HOA Insurance Basics

The homeowners association insurance policy is usually issued as a package policy with several different types of coverage included into it. These coverage parts usually include property, auto, liability, directors & officers, and umbrella insurance coverage. The typical homeowners association is responsible for providing insurance for the interests of the property owners within the neighborhood or community. Although the association is responsible they usually go through a property manager. The property manager then gets in touch with agents and insurance brokers in the area to get the best rate.

The purpose of HOA insurance is to protect and cover liability or damage that happens on or to different interests the association has. These interests usually involve the common areas like entryways, tennis and basketball courts, playground areas, swimming pool and clubhouses, etc. Since these areas are owned by the individual homeowners in the community, a homeowners association is elected to oversee the maintenance required year after year. The risk involved needs to be transferred to an insurance company should these common areas and assets become damaged.

The homeowner’s association policy will cover the risk of damage to common property by named perils subject to a deductible. Most policies will provide coverage for fire, lightning, hail, windstorm, malicious mischief and vandalism unless otherwise excluded from that specific policy. If for example, the clubhouse is damaged by a tornado or hurricane, the owner’s association which owns the clubhouse will be indemnified by the insurance company to be able to pay for the appropriate repair or replacement of the building. This insurance company relieves the homeowner’s association from assessing property owners for the cost of repairs.

With condominium associations the risk is almost always greater than that of a home or rental property due to the amount of units the association has. Since the condominium unit owner only owns the interior of each unit, the association is responsible for the outer walls and roof, as well as the common areas. Each unit owner is responsible for insuring the interior of the unit and indemnifying the association for liability claims. Although most HOA insurance policies only cover the exterior of the structure up to the inner drywall, there are quite a few carriers that offer what is known as “walls-in coverage”. This type of coverage will usually cover the entire unit (including cabinets, carpet, paint, etc.) up to builders grade, more commonly knows as the way the condo was built right before anyone moved in. In cases such as this most unit owners will only be responsible for the upgrades or alterations made to the property.

The property coverage portion of the insurance policy is undoubtedly the coverage that is used most due to weather and the effect it has on an HOA structure. Every year in coastal states and states where tornados are prevalent, claims are filed by homeowner associations for damage to common property. Without the ability to transfer this risk to an insurance company, homeowners would be assessed on a regular basis to pay for thousands of dollars property of repairs and replacement. Get in touch with a homeowners association insurance broker today and be sure that your association is getting the coverage desired.