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In the Midwest, we’re all too familiar with summer storms and the damage they can cause to houses and buildings. HOA reserve funds are available for unexpected damages or emergencies, but using them could cause the association to be short on funds for future projects and non-insurance related repairs. Understanding how your insurance policies work can make claims and repairs a much smoother process.

With heavier storms, sometimes the master policy isn’t enough to cover damages. Unit owners may need to help pay for repairs for damages to shared buildings, such as shingles being torn off a condo roof. The master policy can only pay up to coverage limits, so it’s up to the homeowners to pay the rest. The amount owed is assessed by the association, and as an owner, it is your responsibility to pay your share.

However, needing to pay for community damages doesn’t mean you’re paying out of pocket. It’s a good idea as a homeowner to get Loss Assessment Insurance under your HO6 policy, if not already required. In addition to property damage, this coverage helps to pay for injuries on the premises, liabilities, and deductibles under the master policy. Homeowners who have appropriate coverage under their HO6 policy can submit a claim to their insurer.

As a member of the HOA board, consider making it a requirement for owners to have loss assessment coverage to avoid any collection problems, as these assessment costs can often exceed $10,000 per unit. Boards should also work with their HOA management company to make sure that they are navigating these issues correctly.

Insurance claims and loss assessments can seem confusing, but Sharper Management is here to help guide you through those difficult times.