14, 2017 Q: The developer of our community has sold all of the lots and turned control of the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) over to the homeowners. The bylaws for our HOA refer to “officers” and also to “directors” and “the board of directors.” Aren’t they the same thing? How are they elected?    Read the article……………
  • What’s in Your Wallet? Why HOA Boards Can’t Take Liability Insurance Lightly. June 7, 2017 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 board members deserve is a personal financial loss as a result of their participation.  It’s why community associations absolutely must carry liability insurance. Lawsuits filed against HOAs and other community associations are a common occurrence. Often, one or more of ...
  • “What’s in a Name?” Quite a bit, particularly for Association Board Members who have been Defamed June 5, 2017 When Shakespeare coined the phrase “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” in Hamlet, he probably wasn’t envisioning that sentiment could apply centuries later to volunteer board members. However, the Bard was opining that bad things can happen to a person and, in the present-day context, if you serving on a community association board of directors, those bad things can arrive in the form of defamation: slander and libel.     Read the article…………..
  • Condo board members not personally liable for bad decision June 2, 2017 Q: Our condo is having some work done, and the job will cost substantially more than what the board told us. Now it looks like there will be another special assessment to cover the additional costs. I think the board members who chose this contractor should have to pay the difference from their own pockets due to their incompetence. Are the owners on the hook for this? —    Read the Q&A………….

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 a Worker Dies on the Job, Who’s Liable? (NY) July 17, 2017 When shareholders perform work in their apartments, the concept is that the shareholder assumes all risk and liability in connection with that work. In other words, the cooperative corporation is not responsible for any damage or injury. Those principles are embedded in alteration agreements.  However, there are certain statutes, such as Labor Law Section 240, commonly known as the “Scaffold Law,” that make building owners liable for certain construction injuries, regardless of the owner’s actual involvement in the work. And ...
  • Why Hire Insured and Certified Vendors for your HOA? July 13, 2017 To us, it’s clear why it is important to hire insured and certified vendors for your HOA, but sometimes members of the HOA Board might need some convincing. Here are five reasons to consider doing so.    Read the article……………
  • Negligent Security Claims: Reducing Liability for Associations (FL) July 6, 2017 In recent years, Condominium and Homeowner’s Associations have become a target for negligent security lawsuits and claims. Typically, a resident or guest of an Association is a victim of a violent crime and the crime victim later sues the Association. While we discussed this previously, we wanted to provide an update after speaking with Henderson Franklin’s premises liability litigation partner, Traci McKee, for additional thoughts on what Associations can do to reduce liability.    Read the article……………
  • Liability & the Law: Reducing Liabilities in Co-op & Condo Communities June 19, 2017 It’s no secret that insurance is a necessity for any building or association. Nevertheless, the expense of coverage means that issues of liability and risk are all too often examined only after problems have occurred. Usually, insurance holders address matters “because something bad has happened,” says Robert M. Prince, a partner at the law firm of Cervantes Chatt & Prince P.C., which has offices in Chicago and Burr Ridge, Illinois. “Someone has been hurt or a lawsuit filed…it’s more reactive ...

General Liability Insurance Articles Archives

 

Insurance – General Articles

  • Subcontractor’s Alleged Negligence Was “Occurrence,” Seventh Circuit Says July 21, 2017 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 (“CGL”) insurance policy.   Read the article……………
  • Insurer must defend contractor in condo water damage case (IL) July 14, 2017 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 to provide a defense in the case.  Owners of a 24-story condominium in Chicago had filed suit in 2012 against the general contractor, developer and various subcontractors, including Oak Brook, Illinois-based painting contractor National Decorating Service Inc., in connection with ...
  • Board Members, What HOA Insurance Does Your Community Have in Place? June 29, 2017 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 and experience to the job but most people today have at least a passing acquaintance with the purpose for insurance and how it functions. Well, our question for you today is: what HOA insurance does your community association have in ...
  • Flood insurance: Condos and the rising tide (VA) June 24, 2017 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 detached or attached, are the primary residential structures vulnerable to flood dangers.    Read the article……………

Insurance – General Articles Archives

 

Owners Insurance Articles

  • HO-6 Insurance: Understanding Condo Insurance June 26, 2017 Condo owners have very specific property insurance needs. While condo owners have dominion over their individual unit, homeowners associations are usually responsible for the exterior of the building as well as lawn and landscaping features. Likewise, there is an incredible amount of variance in the governing laws of different homeowners associations that frequently affect the insurance needs of condo owners. As such, HO-6 insurance policies are customized for individual policyholders more often than other types of home insurance.  An HO-6 ...
  • 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…………..

Owners Insurance Article Archives

 

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