Making a claim for losses
When you own a single-family home and suffer a loss, you put in a claim with your insurance company based on the policy you own. For condo owners, it’s a bit different. This is because some damage may be covered under your individual policy, whereas other damage may be covered by the HOA or complex owner.
Common insurance claims that both the HOA and individual owner may bring include:
- Damage due to hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters
- Damage due to flooding, pipes that burst, and other causes
- Wind damage and other damage that can require roofs and windows to be repaired
- Damage due to a fire including smoke damage
- Damage due to mold
Generally, these claims will need to be coordinated since repairs of some areas often depend on repairs to other areas. Many other issues may arise for both the individual owner and the HOA. Individual condo owners should consult with an experienced insurance dispute attorney about any losses they sustain. The interests of the HOA and condo owners overlap – but there are key differences.
Individual owner claims
In addition to structural damage disputes that are usually at the direction of the HOA, individual owners should, in well-written policies, have the right to:
- Be compensated for contents losses. Disputes may arise about what items are damaged and their value. We work with appraisers to determine value. Condo-owners should regularly record and update their possessions. Pictures and videos will help.
- Be compensated for the cost to live elsewhere until the condo is repaired.
- Be paid for the cost to move to a comparable new location if the condo is beyond repair.
HOA insurance claims
The HOA generally negotiates with the insurance carrier if more than one individual unit was damaged. These negotiations may also be coordinated with the individual owners. Questions can arise concerning:
- Issues of coverage of the individual units
- Coverage of the common areas and all areas that need to be repaired or rebuilt
- The actual cost to repair and rebuild which often depends on negotiations with builders and contractors
- Which contractors and builders should do the repairs
- How the relocation of the condo owners should be handled
- A determination of any possible hidden damages
- How insurance is handled for units that haven’t been sold yet