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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

  • HOA Directors in California – WATCH OUT! READ THIS! May 21, 2017 Rogue Directors – Beware – HOA Director Liability -What is Happening in California?  Here’s the general question of importance in this blog:  Are California HOA Board Directors protected in California for their actions on the Board? Does the “business judgment rule” still apply?  This is definitely a hot topic in our state. One of my readers asked for an update blog on director liability. She asked what was happening with the Palm Springs Villas II Homeowners Association, Inc., vs. Erna ...
  • What Does it Mean to be a Fiduciary? April 25, 2017 In simplest terms, to be a fiduciary to another person or party is to be in a position of trust. For example, a patient trusts her doctor to make the correct diagnosis. A parishioner trusts his priest to keep his confessions confidential. And if you are our client we hope you will trust us, as your lawyers, to give you the correct advice!  How does being a fiduciary play into the setting of a community association? Again, a fiduciary relationship ...
  • 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 ...

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

  • Pre-Existing Conditions May 18, 2017 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 health insurance isn’t impacted by the ACA, as my affinity for burritos could actually qualify as a pre-exiting condition subjecting me to increased premiums. While I do not purport to be a health insurance attorney, there are other areas of ...
  • Condominium Association Insurance: Beyond the Basics – Part 1 May 16, 2017 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 of their association. These decisions are a lot deeper than policy premium or major limits. After all, it is their fiduciary responsibility to protect their association to the best of their ability.    Read the article……………..
  • When a Natural Disaster Strikes, Is Your Association Covered? May 12, 2017 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 advance warning to prepare for them, but most do not. That’s why it is critical to the financial health of your community association to have the proper insurance coverage in place.  What are the risks if your community association isn’t ...
  • How well do you know condo insurance exclusions? May 10, 2017 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 our Condo Association Coverage Charges endorsement, which expands the definition of Insured: “…Each individual unit owner of the insured condominium, but only for liability arising out of the ownership,      Read the Q&A…………..

Insurance – General Articles Archives

 

Owners Insurance Articles

  • Real estate Q&A: Condo building’s insurance policy may not cover individual units May 25, 2017 Q: With hurricane season right around the corner, I am concerned about insurance for my beachfront condo. Who is responsible for fixing or replacing the building? And if my unit did get damaged, would I still have to pay the mortgage if I’m not able to live there during repairs?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • 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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