Florida is home to many homeowners associations (HOAs) and condo associations.
These associations are in place to help communities retain a preset standard of living for all residents to enjoy.
Part of the responsibility of the HOA is to care for and maintain the common areas of the property along with certain outdoor features of the condos located within the association.
Because of these responsibilities, Florida has HOA insurance requirements that these associations must meet to protect all the community residents.
Review The HOA Policy With Each Annual Meeting
HOA and condo associations are required to hold an annual meeting. These meetings are designed to address business matters and legal and resident issues. It is s time to review and update the community’s bylaws and make any necessary changes. This should also be a time when the HOA insurance policy is reviewed.
Policies should be reviewed for the following:
- Deductible amount and if this deductible changes with different types of claims or damages. Make sure that the HOA feels comfortable with the amount required for a deductible.
- Ensure that the policy covers structural damage to the buildings, which includes sliding glass doors and all windows.
- Covers common area spaces like recreation rooms, pools, tennis and basketball courts, and other areas shared by the community.
- Covers landscaping, lighting, and parking lots.
- Provides general liability for the HOA.
You should also verify if the HOA has a separate flood policy to cover any damages that may occur from flooding. Flooding is generally not covered in standard policies.
A final thing that the HOA should review in their policies is what the condo owners are responsible for at their properties. This is very important. Condo owners within the community should be made aware of their responsibilities for damages so that they have the right insurance policies in place. This protects the residents as well as the HOA when damages occur.
Association Claims Examples
Typical HOA insurance claims include:
- Hurricane or storm damage to property
- Broken pipes, water lines, or water heater failures
- Damages to common areas such as the pool, parking areas, or parking covers
- Fire and smoke damage
- Broken sprinkler heads and landscape issues
- Roof damage, including gutters and fascia
Other claims may be made based on the policy or the damages that have occurred at the property.
Why Has The HOA Insurance Claim Been Denied?
Condominium association insurance in Florida is mandatory, yet insurance companies often fail to honor these policies and deny claims. Why? Because it is cheaper for the insurance company to deny a claim than it is to pay for one.
Insurance companies are in business to sell policies and collect premiums. Paying out on claims hurts their bottom lines, so they train their adjusters to decrease, delay and deny claims made against any policy.
It sounds very cynical, but it is just how the insurance industry works. Denied and delayed claims save the insurance company money. People, including HOAs, become frustrated with the process and give up. Undervalued claims save the insurance company money as well.
The most common reasons for the insurance company to delay or deny your claim is that the paperwork was not completed correctly or there was not enough supporting documentation to make a claim. There are many other excuses used, making the entire process very frustrating.
If you are facing problems with an HOA insurance claim, it will be in your best interest to speak with a Florida HOA insurance attorney.
How An Insurance Attorney Can Help
If you are having trouble making a claim against your condo association insurance in Florida, hiring an insurance attorney can help.
An HOA insurance attorney has the experience and knowledge to help you file a successful claim against the insurance company. They understand the terms of the policy as well as the laws surrounding these terms to ensure that the insurance company honors the terms of their policies.
Your attorney can make sure that the claim is filed correctly with all supporting documentation and in a timely manner. They will follow through with the adjusters to make sure that the process keeps moving, and your attorney will not let the compensation be undervalued or denied by the insurer.
Do not let the frustration of filing an HOA claim hold back your community. Speak with a Florida insurance attorney at Landau Law about your current claim or make an appeal for a claim that has been denied. Contact us today!
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