Keeping a condominium running and residents happy isn’t easy. That’s why most communities rely on a condo association to manage day-to-day affairs. Made up of unit owners within the property, the condo association takes responsibility for resident disputes, collecting fees, enforcing rules, and the maintenance and repair of common areas. It’s an important job, but it also exposes the association and its members to risk. Is your condo association protected? Muller Insurance offers a review of what you need to know about the most common risks faced by condo associations.
Failure to Maintain the Property
The condo association is responsible for keeping all communal aspects of the property in good condition. This includes walls, floors, the foundation, and other structural elements of the building, as well as plumbing, heating and cooling systems, pools, patios, sports courts, and garages or carports. When damage occurs to the building, its components, and other features of the property, repairs and replacements must be provided as soon possible to avoid injuries, unsafe living conditions, and other dangers that expose the association to liability.
If a resident or their guest is injured in a privately owned unit, the condo association is not liable for any costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation, or pain and suffering. However, the association is liable for injuries that occur in communal areas or because of unsafe conditions. Beyond proper upkeep, this could include:
- The building’s swimming pool
- Wet floors
- Icy steps and walkways
- Unsafe fitness equipment
- A lack of emergency exits or unmarked exits
- The absence of smoke detectors
The condo association must take steps to identify and address any shortcomings that expose the board to liability. Additionally, board members may wish to purchase umbrella policies to protect themselves against this type of liability. A supplement to homeowner’s insurance, umbrella insurance provides added coverage against lawsuits to protect current finances and future earnings.
You might ask yourself, how can the condo association be held responsible for crimes committed on community grounds? The truth is, failure to take the appropriate steps to minimize crime will leave the association liable to lawsuits for injury, loss of property, and more. Additionally, any damage caused to communal spaces by vandals or theft must be repaired as quickly as possible with help from condo association structure insurance.
To avoid risks associated with crime, be sure to invest in an adequate security system, restrict access for non-residents, and take special care in screening employees and third-party vendors, such as contractors, plumbers, HVAC specialists, and cleaning professionals. This way, you can keep intruders away and minimize the risks associated with vandalism and property crimes.
If your condo association has never filed an insurance claim, you may not fully appreciate how much coverage is needed. It’s an easy mistake to make, but one that can have costly consequences for the association and residents alike. Be sure to choose your policies and coverage levels with guidance from a trusted insurance agent. They’ll evaluate your situation, recommend the best policies and level of coverage, and help protect the condo association from excessive liability should the worst occur.
Get Coverage Today
Is your condo association covered in the event of damage, injuries, crime, and more? Trust your condo association insurance coverage to Muller Insurance, an independent agent with more than 100 years of experience in serving Hudson and South Bergen Counties. To get started, request a free quote now.