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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Federal Court Sides with Association in Appraisal Dispute

It seems that every few years the appraisal process becomes a hot topic across the country. While there are a number of disputes that can arise, the scope of what is determined in the appraisal process is often at the forefront of the argument.

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Insurer Gets New Judge as Early Christmas Present

Insurance litigation can take on a life of its own. While pointed exchanges between attorneys is not altogether uncommon, judges typically stay above the fray, even when they believe a claim or defense has little chance of prevailing. This is not always the case, however, as noted in a recent appellate court ruling.1

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Claim Investigation, Negotiation, and Payment in Colorado

There are currently a large number of condominium and homeowners associations pursuing property damage claims in Colorado. With the number of wind and hail storms over the past couple of years, many of these claims are coming with higher dollar values than most policyholders have submitted in the past. One question I continually receive is what obligations an insurance company has in adjusting and paying a claim.

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Recent Case Highlights Need for Code Coverage

As with most important rulings, a recent appellate court decision in favor of a Florida condominium association has been making the rounds through the national insurance news. In Slow, Late, and Delayed Replacement or Repair - - A Case That Helps Policyholders, Chip Merlin wrote about a recent Florida appellate decision in Axis Surplus Insurance Company v. Caribbean Beach Club Association.1 While the trial court rulings in favor of the association were upheld on multiple grounds, the appellate court wrote to highlight why the insurance carrier waived certain time limitation provisions in the policy.

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