They are beautiful, luxurious, and provide a number of different amenities for you and your family to enjoy. Condominiums and apartments are sprouting up all around the state of Florida as the demand to live in the Sunshine State rises. But do you really know what you’re getting yourself into when you elect to purchase a condo or rent an apartment? Perhaps you already live in one?
A condo is similar to an apartment except you get the added benefit of owning it. While being in control of your own property is a big accomplishment, you need to be aware of the other requirements that come along with having a condo. Take insurance coverage for instance. When you own a condo, our Florida insurance claims lawyers point out that you are going to be required to purchase an insurance policy that is designed specifically for condominiums.
Your insurance policy is similar to that of a policy for an apartment and a home. Because condo insurance policies are so unique, many individuals fail to understand what protection they have, and many are left under the impression that if something goes wrong, the association or their own personal policy will repair it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Therefore, in an effort to provide you with the most current information regarding condo insurance and filing a damage claim, our Florida insurance attorneys are supplying you with facts regarding condominium insurance coverage.
When you think about your condo and the location that you live in, it is understandable that you are concerned with flooding and the possible destruction debris is known to cause. While the roof and outside walling is covered under the association’s insurance policy, who covers the things inside the unit? The good news is that things like alterations to the home, appliances, fixtures, and improvements are all going to be covered under your property insurance policy. The more concerning question is: What happens to these things if a neighbor has leak and your unit is subjected to the damage?
Our insurance claims attorneys here in Florida believe this an essential question and requires and in-depth answer. When you purchase a condo, the association should have a master policy in place. You are more than likely going to contribute to the cost of this policy through your monthly payment made to the association. You are then going to have your own insurance policy which covers the above mentioned areas. And in the event a neighbor has major leak that begins making its way into your unit, a claim may be required to be filed through their insurance company. But, before you jump to conclusions, you first need to contact your own carrier and the condo association to inform them of the leak.
In most scenarios, you will have very limited coverage from the other unit or the property management, home owner’s association or landlord in a rental. If you do not have your own coverage, you may not be protected for anything more than the dry wall and ceilings. So, it is imperative that you confirm the extent and scope of your coverage in a condominium or apartment, whether you are a tenant or owner. You typically need to have your own coverage above and beyond the other coverages that may be in place.
One of the most common problem that we get calls about are renters that have a problem in an apartment or townhouse complex of building where water damages intrudes into their unit but they do not have any renter’s insurance. In many occasions, these are people we cannot help because there is no coverage for them to seek to enforce any rights or benefits against. In other instances, there may be a claim against a third party but do not count on it!
Because a leak has the tendency to intensify quickly, it is vital you get a claim filed immediately. This can be a confusing process for some so if you feel a lawyer who specializes in property insurance claims can help you, we are more than willing to provide you with the particular type of service you are looking for. But, if you think you can handle this one of your own, remember, document everything and keep record of phone calls and receipts in the event you begin the repairs process yourself. We generally do not recommend you doing this yourself unless you have significant experience in the field. Seeking out an attorney that does this work, or possibly a credible and reliable public adjuster, is likely going to serve you well.
Although this sounds like a smooth process that should be resolved quickly, OFTEN disputes arise with insurance carriers who aren’t willing to comply with the terms of your policy or who have provided you with a lower amount for repairs than the actual damage was worth. This is where understanding your policy is crucial. Some of the questions you should be able to provide an answer to include:
- Do you have adequate coverage for your needs?
- What are your policy limits and how much coverage do you have for your own personal belongings?
- Did you purchase additional coverage that protects you from any gaps between your own coverage and that of the association?
In the event your rental, condo or other property has been damaged by a natural disaster, flood, or because a leak from a neighbor and your insurer is battling with you as opposed to working with you, call Leader & Leader, P.A. today. Our experienced Florida insurance claim dispute lawyers will review your policy and its contents, and determine if your insurer may have been acting out of bad faith. You worked this hard to acquire your beautiful home, now is the time to ensure it is properly protected.