Throughout the years, we have represented both homeowners and condo and homeowner associations with property damage insurance claims. There are specific items that each party is responsible to repair such as roof, exterior of building, drywall, interior finishes, plumbing and electrical. It is important to keep your Condo or HOA documents together with your insurance policy because these documents clearly state what repairs are the responsibility of each party i.e. the homeowner or the association. A copy of these documents are provided to you when you purchase your home or condo.
Let’s say you live in a condo and the roof leaks and causes water damage to the interior of your condo. You promptly report the leak to the association and they state “we are not responsible for the damage you need to file a claim with your insurance company” You do so immediately. After all, you trust your association and believe they are giving you the correct information because they have your back right?
Your insurance company visits the property and inspects the damage only to tell you there is NO coverage in your policy and you receive a claim denial letter that reads in part:
“Your policy does not provide coverage for rain, snow, sleet, sand or dust to the interior of the building unless a covered peril first damages the building causing an opening in a roof or wall and the rain, snow, sand or dust enters through this opening”
Why is the association responsible for these damages? First and foremost, in a case like this, you do not own the roof, the association does. They are responsible for the maintenance of the roof and any and all repairs to the roof. Secondly, and unless otherwise stated in the condominium documents, the association also owns the drywall, insulation and exterior of the building. Therefore, the association should be filing an insurance claim for the damage to your home, NOT you!
I have also reviewed condominium documents that state the homeowners are responsible for all repairs to the interior of their home which also include drywall, insulation, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical. This is why it is important to always keep both sets of documents together. In a scenario like this, when our client’s insurance company says they do not owe for these items, we prove they do and have always been able to get them covered for our clients.
Let us help you understand your insurance policy and schedule your FREE insurance policy review today. Contact us here or call 561-288-6434.