Condominium associations, like individuals and other types of businesses, also have insurance claim disputes. They have to deal with natural disasters, fires, water leaks, and a lot more. Even when the condominium association should have coverage, actually getting paid on the claim can be very difficult in some situations.
At VG Law Group, we know that trouble getting paid from the coverage that your association purchased can be very frustrating. However, we have the experience that you need to deal with this type of dispute.
Disputes can arise not only with the insurance company but also with the governing board and unit owners. Conflict about who collects the damages, how repairs are addressed, and other related issues are relatively common.
What Makes Condo Claims Challenging?
Unlike other types of insurance disputes, condo claims can involve a wide variety of stakeholders. Layers of contracts exist, not only with the insurance company but also among the owners and the association.
There may be disputes among various insurance coverages, too. If the damage addresses both a condo unit and a common area, disputes over which insurance company should pay the claim crop up with some regularity.
Common areas that might trigger these types of disputes include:
- Portions of interior walls
- Exterior walls, including the roof
- Heating, air conditioning, electrical units
- Balconies, decks, patios, and other outdoor spaces, whether or not they are shared with others
If there is limited ownership, then that will dictate which insurance company should provide coverage. For example, if access to patios areas is limited, then coverage may be clear. On the other hand, issues with the roof, for instance, likely only directly affect the top floor residents, but everyone benefits from having a roof on the building.
Typical Condo Association Disputes
Some of the most common condo association disputes include things like:
- Fire and smoke damage
- Mold damage
- Water damage, including burst pipes, intrusions, sprinkler problems, and weather-related issues
- Hurricane damage such as rain, wind, and flooding
- Roof and siding damage generally
While there are some issues with liability, property damage claims are much more common when dealing with condominium associations or homeowners associations.
Why Would an Insurance Company Dispute an HOA or COA Claim?
Ultimately, an insurance company is a business. They do what they can to make money, just like any other business would. However, they sometimes take saving money to an extreme by declining to pay completely valid insurance claims.
In other situations, a denial may be valid based on the language of the policy. The reality is that insurance policies are very difficult to read, and even the coverage has many exceptions that are difficult to understand, too. Unfortunately, the insurance company will sometimes use the complexity of the policy and the policy language to needlessly deny claims.
There may also be reporting and investigating deadlines in the policy that you may not even realize exist. Claims can sometimes be denied because you did not report an issue fast enough.
Either way, having an experienced professional review why the claim was denied to determine if the insurance company is being unreasonable or unethical can be very valuable.
Getting Help with a Condominium Association Dispute
If your condo association is heading toward an insurance dispute or you, as a condo owner, are dealing with the association and your own insurance coverage, getting professional help is critical. These are complicated issues that should be addressed by someone with experience and knowledge of the law governing these conflicts.
Contact VG Law Group today to speak with our team. You can schedule a consultation to determine how we can help.