Making the proper insurance claim to recover damages to your condominium unit following a loss can be a daunting task. The first step to recovery is determining the origin and extent of the damage. Knowing the source of the damage and the extent of the damage will determine coverage and the insurance policies at issue. The next step is to review the applicable insurance policies, association bylaws, and your state’s condominium association statute. These instruments outline required coverages and allocate responsibilities between unit owners and the association. If the damages to an individual unit exceed policy limits then unit owners may find additional coverage after review of the master policy and association bylaws. The largest obstacle to successful recovery often deals with subrogation. A waiver of subrogation provision prevents the insurance company from pursuing legal action against the real party responsible for the damage.
The New Jersey legislature created the Condominium Act to set out guidelines that condominiums must follow. Title 46 of the New Jersey Statutes addresses property specifically, and section 46:8B-14 addresses the responsibilities of the condominium association.
Similar to most states, Colorado sets forth minimum requirements of insurance for common interest communities under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.
Following a major loss event, like a hurricane, insurance companies usually receive a higher volume of reported claims. When an insurance company is overwhelmed with the number of claims, the loss event is remotely located, or specialized knowledge is required, it generally hires independent adjusting firms to prepare an estimate of the damage. In adjusting insurance policy claims, independent adjusters represent the interest of the insurance company and prepare estimates at their direction.
When damages occur in condominiums a frequent dispute is how to determine if damages will be covered under the unit owner’s insurance policy or under the Board’s insurance policy for damages in common areas of the condominium. For example, in National Insurance Company v. Seguros Triple S,1 the Puerto Rico Appellate Court discussed this issue when water that escaped from a damaged bathroom of one of the unit apartments caused damage to the electric panel of the elevators of the condominium.
Continuing my state-by-state review of mandatory condominium insurance requirements, this post will look at Arkansas—The Natural State.
Continuing my state-by-state review of mandatory condominium insurance requirements, this post will look at Ohio—the Buckeye State.
On March 14, 2018, Caribbean Adjusters International hosted the “Condominium Insurance Forum” at the Marriott Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The forum was divided in two groups of panelists formed by adjusters, brokers, producers and local attorneys with special guest speakers such as Puerto Rico’s Insurance Commissioner (via Skype) and our own William “Chip” Merlin. Important topics were discussed related to claim issues for condominiums on the island.
Continuing my state-by-state review of mandatory condominium insurance requirements, this post will look at Pennsylvania—the Keystone State.
Some Florida condominium association board of directors might find themselves in the situation where they have adopted special assessments to pay for repairs related to Hurricane Irma. This might occur if the condominium’s master policy covers a loss, but the damage exceeds the coverage available in the building insurance policy. In this situation, the association may seek from individual unit owners a shared portion of the coverage that the underlying association insurance was insufficient to cover.