Protecting homeowner association rights after
structural damage occurs
Article Courtesy of The South Florida Business Journal
By The Morgan Law Group, P.A.
January 13, 2020
After Hurricanes Michael and Irma, the amount of
damage that was left behind throughout the state of Florida posed a real
problem for condo buildings and HOA communities. These damages were so
extensive, and HOA communities across Florida are still trying to
recover and receive payment from their insurance companies.
Additionally, while it is true that a disaster can strike at any time,
most community associations may not know the totality of the financial
consequences, especially when they live in a HOA community. Like most,
HOAs count on their insurance policies to provide the coverage they’ll
need to rebuild when structural damage occurs. Unfortunately, it may not
be that easy, and with over 20,000 unpaid Hurricane Michael-related
insurance claims across Florida, it is essential to ensure that your HOA
community has sufficient coverage.
Review your HOA insurance policy and its coverage often
All homeowner associations and condo boards should review their existing
insurance policies and overall coverages annually to ensure it fits
their community’s overall needs and that they are prepared when disaster
strikes. This includes knowing the deductibles that apply. Often, there
are different and larger policy deductibles for storms, hurricanes, and
floods, and it is important to know what exactly is being covered.
HOA property policies should also cover common perils that affect the
structure of the building or community that they govern. When reviewing
the policy, be sure it includes coverage for:
Structural damages to the building, including
windows and sliding glass doors.
Roof damage, along with gutters and skylights.
Damage to common areas, such as parking covers,
awnings, lobbies, elevators, swimming pools, tennis/basketball
courts, landscaping, and lighting structures.
General liability for the association.
Countering HOA and condominium board insurance
claims delays and denials
While condominium associations or HOAs each generally carry full
coverage insurance, no one is typically prepared for the reality of
filing a claim for any type of damage, and the difficulty it can
While it may be clear to you that the damage to the building originated
from an uncontrollable source or other natural occurrence, complications
often arise when it comes time to collect from the insurance company for
The insurance company will immediately question who is responsible for
which damages, especially when those damages are severe, and delays or
denials aren’t uncommon in the claim process due to unforeseen reasons.