A condominium (condo) is a single-unit property in multi-unit development real estate. The condo owner has sole ownership and shared common interests with the development real estate, meaning shared interests with other owners regarding common (shared) areas.
Condo insurance policies tend to be complex because condominium owners must have a master coverage (HOA policy)and a separate individual insurance policy. Liability for property damage or loss is subject to by-laws as stipulated by the condominium association. All of this makes condo insurance claims very complicated and stressful to deal with.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, you will find experienced attorneys who go the extra mile to ensure insurance companies compensate you for losses from damage to your property. Our Fort Lauderdale condo insurance lawyers are your best bet if you want reputable and reliable legal counsel and representation.
What Does Condo Insurance Typically Cover?
Essentially, taking a condo insurance policy means investing in private unit coverage. Hence, the policy might not cover anything not included in the condo master policy (HOA insurance). An HOA policy might not cover renovations to your unit if it is not all-in coverage. It also will not protect your belongings, but the condo insurance will because you own your unit’s flooring, fixtures, installations, and interior structures.
The HOA or master policy covers the exterior components of your condo unit, including the pavements, walls, and roofing. Some HOA plans sometimes require condominium owners to hold condo insurance coverage, and some can specify the insurance providers to buy the policy from.
We advise our clients to go through the master HOA and condo insurance policies with a fine tooth comb. The ideal coverage should include protection against theft, fire, storms, vandalism, and other risks.
Does My Homeowner’s Association Have Insurance That Covers Me?
The HOA insurance coverage is a master policy protecting individual condo owners from liabilities should people get injured in common areas on the property. It also covers property damage, like damage to your unit’s exterior walls.
However, we also know that HOA policies have caveats in what to cover, meaning you are not protected against all risks. It means you could face liability for any damage, injuries, or losses on the property. Also, note that some HOA policies may require condo owners to contribute towards covering reimbursements if the damage exceeds the policy’s limit.
Our attorneys will help you understand what the HOA policy and your condo insurance cover. Overall, the HOA coverage works with your condo insurance hence why some condominium homeowners’ plans make obtaining the individual condo policy mandatory. The HOA protects condo owners from damages in public areas while addressing liability issues that arise in such spaces.
What Is Covered by the Master Condo Insurance Policy?
As we have said about HOA coverage, you will be dealing with a master condo insurance policy which is mandatory for all condominiums and real estate under co-op associations. It is a collective coverage protecting the interests of the unit owners and the property association.
The Condo Structure
There are three types of master condo insurance policies that cover the condo structure.
Bare Walls Coverage
This coverage focuses on the condo’s physical structure and components like the framing, drywall, roofing, wiring, exterior, piping, insulation, etc. It also covers most fixtures and furnishings in common areas and any property collectively owned by the condo association.
Single Entity Coverage
Single-entity coverage protects everything listed in the bare walls-in coverage and built-in components like light fixtures in individual condo units.
All-in coverage has the same benefits as single-entity coverage and also covers any renovations or upgrades the condo owners make to the unit.
The Grounds and Common Areas
A master condo insurance policy can also protect against liabilities associated with damage or injuries on shared grounds like parks, playgrounds, walking trails, sidewalks, and parking lots.
The coverage also encompasses common areas like swimming pools, entertainment (event) spaces, clubhouses, gyms, hot tubs, and other general and limited common spaces that individual condo unit owners share.
The general common areas in some condominium properties are open to all unit owners, while the limited common areas are accessible to preauthorized few condo owners.
What If I Am Being Held Liable for Costs My HOA Should Cover?
If you believe you are wrongfully being held accountable for costs that your homeowner’s association should cover, you should get in touch with a Fort Lauderdale condo insurance lawyer right away.
Our attorneys will carefully review the master HOA and condo insurance policies to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.
What If My Insurance Company Denied My Claim?
The law gives you the right to file an appeal against a claim denial that you believe was unfair. However, the appeal might prove to be a daunting task.
Insurance companies are legally required to inform you of why your claim was denied per the terms of your insurance policy. If they fail to uphold this requirement, you have valid grounds to file an appeal against their denial claim.
Our Fort Lauderdale condo insurance lawyers will be ready to help you fight for your rights and interests. Your attorney can oversee the process of contacting the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to file your complaint.
Why Was My Condo Insurance Claim Denied?
It is prudent to understand the different factors that could lead to your condo insurance claim being rejected. Here are some of the most common reasons.
Your Policy Did Not Cover Damage to Your Property
That is why we advise people to read the policies thoroughly to identify any caveats and know the risks they are protected against. For instance, many condo insurance providers will not include protection against earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters.
Different Insurance Coverage
The stated damage to your condo may be covered by your association insurance (HOA policy), and things are more complex if it is under a different insurance company.
Suspicion of Fraud
Your insurer can deny your claim if they suspect or have evidence of fraud. The insurance will don cover property damage due to your negligence or recklessness.
Failure to Pay Insurance Premiums
If you did not keep up with insurance payments as per the contract, your insurance company will deny your claim. It’s crucial to always pay insurance premiums on time.
Mistakes When Filing the Claim
With so much paperwork involved, it is easy to make errors or omissions when filing a claim. Insurance companies often use these mistakes and omissions as grounds for denying or undervaluing a claim.
What Can a Condo Insurance Lawyer Do For You?
A condo insurance lawyer can work wonders in areas you might have found frustrating. Having worked with many clients, we have extensive knowledge and experience with condo insurance claims. Here are some things we can do.
Verify Insurance Coverage
Verifying what different policies coverage in condo property insurance claims can be complex. An attorney can help evaluate if damage at your condo falls under an individual condo policy or homeowners association policy. We will explain the details of your coverage, tell you what to expect moving forward, and what actions to take.
Insurance companies will come at you with experienced lawyers and adjusters who will make negotiations very difficult. Your best bet is to go into these negotiations with an equally experienced Fort Lauderdale condo insurance attorney. Our lawyers are seasoned negotiators ready to help you secure the maximum payout possible.
Investigate the Claim
Insurance companies may decide to conduct their separate investigations. We will also carry out our own inquiry to make sure your claim was handled justly. We will assess the evidence, paperwork, and documentation which can be overwhelming.
Help With the Claims Process
Choosing to work with a credible attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes. We will fill out and file the required paperwork on time and keep track of the entire claims process. We will protect your rights and provide you with the necessary legal support if your claim is underpaid, denied, or delayed.
Hire the Best Fort Lauderdale Condo Insurance Lawyers!
After a dispute with your HOA or condo property’s insurance, you may be asking yourself if you need legal counsel. Condo insurance involves two types of policies, making it very complicated. But an experienced condominium insurance lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you get the compensation you deserve.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, you will find attorneys who will go the extra mile to ensure insurance companies compensate you for losses from damage to your property. Most importantly though we are ready to battle it out with insurance companies that try to undervalue, delay, or deny your claim.
Call us today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free consultation.