First things first. Let’s define what a homeowners association actually is. Under Florida Statute 720.301 Section 9, a homeowners association, means “a Florida corporation responsible for the operation of a community… in which the voting membership is made up of parcel owners… in which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership, and to which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid, may become a lien on the parcel.”
Why is that so important? Well… understanding if you live in a homeowners versus a condo association is of paramount importance when talking about insurance responsibilities. Under Florida law as it relates to insurance, a homeowners association is governed by its association bylaws. Whereas a condo association is governed by the applicable Florida statute (Chapter 718).
What that means for those of you living in a homeowners association is this… the sole remedy for issues of whose responsibility it is to cover what is within the association bylaws. Insurance will only apply as is dictated by the governing association documents. Let’s play this out…
Say, for example, John lives in a homeowners association in Boca Raton where the association and himself carry insurance to cover their exposure to various losses. One day, there is a fire at Johns house which damages the front door to where it needs to be replaced. John, naturally, submits the claim to his insurance company along with notifying the association of the loss, to see who is responsible for insuring the door and which policy should respond to fix the damage. Each respective insurance company then looks to the association bylaws to determine which policy should respond, even before determining if coverage exists for the damage. Depending on your bylaws, the association or the homeowner could be responsible for insuring the damaged front door.
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Written by Robbie Korth
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Robbie Korth at email@example.com