THE PERFECT TIME FOR AN INSURANCE PRIMER

Hurricane season starts June 1st.  If you haven’t ensured that the association property is properly insured, you better get busy.  And fast.  Let’s go over what the condo statute says about a board’s obligation to insure the condominium property.

 

Florida Statute 718.111(11) states:

(a) Adequate property insurance, regardless of any requirement in the declaration of condominium for coverage by the association for full insurable value, replacement cost, or similar coverage, must be based on the replacement cost of the property to be insured as determined by an independent insurance appraisal or update of a prior appraisal. The replacement cost must be determined at least once every 36 months.

So, the first question is……has your association done an independent appraisal in the last 36 months to determine what the replacement cost of the property is?  If not, you’re violating the statute.

 

Does the developer have an obligation to ensure the property is covered?

(b) If an association is a developer-controlled association, the association shall exercise its best efforts to obtain and maintain insurance as described in paragraph (a). Failure to obtain and maintain adequate property insurance during any period of developer control constitutes a breach of fiduciary responsibility by the developer-appointed members of the board of directors of the association, unless the members can show that despite such failure, they have made their best efforts to maintain the required coverage.

What about a board’s responsibility after turnover?

(d) An association controlled by unit owners operating as a residential condominium shall use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate property insurance to protect the association, the association property, the common elements, and the condominium property that must be insured by the association pursuant to this subsection.

What about deductibles?

(c) Policies may include deductibles as determined by the board.

1. The deductibles must be consistent with industry standards and prevailing practice for communities of similar size and age, and having similar construction and facilities in the locale where the condominium property is situated.

2. The deductibles may be based upon available funds, including reserve accounts, or predetermined assessment authority at the time the insurance is obtained.

3. The board shall establish the amount of deductibles based upon the level of available funds and predetermined assessment authority at a meeting of the board in the manner set forth in s. 718.112(2)(e).

So there you have it.  The Board shall use its best efforts to ensure the property is insured and has some discretion when it comes to choosing a deductible.  What it does not have is discretion to say we don’t want any insurance at all.  So, if your association is without windstorm coverage at the moment, I would start shopping around.

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