Condominium living offers so many advantages, in particular for people who bought condominiums as a vacation property. As South Florida’s homeowners insurance claims attorneys, we have seen cases in which the condominium association, whether run by the group of condo owners or run by a property management company, is inadequately insured. We counsel our clients to make certain that the condo they wish to purchase has the proper insurance. Failure to maintain appropriate insurance creates a huge problem. Under Florida law, the condo association is responsible for keeping the right insurance. If the association fails to do so, you may be forced to sue the condo association, of which you are a member by owning a unit.
Florida law regarding condominium insurance is complicated. The law designates the condo association as the entity that must have an insurance policy in place at all times. However, a developer must purchase the policy when the developer runs the condo association. The developer is liable to the condo owners for a breach of fiduciary duty for failing to maintain a policy. The developer has a defense under the statute. There is no breach of fiduciary duty if the developer can prove that it made “best efforts to maintain coverage.” Unfortunately, the law does not define what is meant by “best efforts.” The costs of the insurance must be maintained in the budget of the condominium association.
The law requires the condo association to maintain adequate coverage. Under the statute, adequate coverage is sufficient to replace the building. Because of rising, and sometimes-falling property values, the law requires the association to engage an independent insurance appraiser to appraise the value of the building every three years. This is the minimum statutory requirement. The condominium documents may, but are not required, to have more comprehensive insurance coverage. The condo association is permitted to consider any deductibles to be applied to a claim when determining whether the condominium is insured adequately. The deductibles must be based upon industry standards for condos of similar size, value, age, and location. Anything that must be repaired or replaced after an event covered by insurance is a common expense chargeable to all unit owners.
The law requires the policy cover certain items while specifically excluding others. The insurance must cover replacement of condo property according to the original specifications, in kind and quality. The insurance must cover all lawfully constructed additions to the condo property as well. The statute excludes fixtures, even if installed by the condominium developer if the fixtures or item serves only one unit or are found within the confines of that one unit. Some examples of items not covered by the condo association policy are curtain rods, countertops, cabinets, water heaters, water filters, appliances, and electrical fixtures such as lights and switches.
You must purchase a condo owner’s insurance policy to protect your property. For policies issued or renewed after January 1, 2010, you must include $2,000 in property loss assessment coverage. A $250 deductible may also apply. The owner’s insurance policy must include a statement stipulating that the individual condo owner’s insurance policy is in excess of any other policy covering the premises. The individual unit owner is responsible for rebuilding and covering the loss of any portion of the condo which association has no obligation to repair.
Contact Miami Homeowners Insurance Claim Attorneys If You Are Experiencing Difficulties With Your Condominium Insurance
Let South Florida’s Top law firm – as voted by the Miami Herald – Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, represent you with your homeowner’s insurance policy claim. Call the South Florida homeowners insurance claim attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano – an AV-rated firm by Martindale-Hubbell – today at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to schedule your free consultation. The attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, and & Urbano have over 130 years of combined legal experience at your service.