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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

  • The Condo Association Board Prosecutor Profile September 21, 2017 Is your community lawless? Are your rules out of date and unenforced? If so, that means you probably don’t have a Condo Association Board Prosecutor. This week’s Condo Association Board personality profile is the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor wants to live in an ordered and well-behaved community. They will keep everyone on the straight and narrow, but make sure they don’t take it too far.   Read the article…………….
  • Recruiting Directors In Your HOA September 19, 2017 From time to time, it is necessary or desirable to recruit new directors. It may due to a vacancy or an upcoming election. Often volunteers are reluctant to commit until they fully understand the scope of the job and time commitment. Here is a sample solicitation letter that outlines director duties:     Read the article…………..
  • Being a Condo Association Board Mentor September 14, 2017 You’ve done it. Several years – maybe even multiple terms – as a Condo Association Board member and you’re suddenly an accomplished veteran. You have multiple major projects under your belt, and you’ve improved your community – maybe by starting a committee. Now that you’re a veteran, it is time for you to pass that information on to the new blood and become a Condo Association Board mentor.    Read the article…………….
  • East Bay Panel Update – Director Liability August 31, 2017 Two weeks ago, I met with a great group of ECHO members at our East Bay Resource Panel. We were gathered to talk about the recent Parth case and how it affects the personal liability of HOA directors. Ann Marquis-Fisher, chair of the Panel and president of her HOA, invited attorney Mark Wleklinski to speak about the case, and David Stompe (link is external) to discuss the insurance implications.     Read the article………….

Directors & Officers Insurance  Article Archives

Condominium Insurance Law

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  • Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:00:43 +0000: Assessments Following Catastrophe Losses in Texas - Condominium Insurance Law
    Does an HOA have power to levy assessments following catastrophe losses? In Texas, the answer will likely be, yes. This much was also found true when a homeowner’s association for Leawood Condominiums sued a unit owner for failure to pay assessments in Akhtar v. Leawood HOA.1 In this case, Hurricane Ike had damaged common elements such as the roofs, gutters, and siding on multiple buildings of the Leawood Condominiums. With a $500,000 deductible, no reserve, and insufficient insurance proceeds, Leawood Association turned to the unit owners to collect the funds necessary to commence repairs. Although 99% of the owners paid the assessments, Akhtar, the owner of 6 units, refused to pay the assessment claiming the HOA required a two-thirds homeowner’s vote to approve any assessment. The Association filed suit to collect the assessment and the court found for the Association. On November 12, 2012, Leawood sent a letter to all unit owners in the development explaining that a...

  • Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:30:49 +0000: Dealing with Insurance Agents as a Property Manager and Association Board Member - Condominium Insurance Law
    Insurance agent relationships between property managers and association boards are important. Insurance agents are required to obtain the best coverage at the best price. The problem is when different insurance agents, competing for business, start telling property managers and association boards different things about the insurance in place and comparing insurance coverages. Here are some basic rules when it comes to dealing with insurance agents when purchasing Association insurance: 1. Make certain the agent is given all your bylaws. In writing, ask the agent to review the by-laws and obtain quotes for the coverages and properties required in the bylaws and state statutes. Merlin Law Group attorney Corey Harris' mother is a director at Edgewater Condominium in Destin, Florida. She has a form letter she requires any agent providing proposals to confirm in writing they have obtained the coverages required in the by-laws and as required by state law. She asks that all the...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...


Condominium Insurance Law Archives

General Liability Insurance Articles

  • Conflicts of Interest (IL) September 6, 2017 The Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condominium Act”) does not provide complete guidance on when a board decision may be invalidated due to a conflict of interest. Therefore, a court, when deciding if a decision should be set aside due to a conflict, looks to the General Not for Profit Corporation Act of 1986 (the “Not For Profit Act”).    Read the article……………..
  • East Bay Panel Update – Director Liability August 31, 2017 Two weeks ago, I met with a great group of ECHO members at our East Bay Resource Panel. We were gathered to talk about the recent Parth case and how it affects the personal liability of HOA directors. Ann Marquis-Fisher, chair of the Panel and president of her HOA, invited attorney Mark Wleklinski to speak about the case, and David Stompe (link is external) to discuss the insurance implications.     Read the article………….
  • Community Association Liability For Dog Bites – Woof, Woof, Woof August 29, 2017 Can a Florida condominium, homeowners’, and cooperative association have liability for its members’ dog bites? Apparently, the answer is yes, it surely can.  In 1996, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida in Barrwood Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Maser, held that an association could be found liable where there was sufficient evidence from which a jury could determine that it was aware of a dog’s vicious propensities. In this case, there was a dog attack and bite to a ...
  • Snakebite Victim Waits While Insurance Companies Duke it Out in Court (FL) August 28, 2017 The legal machinations involving three insurers duking it out in court over Florida premises liability is overshadowing the suffering of a Florida woman who has undergone various amputation procedures involving her lower extremities following a snakebite on the grounds of her Miami-area condo.    Read the article……………..

General Liability Insurance Articles Archives


Insurance – General Articles

  • Helpful Tips to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim (FL) September 15, 2017 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 federal officials throughout Florida respond to those who have been impacted—whether it is because of loss of power, property damage or fallen powerlines or trees—we want to make sure we do our part to help our community as well.   ...
  • Insurance Reminders for Community Associations Preparing for Hurricane Irma September 5, 2017 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 any insurance claims that may arise. Below is an excerpt from an article by firm partner Laura M. Manning-Hudson on these pre-storm insurance recommendations that was posted in this blog earlier this year:    Read the article…………….
  • Indemnity Clauses: What Your Board Needs to Know August 15, 2017 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. This approach ensures that biased indemnity clauses aren’t leaving boards – and the unit owners they represent – vulnerable to potentially costly liabilities.    Read the article…………..
  • HOA Homefront: “Bare walls” or full coverage – insurance brokers weigh in August 12, 2017 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 policy) or pays for their own cabinets, wall and floor coverings and other interior finishes.     Read the article…………..

Insurance – General Articles Archives


Owners Insurance Articles

  • 5 Ways Hawaii Condo Dwellers Can Protect Themselves September 19, 2017 When I accompanied our daughter in her search to buy a condominium in Honolulu a few years ago, we didn’t even think to ask the real estate agent if the unit we liked had a fire sprinkler system or how much fire insurance the building association had purchased or if there were regularly scheduled fire drills.    Read the article…………….
  • How to Save on Home & Renters Insurance in Your Homeowners Association August 25, 2017 Whether you own or rent your home within a homeowners association, insurance is essential to protect your property and household goods. Comparison shopping for the best rates will certainly save you some money, but you also can save by following these tips:     Read the article………….
  • 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…………….

Owners Insurance Article Archives


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