Emerging Risk – Hoteling Owners

Airbnb is one of the hottest startups around – the website allows homeowners to rent rooms or entire dwellings by the night. Many condo buildings are beginning to realize that unit owners are renting their rooms and bringing transients into the building one night at a time.

Airbnb and similar sites have safety measures in place to rate renters and ensure some level of safety and civility. However, the thought of increasing short term rental activity has many condo boards up in arms.

AssociationProtection.com reminds condo boards to enlist a knowledgeable attorney before amending bylaws or taking actions to limit rental activity.







NYC Condo and Manager Sued for $35M

Jonathan Stark is suing his lower Manhattan 458 unit condo building and it’s manger Cooper Square Realty for failing to prepare the building for Hurricane Sandy. Salt water damage to the hard hit building will keep residents out for 4-6 months.

Contact AssociationProtection.com to better protect your condominium association.










Property Management Company Sued over Discrimination

A property management company with over 10,000 apartment units on the East Coast has been sued over discrimination.  One week after a property manager announced her pregnancy, she was terminated from employment.  She alleges that the termination was a result of her pregnancy.

This case highlights a risk that many companies face – that of employment related disputes and discrimination.  Property management firms should consider purchasing employment practices liability insurance if they employ even a single person.  Contact a broker today to discuss whether this insurance is right for your firm.

Top Ten Insurance Concerns for Illinois Condo Associations

Condos in Chicago and Illinois face many challenges – older structures, politicized building codes and an unfavorable liability environment. AssociationProtection.com has compiled this list of the top ten insurance concerns for condo associations in the state.

1) Having the correct replacement value on your structure. This is especially difficult with old and unique structures however if the value shown on your policy is less than the cost to replace the building coverage will be impaired.

2) Buying enough limits. Standard liability limits are $1M per occurrence, recent verdicts should incentivize most associations to explore purchasing $3M, $5M or more in limits to cover their interests.

3) Having correct directors and officers coverage is important. Many carriers bundle a watered down D&O policy with the rest of the association’s insurance, make sure the association gets what it needs. Lawsuits over rentals, foreclosures and discrimination are continuing to increase.

4) Ordinance and law coverage is often overlooked. This is the additional cost to comply with updated building codes after damage to the building. If the structure being insured is more than a few years old it requires this coverage, which is not automatically offered.

5) Flood insurance is also a good idea, another related coverage not automatically included in sewer backup. Sewer backup is a common occurrence in the city of Chicago and can result in large uncovered claims.

6) Earthquake insurance is often ignored. Although not a huge risk in metro Chicago one of the largest faults in the country (the New Madrid) is located in Southern Illinois.

7) Structuring correct Fidelity/Crime coverage is important. The Illinois Condo act requires it. Contact an expert like AssociationProtection.com to discuss the specifics of your association.

8) Making sure coverage matches your association bylaws. It is important to understand where the condo association’s liability stops and the unit owners begin. In Illinois most association’s are responsible for the building up to the unit’s bare walls, although other arrangements are not unheard of.

9) Making sure business partners carry the correct insurance. Property managers, maintenance men and door staff should all carry their own insurance. Contact AssociationProtection.com to discuss your situation.

10) Implementing appropriate risk management is something better taken off before the association is forced to. Simple changes like requiring dual signatures on checks and putting smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in the stairwells will help prevent losses and keep insurance company inspectors happy.

Contact AssociationProtection.com today to discuss protecting your condo association, they are experts in most jurisdictions.

Owners Spend $220k to Fight $2k Bill

Showing just how far some people will go, a resident of a Florida homeowners association has spend $220,000 in legal fees to fight a $2,212 bill for re-sodding.

11 years later the homeowner has won $85,000 in damages plus unspecified attorney’s fees.

The episode highlights the need for HOAs and Condo Associations to follow their bylaws and get legal counsel for grey areas.

Contact AssociationProtection.com to better protect against the costs of lawsuits.