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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

When To File A Condo Claim

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If you suffer a loss that resulted from a shared space, such as a roof, or was brought on by another condo or co-op owner, you might be wondering who is accountable.

Multiple parties, including your condo association or co-op board, the organization in charge of overseeing the interests of all the owners collectively, may be involved in condo and co-op insurance claims. The Master deeds, bylaws, and proprietary lease agreements for your building may also have an impact on how your loss is handled. These documents outline the policies that apply to your condo or co-op as well as its residents. If you do not have a copy of these documents, you should ask the condo board or co-op for one.

Due to these factors, your loss might be partially or completely covered by your insurance, the insurance policy of your associations, boards, or management company, or both.

Fortunately, your condo insurance agents can assist you in identifying the origin of your damage, the approximate cost of repairs or replacement, and any potentially culpable parties.

Putting in Your Claim

To help resolve your claim, take the following actions as soon as you can:

  • Inform a board member or management company of your condo association or co-op of your loss.

  • Find out which insurance provider covers your condo or co-op, and find out if the administration of the building will be making a claim with that provider.

  • Before making any repairs, discuss with your insurance claim specialist what you can do to stop further damage to your property.

  • Keep all invoices and receipts related to any completed work.

  • Review the terms of your condo insurance. Ask your claim representative to walk you through your insurance policy if you have any questions about your coverage.

You and your insurance claim specialist may use the following records to determine which insurance policy covers the damage to your unit:

  • Policy of your association

  • The master deed of your association

  • The bylaws of your association

  • Any exclusive lease contracts

Here are some suggestions that may be useful if you're having trouble getting in touch with your condo association or management firm:

  • Request a copy of the master policy in writing from the board of your co-op or condo association.

  • Determine which specific provisions of the master deed, bylaws, proprietary lease, or master policy require your condo association or co-op board to submit a claim under its policy by working with your insurance claim professional.

  • Send letters or emails to your association, board, or management firm outlining the clauses that oblige them to report the claim in accordance with their policy.

If your insurance is responsible for paying for your property damage and you have interior unit damage:

  • Mitigate & Prevent: Before making any repairs, discuss with your condo insurance claim expert what you can do to stop additional damage to your property. This could entail drying out wet areas, fixing broken windows, etc.

  • Document: Keep all payment records and receipts for any completed work or damaged goods. Take pictures of any damaged items or contents. Gather the bylaws and any insurance information that pertains to the condo association. Make sure the name of the insurer who handles the property insurance for your co-op or condo is included.

  • Notify: Inform the management company or a member of your condo association or co-op board of your loss. Requesting they submit a claim with  their insurance company.

In this case, your condo insurance responsibilities are:

  • Restore: In order to determine the necessary repair or replacement services, your condo insurance claim rep. will collaborate with you.

  • Subrogation: After reviewing your claim, your claim adjustor will let you know whether subrogation is possible.

  • Inform: Your claims adjustor will keep you updated on the status of your claim.

If your apartment sustains exterior damage and your condo insurance is not liable for paying for your property damage:

  • Protect your unit to mitigate and prevent damage. For example, this might involve fixing broken windows.

  • Document: Obtain information on condo association insurance that is relevant. Included in this is the name of the insurer who handles the property insurance for your co-op or condo.

  • Notify: Inform the management company or a member of your condo association or co-op board of your loss. They are in charge of collaborating with you to resolve your claim.

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