Florida is the only state to address and provide a statutory definition for a “re-opened claim” or a “supplemental claim.” Florida’s law is not a consumer protection law. Instead, it is an insurance company protection law. The current edition of Florida’s Supplemental and Reopened claims law reads as follows:

Continue Reading Beware of Claims Deadlines! Florida Condominiums Have Supplemental and Reopened Claims Statute Deadlines

As Merlin attorney Jonathan Bukowski previously discussed, the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) sets forth specific minimum insurance requirements for common interest communities, such as condominiums and homeowners associations (HOAs). These requirements are designed to ensure that common elements and, in some cases, individual units are adequately insured. 

Continue Reading Colorado’s FAIR Plan Expands Safety Net for At-Risk Properties 

Of the 39 million potential insureds making up California’s population, over 14 million or over 35% – live in homeowners association communities. Therefore, understanding whether their property damage claims fall under their individual or association insurance policies is essential to properly recovering insurance benefits. Equally essential is understanding which policy takes priority when property damage is covered by both the unit owner’s individual policy and the association’s master policy.

Continue Reading Understanding the Interplay Between an Individual Unit Owners’ Policy and Their HOA Policy is Crucial for Submitting Condominium and Townhome Claims in California

Deductible buy-down insurance, also referred to as buyback deductible insurance, is designed to reduce the deductible that an insured party would have to pay in the event of a claim. It operates on a simple principle: by purchasing a deductible buy-down policy or endorsement, the insured party can reduce or even eliminate the deductible that would be due if a loss occurs. This mechanism is particularly relevant for policyholders when the deductible on a claim is set at a high amount.

Continue Reading Is Deductible Buy-Down Insurance A Wise Choice For Condominiums? A Basic Guide For Association Boards and Property Managers

Well, folks, another hurricane season in Florida has come and gone, leaving us with nothing but a collective sigh of relief and the looming specter of potential disaster. In the spirit of commemorating the official end of hurricane season, I urge you to take a moment to reflect on your condo association’s insurance choices. Because let’s face it, nothing says “peace of mind” like a flood that wipes out your savings and leaves unit owners drowning in assessments.

Continue Reading Florida Condo Associations: Dodging Floods and Drowning in Premiums?

Most property insurance companies take too long to investigate, request far too many documents, and delay analyzing the documents after they obtain them so that months pass before a decision is made on the property loss. This is not proper and not in the spirit of good faith claims service all condominiums are promised and deserve to receive. I sometimes wish the claims managers of insurance companies were Association Board members who received incessant requests from other members asking—“Why is it taking so long for the insurance company to make a decision and pay?”  

So, what can an Association do? 

Continue Reading Condominium Associations Need to Cooperate and Provide Information to Move Along a Property Insurance Claim

As an attorney who has represented hundreds of condominium associations following losses, I understand the importance of having the right insurance policies in place to protect your association’s assets and financial well-being. Fidelity, Employee Dishonesty, and Crime Insurance are crucial components of a comprehensive insurance plan for condominium associations. Yet, it is a very complex type of insurance. Condominium boards and property managers often ask me what they should be aware of to purchase the best type of Fidelity, Employee Dishonesty, and Crime Insurance available and how to work with their agent to do so. I will share tips and personal insights to help your association navigate these specialized coverages and suggest how to work effectively with your insurance professionals to safeguard your community’s interests.

Continue Reading Tips For Association Leaders Purchasing Fidelity, Employee Dishonesty, and Crime Insurance for Condominium Associations

When a condominium association finds itself defending a claim asserted by a unit owner, it is imperative to understand what is the association’s liability insurance carrier’s duty to defend the claim.

Continue Reading Understanding a Liability Insurance Carrier’s Duty to Defend

Recent articles in the Miami Herald and Insurance Journal reported on massive fraud from a Condominium Association by its officers, board members, and leaders. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said it had charged five current and former association board members with racketeering violations, grand theft, money laundering, and fabricating evidence. In addition, two vendors were criminally charged for receiving payments from the fraudulent invoices, which totaled over $1.2 million. Florida law requires Condominium Associations to carry Crime and Fidelity Insurance or bonds to protect against this type of activity. Continue Reading Florida Condominium Laws Require Insurance or Fidelity Bond to Reimburse Stolen Association Funds

If you own a condo in California, it’s a safe bet you are not covered against damage caused by an earthquake (“EQ”). EQ damage is typically an excluded peril under HO-6 and similar condo policies. EQ coverage is required to be offered, but only about 15% of condo owners choose to pay an additional premium to cover this peril despite reports1 that within the next 30 years, there is (1) over a 99% chance that one or more M6.7 or greater EQs will strike somewhere in California; (2) a 75% chance one or more M7.0 or greater EQs will strike Southern California; and (3) a 76% chance one or more M7.0 or greater EQs will strike Northern California. Continue Reading Is Your California Condo Covered Against Earthquake Damage?