Homeowners and Condo owners have one thing similar: The shared areas of their property such as building structures, shared utilities, common service or entertainment area, common hallways and driveways, etc. These commonly owned properties are subjected to property and liability losses for which insurance is very important for protection. As a result and other reasons, condominium and homeowners associations are formed to render services in connection with these common areas. Included in these services are risk management and insurance services.
While every unit owner is legally liable for the property and liability losses that may take place inside their units, condo and home associations are answerable for servicing the common areas and for obtaining insurance policies for the benefit of all participating members. For that reason, condo associations obtain a master policy and schedule each unit owner as a loss payee and additional insured on the master policy, each owner with the same percentage of their ownership in relation to the total. Unit owners pay monthly assessment fees to cover managerial and operational bills of the association including premiums for the condominium master insurance policy. Depending on the size of the association, a professional management company may be appointed to run the association’s actions, or some selected members of the association board of directors may handle these daily tasks.
Things Affecting Insurance Rates For Condo Associations
The principal factor that affects the price of property and casualty insurance rates is the description of the buildings associated with the association with regards to the number of units and the construction material used, and history of plumbing/ heating/ electrical updates are critically important in determining the insurance rates for the association’s master policy.
Scale of services retained and managed by the association: Associations that own, operate or maintain businesses such as grocery store, sporting and recreation facilities and actions such as swimming pools, gymnastic facilities, pleasure places and parks, etc. are more susceptible to lawsuit than smaller condo associations that do not have similar scope of operations. Whenever these services/ facilities are offered, insurance carriers will want to get more details about the security furnished to protect members and guests from injuries and harm. In larger associations, more risky routines may be offered, such as boat rentals, baseball parks, and even diving. These activities and facilities can get to much higher risk levels when associations get involved in administering airport facilities, horse trail, bike trail, and stables that may be managed or maintained by the association, and for which the association will be in charge.
Other Coverages That May Be Required By Condo Associations
Workers compensation is a coverage that is required if the association hires people to handle the activities of the association. Depending on the size and scope of the routines assumed by the association workers compensation coverage can range from clerical exposure to too much higher risks such as maintenance people or vehicle operators.
Auto liability is also necessary in the event that the association owns their own commercial vehicles such as service/ maintenance vehicles, snow plowing autos, etc.
Umbrella, or excess liability insurance is vital for all condominium associations, especially for medium to larger size condo association where losses resulted from legal actions against condo association can be sizable. Umbrella will at the same time raise the liability limits on all underlining general liability, auto liability, workers compensation to much higher limits (ie $1 or even $4 million, each occurrence).