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  • Kenny Wilson

Decoding HOA Insurance: A Simple Guide to Understanding Coverage

Homeowners' Associations (HOAs) are crucial in managing shared spaces and community properties. Understanding HOA insurance coverage is essential for both the association and individual homeowners. Let's dive into how HOA insurance works, demystifying its scope for a clearer understanding.

 

What is HOA Insurance?

HOA insurance is a policy the association purchases to protect common areas, shared structures, and liabilities against potential risks. It typically comprises several types of coverage to safeguard the community's interests and its members.

 

Types of HOA Insurance Coverage:

  1. Property Insurance: This coverage protects common areas such as clubhouses, swimming pools, elevators, parking lots, and landscaping against damage caused by covered perils like fire, vandalism, or natural disasters.

  2. General Liability Insurance shields the HOA from legal claims or lawsuits if someone is injured or their property is damaged within the common areas. For instance, if a guest slips and falls in the community gym, this insurance would cover potential medical costs or legal fees.

  3. Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance: D&O insurance safeguards board members and officers from personal liability arising from decisions made while governing the association. It helps cover legal defense costs in case of lawsuits related to managerial decisions.

  4. Fidelity Insurance protects the HOA from financial losses due to fraud, theft, or dishonest acts committed by employees or board members handling the association's funds or assets.

 

Understanding Coverage Limitations:

While HOA insurance provides valuable protection, it's essential to note some fundamental limitations:

  • Deductibles: The association usually carries deductibles, and in the event of a claim, the HOA may ask homeowners to share the cost through special assessments or increased fees.

  • Exclusions: Certain hazards or events might not be covered by standard HOA insurance policies. It's crucial for homeowners to understand what is and isn't covered to consider additional individual insurance (HO-6 policies) for personal property and liability protection.

 

The Role of Individual Homeowners' Insurance (HO-6 Policies):

While the HOA insurance covers common areas, individual homeowners are responsible for insuring their units and personal belongings. HO-6 policies, specifically designed for condo or townhouse owners, typically cover personal property, interior fixtures, and liability within the unit.

  • Review HOA governing documents to understand what the association's insurance covers and what individual homeowners are responsible for.

  • Communicate with the HOA board or management to clarify any insurance-related queries or concerns.

  • Consider purchasing HO-6 policies to protect personal property and liability gaps not covered by the HOA's insurance.

 

HOA insurance is a critical safeguard for the community's collective assets and liabilities. Understanding the types of coverage, limitations, and the need for individual homeowners' policies empowers residents to make informed decisions regarding their property and liability protection within the community.

 

Always consult insurance professionals or legal experts for personalized advice regarding HOA insurance matters. An informed community is better equipped to navigate insurance complexities and ensure adequate protection for all its members.

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