Condominiums, or condo’s, are often called “shared communities”, based on shared common areas. Typically, each unit is individually owned and come in all different shapes and sizes. There are literally thousands of condominiums, homeowner communities, and planned unit developments in the Pacific NW, all with their own unique insurance needs. Because each condo owner owns a portion of the ‘shared’ buildings, these shared communities require specific insurance policies.
Regardless of the size of the complex, it is imperative that a Homeowners Association (HOA) or Board is formed to oversee the facility. Although the Board may hire a management company to handle a lot of the day-to-day functions, it’s still important that the Board understands the factors involved as they are still responsible with making decisions on behalf of the Association.
The HOA Board is responsible for enforcing the CC &R regulations; implementing HOA elections; general maintenance and repairs to the buildings; collection of dues by the homeowners; maintaining reserves for emergencies and maintenance; and responsible for HOA insurance, staffing, maintaining the common areas, vendors, and in the other amenities.
Another major responsibility of the Board is determining adequate insurance coverage and having a master policy in place to protect the investments of all the owners. This master policy provides important coverage for the shared units including general liability, common area property, as well as other areas of shared risk.
In addition, each individual condo owner should have their own separate personal insurance, including coverage for the deductible, liability, loss assessment as well as other coverages the unit owner wants to protect other assets they may have.
As each community has different qualities and needs, be sure to discuss with your ABI agent all our insurance options available, based on your Associations characteristics and risks. We will walk you through every step to ensure your Association has the adequate coverage to cover any losses to the shared community.
So, what coverage does your HOA need? Reviewing your governing documents is a great place to start. The last thing your HOA wants is to find out is that it’s not compliant, especially after being denied a claim. Do you need Walls in coverage? Does it need to include betterments and improvements? Or is it just a bare walls policy? It is important to know who is covering the interior fixtures as well as any improvements that owners have done.
While there are many insurance agencies out there, finding an agency that understands and specializes in condominiums is harder to find. Working with an agent that truly understands the complexities of insuring condominium HOA properties can help you navigate difficult requirements, prevent potential problems, avoid costly legal fees, and save you valuable time.
At ABI Insurance, our goal is to help educate your Association or Board, so you can make informed insurance decisions and understand all your options. ABI is a unique ‘boutique’ agency that goes to great lengths to understand niche markets like Condominiums and HOA’s. As the largest agent that writes policies for both High Rises in downtown Portland, and Associations across Oregon and SW Washington, ABI understands all the unique insurance components for your HOA community. We know that having the right coverage could be the difference between having your Association claim paid…or not. We work hard to ensure that our recommendations are made in your Association’s best interest … period.
At ABI, protecting your Association’s assets is our primary concern. Give us a call today.