Property Managers' and Condominium Association Leaders' Hurricane Matthew Dilemma - Financing the Repair Before the Insurance Company Pays

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?

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Court Decision on "Your Work" Exclusion in a CGL Policy is a Head Scratcher

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

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Homeowners Association Claim Filed in 2015 May be Covered by a Policy Ending in 1982

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.

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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

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

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Which Policy Covers My Condominium Property Damage Claim?

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.

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Court Agrees to Weigh in Whether Insurers are Liable for Subcontractor's Defective Work

Damages caused by faulty workmanship has always been a hot topic in insurance law. In the Fall of 2015, the New Jersey Appellate Court stated that insurers are liable for damages arising out of a subcontractor’s defective work.1 Given this is such highly debated topic, it is not surprising that the Supreme Court of New Jersey has agreed to weigh in on whether consequential damages stemming from a subcontractor’s faulty work on a condominium complex constitute an occurrence under a general contractor’s insurance policy.

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Homeowner Association Managers, Agents and Officers Beware - Check Insurance Requirements to Avoid Lawsuits From Individual Members!!

Many of you are familiar with the following scenario—an insurance claim is denied because there is no coverage. Subsequently, the insured pursues a claim against their insurance broker for failing to obtain the coverage requested and pursues damages against the insurance broker for the insurance coverage that would have been available but for the negligent conduct of the insurance broker.

However, what many of you may not be familiar with is a similar claim that can be made against the Home Owner Association (HOA) where the HOA is required to obtain specified types of insurance coverage for the benefits of its members (according to the terms and conditions of the of CC&Rs) but fails to do so.

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Colorado Continues to Wrestle with the Appraisal Process

As I have noted in the past, the appraisal process has become a hot topic in the property insurance world in the past few years. Colorado has become ground zero for many of these disputes. While many states have statutory or appellate precedent to define the scope and workings of the appraisal process, Colorado is one of the few that does not.

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A Call For All Community Associations!--With An Active Hurricane In The Atlantic Currently Now Is The Time To Review And Refresh Your Disaster Plan

With Danny lurking out in the Atlantic, now is the time to dust off that disaster plan (hopefully there is one in place to dust off from past years) and review it and refresh your memories to make sure it is followed. Let’s face it; it has been ten years since a hurricane has affected South Florida. But don’t let your guard down. While this is predicted to be a less than active season (as it has shown so far) all it takes is one! We have discussed these items before in past years, but I thought now is as good a time as ever for a refresher post.

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Middle of the Night Insurer Roof Inspection Results in Police Investigation and Insurance Company Attorney Car Towed Away

The fun and games that insurers put us and their policyholders through to not pay claims never ceases and gets more creative all the time. Attorney Ashley Harris told me that one of our condominium clients from Superstorm Sandy had a request from its insurer that the wind damaged roofs needed an inspection at 3:30 a.m. We agreed with the request but what happened was unusual—even more unusual than a 3:30 a.m. inspection.

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