Mid-August through late October is usually the peak hurricane season in Florida. Intense, dangerous storms often rumble through the state during this time, damaging even the best-prepared buildings and infrastructure.
In the wake of these weather events, condo owners face a potentially tricky clean-up question: Who, exactly, is responsible for what repairs when a condo is damaged by a storm or hurricane?
Condo insurance requirements
Under Florida law, condo associations generally must have a property insurance policy that covers certain damage in the event of a hurricane or serious windstorm.
This policy has to provide primary coverage for all portions of the condominium property as it was originally installed, or for a replacement of the same quality and value. The insurance policy also has to cover certain alterations or additions that had been made to the condo property or association property.
Hurricane damage to these insured parts of the property is then the responsibility of the condo association to get repaired or replaced.
However, this property insurance does not cover everything within an individual's condo unit.
What isn't covered by the property insurance?
Certain items within an individual's condo unit are specifically prohibited from being included in this required property insurance. What in-unit features are excluded?
- All personal property within a unit or in limited common elements
- Floor, wall and ceiling coverings
- Electrical fixtures
- Water heaters
- Water filters
- Built-in cabinets and countertops
- Window treatments including curtains, blinds, drapes, or other similar items
None of the above is typically covered by the property insurance that is maintained by the condo association. If a unit owner wants insurance coverage for these items, it is up to that individual to buy their own policy.
Insurance coverage is an inherently complicated topic. Within a condominium property, responsibilities can become further tangled. This post is just a basic overview.
If there are disagreements, it may be a good idea to involve an attorney to protect your interests. Dealing with hurricane damage is difficult enough on its own. Having needed repairs ignored for weeks or months because of a dispute about who should pay only adds unneeded stress.