If you live in a condo or own a home in a multifamily building, you know that you are responsible for insuring your home so that you are covered for damages to non common elements of the building and any damage to the floors or walls and within. You also know that the community’s insurance policy will cover the damages to anything that is common or semi-common. Sadly, it’s not always this simple in the way things play out in the real world.
As with many things in life, while it may seem black and white on paper this issue is much more multifaceted when an insured event actually occurs. While regular maintenance obligations are spelled out in the association documents for the community, after an insured loss occurs other controlling factors like state law come into play, making a tough situation more complicated.
In the wake of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Florida decided to rewrite some of the state’s condominium rules to better reflect reality and provide more consistency between residential coverage and condominium coverage.
In short, the revised Fla. Stat. section 718.111 applies when damage to the condominium was caused by an event which is covered by the condominium association’s insurance policy. If the cause of damage is not the result of an insured event, then the condominium or association documents, and the respective repair and maintenance provisions, will apply. Fla. Stat. section 718.111 provides that after an insured property loss, the association is required to cover the cost for:
- All portions of the condominium property as originally installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications; and
- All alterations or additions made to the condominium property or association property pursuant to Fla. Stat. §718.113(2).
Whether you are a unit owner whose home has been damaged, or a property manager / board member in charge of a community, if you feel that your insurance claim has been wrongly denied or unfairly delayed, you should seek out an attorney who has experience resolving insurance claim disputes. An insurance claim attorney can help you to understand your situation, explain the options you have, and will work to make sure you receive a full and fair settlement to repair any damage to your property.