Condominium Associations

According to the Community Associations Institute’s website,1 about 70 million people live in approximately 315,000 community associations throughout the United States. Thus, if you’re about to purchase a new home, the odds are good that you’ll be buying into an association as homeowners associations are not just for condominiums, but also for townhomes and even single family dwellings too.Continue Reading Purchasing a Condominium Unit: Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware)

Standing, as a legal concept, refers to the right to bring a lawsuit. To pursue a case as a party in court, a person or entity must show that it was sufficiently affected by the matter at hand. This is a general definition of the legal concept of “standing.” When condominium associations are involved, there is a legal concept known as “associational standing.”Continue Reading Understanding The Term “Associational Standing”

Understanding Florida Statute 718: Water Damage in Condos

Living in a condo in Florida can mean beautiful sunshine, warm weather, and access to beaches year-round. But there are downsides: Florida’s humid climate and temperamental weather can cause challenges for homeowners. In non-hurricane years, water damage claims are often one of the most common sources of

I often find that I am writing on this blog about recent court cases involving condominium associations and their property insurance claims with insurers. For this week’s post, I began thinking of another side of potential insurance disputes that associations are faced with. These involve liability issues. Risk management is a big concern for associations and their representatives. Similarly for me, as a new parent, potential dangers are suddenly more visible all around. Many condominium and homeowner associations have playgrounds in their common areas. Playgrounds are nice community amenities, but they can pose certain risks. The ironic thing is that such leisure amenities are often the things that pose increased risks. If injuries occur, the association and its insurer could get sued.Continue Reading Playgrounds Are Not All Fun And Games, Especially When They Are On Association Property

Last week on the Property Insurance Law Blog, I discussed a Florida statute that often requires insurance companies to repair undamaged parts of a property in addition to the damaged parts of the property. As discussed, Florida and federal courts have held that Florida Statute § 626.9744 only applies to homeowners’ policies, and not condominium association policies that are considered “commercial residential” policies. See Ocean View Towers Ass’n, Inc. v. QBE Ins. Corp., 11-60447-CIV, 2011 WL 6754063, *9 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 22, 2011). Despite the statute not covering commercial properties, a commercial residential policy may require an insurance company to repair undamaged property as well.Continue Reading Condominium Entitled to Matching Components Rather than Patchwork Repairs

Last week on the Property Insurance Law Blog, I wrote about a condominium association that sued its insurance company for failing to discover all Hurricane Wilma damage. The association discovered additional damage several years after the storm, and rather than file a supplemental claim for damage, the association filed suit. The insurance company claimed that the association needed to notify it of the newly found damage and submit to a secondary investigation before it could recover benefits. Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, disagreed, finding that the insurance policy did not require a supplemental claim.Continue Reading Insurance Company Can Only Blame Itself For Ruling on Supplemental Claims

The fact pattern is simple and quite common. An association suffered damages from Hurricane Wilma on October 24, 2005, and immediately notified its insurance carrier that the loss had occurred. The insurance carrier, in turn, retained an adjuster to investigate the loss and determine what was owed under the policy. After a brief inspection, the adjuster determines that the damages do not exceed the large hurricane deductible contained in the policy and denies payment.Continue Reading Important Decision for Hurricane Wilma Claims