What is Condominium Insurance?
Condominium insurance policies are similar in nature to the homeowner’s policies. The main difference is that the condominium specific policies are tailored to the particular needs of people living in the complex.
In many cases, the condominium associations are responsible for maintaining an insurance policy that covers the main structures and the surrounding area of the complex grounds. It is a good idea for condo owners to purchase a personal insurance policy and not to rely on the association’s insurance policies to cover all damages and liability risks. Even if the condo association has insurance, you are trusting them to spend it wisely and in your best interest.
Benefits of Condominium Insurance
Owners, as well as visitors to the complex, can benefit from condominium insurance policies being in place. Most mortgage lenders require owners to have their insurance policy in place for the life of the loan.
Like homeowner’s insurance policies, condominium policies can cover damaged, lost, stolen property and can cover damages from fire, theft, or other natural disasters. These policies can also protect against liability claims brought about by visitors injured on the property or in the individual units. These policies can help to safeguard associations and condo owners against legal fees, personal injury, and medical bill claims.
Condominium Property Insurance Claims
When damage occurs to a condominium or community association properties, it is often the responsibility of the association’s manager and board of directors to file the necessary insurance claims. This can be an intimidating undertaking for anyone who has this responsibility placed on their shoulders.
Common ownership is regulated by state statutes, association bylaws and declarations, and the property deed. These documents are responsible for defining the minimum insurance coverages required. They also determine the responsibility parameters of the association and the individual property owners. This can get tricky. An individual owner might be responsible for everything inside his or her unit while the association might be responsible for certain structural things.
Filing a claim can be a complicated process, especially for someone working as a volunteer for the association. A qualified attorney can help to break down the process into easily managed steps.
Determine the Insured Parties and Insurance Policies in Place
When damage occurs, it is usually the responsibility of the association to determine the location and the cause. Did the accident occur on the association’s property, or did the damage spread to an individual unit or units?
Has the structure of the building complex suffered any damage?
The location and degree of damage incurred will also help in determining who can ultimately file a claim. The coverage of the applicable policies and the parties eligible to file a claim are all determined by the location and extent of the damage.
Louisiana has condominium and association laws that sometimes require associations to carry insurance that covers every typical structure and building. This includes the portions deeded to units owned by individuals.
Validate Insurance Policy Coverage
Once the cause and extent of the damage have been determined, and all involved parties have been identified, the next step is to look at all the pertinent insurance policies. The involved parties would need to figure out what procedures are required and which of those policies might take precedence over others. This can be a tricky process to determine, especially with multiple policies in play. A good property insurance attorney can do this for you.
Some of the factors involved in determining policy coverage include, but are not limited to:
- Association insurance policies
- Condominium owner policies
- Insurance policy coverage terms
- Policy limits
- Coinsurance provisions
Once the applicable policies and their coverage limits are determined, it is a good idea to get a thorough inquiry needs to be completed. In all actuality, an investigation should begin immediately following the loss.
It is essential for all involved parties, especially the condominium association, to conduct an investigation. A thorough examination should include documentation of all damages done to the property, buildings, and individual units.
In addition to the physical damages, the investigation should also document what costs might be covered under which policies. There can be overlapping coverage in some instances, which can quickly cause a roadblock in attempting to settle the claim.
Often the benefits are paid directly to the association or a representative put in charge of overseeing the necessary repairs.
Recovery of settlement benefits paid to the association typically falls under the supervision of the board of directors for the condominium association. In many cases, it is the responsibility of the association, not the individual unit owner or owners involved, to accept or reject settlement offers. The association can also be ultimately responsible for dispersing the funds received to make the necessary repairs to the buildings and units. If an insurance company offers you a “settlement” instead of undisputed funds, it is important that the association does its due diligence to make sure there will not be any further problems down the road.
Contact Our Firm Today
If your property insurance claim has been denied, hindered, or if you have settlement offers much less than the damage, then you need an experienced team of attorneys on your side. At Insurance Claim HQ we have a wealth of experience dealing with condominium property insurance claims. Our experienced team of attorneys is ready to help you with the nuances of your claim and to help you get the compensation you need.
Give a Insurance Claims Lawyer call today for your free case evaluation.