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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 92630
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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can a townhome association require you to have a liability

Customer Question

can a townhome association require you to have a liability umbrella and have them listed as an additional insured? My insurance company will not list them as additional insured. What do we do?


 


They want 1 million in liability coverage per unit that we own. In addition to being certificate holders they also want to be listed as additional insured.


I know Florida law states that condo owners have to have an ho-6 policy in force for replacement of interior, but I did not think it mandates any liability, nor did I think that an association require it.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is Fred and I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.



The HOA can demand that members carry specific types of insurance policies.


Coverage for condominiums is typically dictated by the by-laws of the condominium owners association. The by-laws will specify who is responsible
for insuring what property. For instance, the by-laws may dictate that the association is responsible for insuring the exterior of the units including all common areas and that the unit owner is expected or required to procure their own insurance for the interior of the units.


Do you have a copy of your by-laws?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I know it may state in the by-laws that the association has required everyone to carry the $1 million umbrella, but that does not mean it is legal to require I carry $300,000 liability on my ho-6 and then an additional $1 mil on an umbrella which also covers over my autos, and then request to be listed as additional insured, which the insurance company refuses to do.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I need help with a Florida condo/homeowners association question. The answer I received seemed like the attorney was from another state and had no clue reqarding Florida law.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.


In 2008, the Florida Legislature amended Section 718.111(11), which regulates
insurance.

Individual Unit Owners Must Obtain Insurance/Power to Enforce: [Addressed in
subsections (g), (g)(2)&(4) of the new law]
(g) Commencing January 1, 2009, all owners must have their own insurance policies
to cover those items not covered by the association’s policy, including those
items addressed immediately above. These policies must provide special
assessment coverage of no less than $2,000.00 per occurrence and must
provide that no rights of subrogation will exist against the condominium
association. There is some question as to whether the special assessment
coverage is actually available at this time.
(g)(4) According to the last sentence of subsection (g)(4), the Association must be
listed as an additional named insured and a loss payee under each of those
policies. There is some question as to whether this requirement can be met
based on existing policy requirements.
(g)(2) In order to make sure that these policies are in effect, subsection (g)(2) provides
that the Association shall require each owner to provide evidence of a currently
effective policy, but the Association may not do so more than once per year. If
the owner does not provide evidence of such insurance within thirty (30) days
after the Association’s annual request, the Association can purchase insurance
on behalf of the Owner and charge the cost of the policy against the Owner as
an assessment.



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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was able to find that statue, and I believe the section g2 is now void - I think that they changed that and the association can no longer purchase a policy and charge it to the owners. Anyway, I am still looking for the answer is the association allowed to force unit owners to purchase 1 million in liability? This law addresses property and loss assessment, not liability. Let us consider an association that decides that each unit owner needs 50 million in liability - are they allowed to do that just because they wrote it into their by-laws?


 


 


 

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
I'm going to opt out of your question. I could not find anything limiting the board as to requiring members to carry a certain amount of insurance.

However, maybe another expert knows of such.

Again, I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other experts.

Your JA Account has not been charged for this conversation and your question is back in the queue. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active. Should an expert pick it up, you should be alerted via email and/or SMS unless you actively disable these features.

There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other experts' access to it.

My apologies for any inconvenience and Good Luck.


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Different contributor here and I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

FL Statute 718.111(11)(g) effective 2012 (most current version) states in its entirety:

(g) A condominium unit owner’s policy must conform to the requirements of s. 627.714.1. All reconstruction work after a property loss must be undertaken by the association except as otherwise authorized in this section. A unit owner may undertake reconstruction work on portions of the unit with the prior written consent of the board of administration. However, such work may be conditioned upon the approval of the repair methods, the qualifications of the proposed contractor, or the contract that is used for that purpose. A unit owner must obtain all required governmental permits and approvals before commencing reconstruction.2. Unit owners are responsible for the cost of reconstruction of any portions of the condominium property for which the unit owner is required to carry property insurance, and any such reconstruction work undertaken by the association is chargeable to the unit owner and enforceable as an assessment pursuant to s. 718.116.3. A multicondominium association may elect, by a majority vote of the collective members of the condominiums operated by the association, to operate the condominiums as a single condominium for purposes of insurance matters, including, but not limited to, the purchase of the property insurance required by this section and the apportionment of deductibles and damages in excess of coverage. The election to aggregate the treatment of insurance premiums, deductibles, and excess damages constitutes an amendment to the declaration of all condominiums operated by the association, and the costs of insurance must be stated in the association budget. The amendments must be recorded as required by s. 718.110.(h) The association shall maintain insurance or fidelity bonding of all persons who control or disburse funds of the association. The insurance policy or fidelity bond must cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time. As used in this paragraph, the term “persons who control or disburse funds of the association” includes, but is not limited to, those individuals authorized to sign checks on behalf of the association, and the president, secretary, and treasurer of the association. The association shall bear the cost of any such bonding.(i) The association may amend the declaration of condominium without regard to any requirement for approval by mortgagees of amendments affecting insurance requirements for the purpose of conforming the declaration of condominium to the coverage requirements of this subsection.(j) Any portion of the condominium property that must be insured by the association against property loss pursuant to paragraph (f) which is damaged shall be reconstructed, repaired, or replaced as necessary by the association as a common expense. All property insurance deductibles, uninsured losses, and other damages in excess of property insurance coverage under the property insurance policies maintained by the association are a common expense of the condominium, except that:1. A unit owner is responsible for the costs of repair or replacement of any portion of the condominium property not paid by insurance proceeds if such damage is caused by intentional conduct, negligence, or failure to comply with the terms of the declaration or the rules of the association by a unit owner, the members of his or her family, unit occupants, tenants, guests, or invitees, without compromise of the subrogation rights of the insurer.2. The provisions of subparagraph 1. regarding the financial responsibility of a unit owner for the costs of repairing or replacing other portions of the condominium property also apply to the costs of repair or replacement of personal property of other unit owners or the association, as well as other property, whether real or personal, which the unit owners are required to insure.3. To the extent the cost of repair or reconstruction for which the unit owner is responsible under this paragraph is reimbursed to the association by insurance proceeds, and the association has collected the cost of such repair or reconstruction from the unit owner, the association shall reimburse the unit owner without the waiver of any rights of subrogation.4. The association is not obligated to pay for reconstruction or repairs of property losses as a common expense if the property losses were known or should have been known to a unit owner and were not reported to the association until after the insurance claim of the association for that property was settled or resolved with finality, or denied because it was untimely filed.(k) An association may, upon the approval of a majority of the total voting interests in the association, opt out of the provisions of paragraph (j) for the allocation of repair or reconstruction expenses and allocate repair or reconstruction expenses in the manner provided in the declaration as originally recorded or as amended. Such vote may be approved by the voting interests of the association without regard to any mortgagee consent requirements.(l) In a multicondominium association that has not consolidated its financial operations under subsection (6), any condominium operated by the association may opt out of the provisions of paragraph (j) with the approval of a majority of the total voting interests in that condominium. Such vote may be approved by the voting interests without regard to any mortgagee consent requirements.(m) Any association or condominium voting to opt out of the guidelines for repair or reconstruction expenses as described in paragraph (j) must record a notice setting forth the date of the opt-out vote and the page of the official records book on which the declaration is recorded. The decision to opt out is effective upon the date of recording of the notice in the public records by the association. An association that has voted to opt out of paragraph (j) may reverse that decision by the same vote required in paragraphs (k) and (l), and notice thereof shall be recorded in the official records.(n) The association is not obligated to pay for any reconstruction or repair expenses due to property loss to any improvements installed by a current or former owner of the unit or by the developer if the improvement benefits only the unit for which it was installed and is not part of the standard improvements installed by the developer on all units as part of original construction, whether or not such improvement is located within the unit. This paragraph does not relieve any party of its obligations regarding recovery due under any insurance implemented specifically for such improvements.(o) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to timeshare condominium associations. Insurance for timeshare condominium associations shall be maintained pursuant to s. 721.165.
The law does not mandate the association be the additional insured. It also does not say they cannot be named as an additional insured. What this brings you back to is what you mentioned earlier, the bylaws and the fact an association is allowed to govern itself and enact any bylaw that is not contrary to any state law. Since, when you purchased the unit you agreed to be bound by the bylaws, if the association passes such a bylaw then they can force the owner to have a policy listing the association as an additional insured as the law does not prohibit this.



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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
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Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.