Continuing my state-by-state review of mandatory condominium insurance requirements, this post will look at the Mountain State, West Virginia, whose motto is Montani semper liberi (Mountaineers are always free).
Under the West Virginia Code §36B-3-113, once the first condominium unit is sold, the condominium association must obtain property insurance on the common elements, both existing and planned, to protect against physical loss commonly insured against. Additionally, the association must maintain liability insurance to insure against occurrences commonly insured against for death, bodily injury, and property damage arising out of the ownership and use of the common elements.
In cooperatives and multi-story condominiums, the association’s insurance policy must also cover the units, but need not cover improvements and betterments installed by unit owners.
The Code also states that insurance policies maintained by the association must provide that:
- Each unit owner is an insured person under the policy with respect to liability arising out of his interest in the common elements or membership in the association;
- The insurer waives its right to subrogation under the policy against any unit owner or member of his household;
- No act or omission by any unit owner, unless acting within the scope of his authority on behalf of the association, will void the policy or be a condition to recovery under the policy; and
- If, at the time of a loss under the policy, there is other insurance in the name of a unit owner covering the same risk covered by the policy, the association’s policy provides primary insurance.
The association’s insurance policy does not prevent unit owners from obtaining their own. Unit owners may purchase their own insurance policies to cover any gaps in the association’s policy, betterments and improvements, and personal property.