September 4, 2015
Insurance Information for All Condo Owners
The below information was sent directly to each of the various Condominium Association Unit owners sometime in the past couple years, but it is printed here again because it is information that is crucial for you to understand to make sure that you are not under-insured on the physical property portion of your homeowner policy coverage.
I (Anthony Brummans, VSCA Property Manager) continually run into unit owners who are not prepared to deal with the Association Master Policy deductibles, especially off-site owners, despite all of my previous communications.
First, let me say that each and every Condominium Association located within Village Shires has a $10,000.00 deductible on their Condominium Association Master Policy. That typically means that the first $10,000.00 of any loss will be assessed to you directly, as a homeowner before the Condominium Master insurance policy kicks in. You need to make sure that your H06 policy covers you for that $10,000.00 loss by making sure that you have at least that amount of physical property (building structure) coverage so that you won't ever have to pay that portion of the loss out of your own pocket. Your Condominium Association will almost assuredly assess you to cover the $10,000.00 deductible portion of the loss if the loss in some way occurred in your unit or was caused by one of your occupants, whether someone was outright negligent or not. This is true even though the actual building structure belongs to the Condominium Association and not to the homeowner. Owners often fail to understand this.
Each Unit owner needs to contact his or her Homeowner Insurance Agent and inform him that the Condominium Policy has a $10,000.00 deductible. Specifically, you need to make sure that the "Property" (not personal belongings) Coverage of your H06 policy is adequate to cover the entire deductible of $10,000.00. If a loss "of any kind" if it should occur within your unit, the $10,000.00 deductible will be assessed directly to you, so you need to make sure that you are covered for it.
If you are a landlord living off-site, make sure you have a "Landlords" policy and "not just an H06 for the unit you live in" (that probably has a liability rider for your Condominium unit). That liability rider would not cover you for the physical "Property" Damage done to your VSCA Condominium Unit and you would be responsible to meet the Property damage deductible of $10,000.00 because your coverage was not the right type. Typically, the Condominium Policy picks up all "Building related" costs once the $10,000.00 deductible has been satisfied. Your personal belongings and furniture etc. of course fall on your homeowner policy. If you are a renter, you need to make sure that you have a "Renters" policy with "Liability" coverage.
All owners should make sure that they are performing their preventative maintenance work such as replacing hot water heaters and washing machine hoses (with burst proof type) "before" they rupture (every 10 years these should be inspected and replaced). With a $10,000.00 deductible in place, you need to be aware that these types of ) claims now largely fall on you and, if you paid attention to these writings, your own homeowner policy. That being the case, you are much more "directly" affected by these losses as a result. The flip side of that is that the community at-large is "less exposed" to the owners who neglect to perform this preventative maintenance type of work and who thereby cause many of these losses to occur. Off-site investors need to pay particular attention to this.