The unique nature of condo buildings often leads to some confusion over who is responsible for insuring what. In reality, it’s a simple set-up, but everyone involved needs to know how it works.
How can condo building insurance protect you?
Use the yellow hot spots and explore how condo building insurance can help protect against common risks.
Condo and co-op associations may face severe financial consequences from property loss due to fire, wind, or other causes.
Commercial property insurance should provide coverage for damage to the building, personal property owned by the association, and income lost due to a covered cause of loss.
Condo and co-op associations are susceptible to many risks, such as claims due to bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and more. The association could also face lawsuits from claims associated with common areas such as hallways, stairwells, swimming pools, and parking areas.
General liability insurance is an absolute necessity for any association. It provides coverage for legal fees and judgments when the association is named in a covered lawsuit.
Crime and Fidelity Bond Insurance
Crime and fidelity bond insurance is designed to provide coverage to cooperative and condominium associations to protect them from theft of funds or association-owned personal property by an employee, board member and in some cases, the property management firm.
Crime and fidelity coverage is designed to provide coverage for employee dishonesty, forgery and alteration, computer fraud, counterfeiting, and more.
Systems Breakdown Insurance
With technology performing many tasks in today's world, a breakdown can cause a significant financial burden, including the cost to repair the equipment and any resulting lost income or extra expenses.
Comprehensive coverage provides protection against equipment mechanical breakdown for machinery such as heating and cooling equipment and elevator motors.
Directors and Officers Liability Insurance
Directors and officers (such as board members) can be held accountable for decisions they make in the performance of their duties. Any resulting lawsuits are typically expensive to defend and can result in potentially large settlements.
Directors and officers liability insurance provides coverage for the legal costs to defend a covered lawsuit and may also provide the money necessary for any resulting judgments.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
What happens when your condo or co-op building faces a large liability loss that exceeds the basic limit of your standard policy?
A commercial umbrella policy will provide extra coverage over and above general liability, directors and officers liability, auto liability, and employers liability policies. Limits start at $1,000,000 and go as high as $200,000,000.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Technology has spun a whole new web of liability exposures including the need for protection of privacy, data, and financial information for your association residents. Breach of their data can result in costly fees and lawsuits for the association if held liable.
Cyber liability coverage covers fees and lawsuits resulting from the breach of personal data, assuming that the association is liable.
Pollutant clean-up is generally excluded from the basic policies. Leaking of a fuel tank can be very costly to remediate.
Environmental insurance provides coverage for clean-up costs and third party lawsuits as a result of a leak from the tank or related pipes.
Sponsor / Investors Owned Units Insurance
Typically the policies for the association exclude coverage for the sponsor or holder of unsold shares for the interior of the units they own.
A policy should be maintained to provide coverage for what you are responsible for within the unit, as well as any lost income and lawsuits resulting from acts within the unit.
The unique nature of condo buildings often leads to some confusion over who is responsible for insuring what. To ensure appropriate coverage is in place it’s important for everyone involved to know how it works.
The condo owners association insures some parts of the building against damage with an “association master policy.” The individual condo owners will be responsible for any remaining insurance for their own unit. Following are industry standard forms that determine who covers what.
“Bare Walls” coverage is the most basic. The condominium association insures only the bare structure of the individual condominium building; the structure, fixtures, and furnishings of collectively owned areas; and the collectively owned personal property of the association. Individual unit owners are responsible for insuring building property they own and use exclusively, such as sinks, built-in cabinets, appliances, flooring, and wallpaper (along with any improvements and betterments) in their individual units.
“Single Entity” covers virtually all real property in a residential condominium structure, including fixtures in individual units. Note that this coverage does not include any structural improvements, betterments, or additions that the individual unit owner has made.
“All Inclusive” or “All-In” covers all real property in a residential condominium structure, including fixtures in individual units and any structural improvements, betterments, or additions that the individual unit owner has made. It provides coverage to replace a unit to the condition it was in at the time of the loss.
More information about condo association insurance can be found here.