HOA Insurance Policy and Rain Damage

After last weekend’s storm, it has become even more apparent that we need to be prepared for the potential damages that can be caused by heavy rains and strong winds. Also, take a look at your HOA insurance policy to be sure that you and your community are adequately covered, as we have got another storm on the forecast for this upcoming weekend.

Keep your eyes open for the following types of rain damage, and see if they are covered under your insurance policy.

  1. Liability damage. This is damage resulting from a problem that the HOA was aware of but did not take steps to fix. A liability policy has either no deductible or a small deductible.
  2. Property policy damage. This refers to property being damaged by a covered peril, such as a backed-up sewer or drain or the wind blowing a shingle away and creating an opportunity for water intrusion. There is a deductible for these occurrences, but be sure that it is not per unit.
  3. Damage due to defective roof installation. If the damage comes from the roofer improperly installing the roof, get the Certificate of Insurance from the roofer, and we will help you put in a claim to the roofer’s insurance company. The roofer does not need to still be in business, only the insurance company.
  4. Wear and tear damage. Unfortunately, no insurance company will cover water intrusion damage from normal wear and tear.

Many people found themselves waiting for days before they could get help for emergency calls or work requests. As board members, it is your responsibility to have an emergency plan for potential disasters, prepare your community for future emergencies, and bring up the following points at your next HOA meeting:
Make sure that owners are reporting claims to their carriers

  • Get a maintenance person or constructor out as quickly as possible to determine what the source of water intrusion is, take steps to eliminate damage, and record the damage before mitigation begins
  • Take steps to alleviate water intrusion damage by putting out buckets and towels to catch and soak up intruding water, and protecting personal property that could be ruined by intruding water
  • Help to mitigate issues in common areas and report them as soon as possible

Call your insurance agent and discuss the claims process with them. In some cases, it is good to put in the claim, see what the adjuster says, and withdraw the claim if it is not covered (if allowed by the carrier).