Did you call your insurance company and ask them?
Read your personal insurance policy and your Condo assoc bldg ins. policy. Our bylaws and insurance states that anything that happens inside the walls of our condo (we own not rent) is our responsibility except if the leak or problem was caused by a common pipe outside our unit the association insurance would be responsible.
Victor...in the second sentence the writer said she talked with her insurance company, and they were the ones who told her she had to file with the Association's insurance. But to answer the question. You have to look at the Declarations to find out if the plumbing is considered 'common area' and thus covered by the insurance company. In our complex the pipes in the walls going to our unit belong to the Association, and damaged caused by a leak there is covered by the Association's insurance. Once the pipe enters a unit (at the cut-off) then it's the responsibility of the homeowner. Under our policy, what happened to you would be covered by the individual homeowners policy. In another condo we owned, the pipe belonged to the association (it was outside), and they repaired the pipe, but not the damage to the inside of our unit. To me it sounds like your insurance should cover this...review your policy and explain to them the leak was from an inside pipe, if indeed it was. Sorry about what happened to you. Water can cause such terrible damage in a short period of time. In our current condo, the plumbing is so old it leaks all the time. We paid to have our unit re-plumbed just as prevention, as did some of the other homeowners. But the person above us and beside us did not, so we are still in danger of damage. At least if there is a dispute, we've done everything we could do.
Expect to be dissappointed: the condo insurance deductable may be high, but it might cover you. But it will not hurt to file a claim, after reading the condo's policy carefully. In our condo all the structures are covered by the condo policy but with a $2500 deductible. I have "renter's" insurance to cover the deductable and my own stuff.
I would read your own homeowners policy carefully. They may be giving you the run around and trying to avoid a payout for a valid claim.
In our Homes Association, any slab leak is the responsibility of the owner. I had a leak under the sink but the hot water was running under the linoleum and existing under the kitchen door to the outside. I had a separate insurance policy and it covered $1,000 which included the diagnosis. I ended up paying $450.00 for the repair. However, two weeks later I heard running water at the cutoff valve and the plumber came out again and detected another leak in the foundation about five feet from the previous leak. At that point I decided to have the entire condo re-piped with copper because we were going to install a wood floor and did not want to experience what other owners had.
Our complex was build in 1965 and the copper piping was made in Taiwan then and they used soft copper which over the years experiences pin hole sized leaks. Rather than having the entire floor opened up to repair every leak episode, we opted for total pipe replacement. As others have mentioned, it is best to read your condo master plan insurance policy. Some policies cover slab leaks but may have a high deductible, i.e., $5,000, which is more than some re-piping costs.
Sorry to hear you are having a problem but that sometimes happens and if you have a slab leak, chances are others in your association have experienced the same problem.
From the description of the damage, it sounds like more than just a leak, more like a pipe or pipe connection burst. In any case, the condominium owner's insurance pays because the break was inside the condo.
Or was a plumber called to repair a leak and subsequent or during the repair the flood gates opened? If so, plumber's insurance pays for.
If the leak was from one of your unit's pipes or drain lines, its your issue. If the leak was from a common water line(s) its a HOA issue.
Check your HOA docs for any deviatiuons from this simple concept.
Hi, I am the writer of the question above. I was told by my personal condo insurance adjustor that whatever is attached to the walls is the responsibility of the condo insurance and I live in N.J.
I spoke to someone on the phone from the agency who the association got the insurance policy from and they agreed about what was attached to the walls also. My personal insurance adjustor who came to my condo said to look at it this way...say you are able to hold up your condo upside down, well whatever doesn't fall out is the responsibility of the insurance the condo has.
In the past I have questioned some of the work done by the board of directors and am still questioning it today which has made the board and mgm. company very angry with me and I am not just talking about normal angry because a project done by the board was never needed at all and the replacement turned out to have so many defects it cost more to make the repairs on just the condo owners condo than the project cost. The board spends money like it is not there and I don't believe any of the money spend is the board members as the condo owners who pay maintenance and assessments are charged for the spending.
I have been harassed by the PM for years so I knew if she picked the condos where I lived something was going to be a mess as that is the only repairs that were ever done on my condo. The mgm. co. we use has the worse reputation but yet our board still wants them to be used. Condo owners in our community were forced to replace items that were not common elements when the same PM managed the condo next door and no one there had to replace the items that we had to replace. The contractor told me what he charged to do the replacement and I noticed a difference of $700 times the 25 items replaced in the bill we received from the management company. The board doesn't appear to be interested in anything like this as I wrote them about it.
I am close to 70 years old and you would never believe what the previous PM and mgm. co. put me through and are still doing. Even though a new board is elected, the president who was going to make this place honest but all of a sudden he is siding with the management company and either board members are brain washed or they are given such magnificent perks by the management company at the expense of their neighbors that they cannot refuse. Living in my community has taught me that honest good people who do everything right in life can even have summons issued against them for injunctive relief if they dare to write 2 emails to a roofer and call the landscaper one time to see if he can make the mud in the back of your condo go away. The previous president of our condo said he was too honest; I still wonder what he meant by that. The newest thing someone in our community is spreading around about me is that I had the Dept. of Community Affairs come out and check the smoke & carbon monoxide detectors and that the community was fined $40,000 because of me. A para legal in our community told me this without finding out if there was proof but I think she is really scared of going against the board who may be brain washed or perk crazy. I can't believe some people could even believe that this close to 70 year old would have such power but when a condo attorney lies people listen as many people still believe a lawyer does not lie.
Any help about any of the above would be appreciated as they are wearing me down.
It has been my understanding that if the water problem is caused from something outside, the Assn is responsible. I had previously mentioned that there was a terrible leak, more like a flood actually that came from upstairs. It destroyed my living room rug and parts of the kitchen wall were replaced. The upstairs unit is mine as well as the one I live in. My home owners ins took care of it. I had a $500 deductible. I did get brand new carpeting and a nice paint job for the kitchen.Now if the problem had been caused from something out side on the grounds the assn would have paid it. At any rate the assn is getting a set of by laws made up soon which will cover everything. I will translate them into Spanish.Hopefully this should be of help to everyone. Mari
I wish the site would require that everyone start with the State they are from since there are differences. In Florida, the Assn is responsible for what's behind the walls. A faucet, for instance, is the owner's responsibility. Follow your insurance agent's guidance on this.
Regarding insurance coverage, what the agent thinks is immaterial. What is important is what the laws and the governing documents for the condominium complex state.
Unfortunately you will have to do some homework or perhaps hire an attorney ($$$) so that you understand any state or local laws regarding condominiums. In addition you will need to understand 'articles of incorporation', covenants, bylaws, and 'rules and regulations' associated with your condominium complex. One document may take precedence over another, so you have to be cautious.
With an understanding of all the laws and documents you will now know more of whose insurance policy covers what and be able to refer the insurance agents to the appropriate document. A policy that written contrary to any governing documents could be considered a crime.
With an understanding of all the laws and documents you will now know what it takes to 'recall' seated Directors of your Board.
With an understanding of all the laws and documents you will now know what it would take to fire the current condominium management company. (Make sure that the Community Management Company as well as the Community Manager have real certifications to provide management services.)
Regarding identified potential safety issues. Any owner should bring it to the attention of the Community Manager along with expectations regarding actions to be taken. Should actions not be taken in what the owner considers an acceptable timeframe, then the owner has every right to notify an agency of government. This is called 'whistle blowing.'
Bottom line... there is no 'easy' button. It will take hard work and dedication on your part as well as other owners to straighten things out.
Hi Eve I also live in NJ. What town is your condo in?
Eve: I have carefully read both your postings. I think you have a problem understanding the operations of an association or even of a corporation. First of all, theire will be disagreements and mis-understandings.This does not mean that some one is taking perks or is corrupt. It means that his or her interpretation of the rules or docs or statutes is different than yours.
The unfortunate tendency to identify those who disagree as morons or crooks has lead to argument ad hominum rather than argument about an issue.
The issue of the pipes is an issue that has bedeviled almost every condo in the United States. It is not unique to your condo or your Board.
Friends do not let Friends buy a Condominium. The misery and pain is just not worth it.
If you owned a house rather then a condo who would pay the damages inside your home? Of course you would. Well, if you own a condo it is your home and hopefully you have home owners insurance because I am living proof that you may need it.It cost my Ins company $7000 to make repairs in my unit but I paid only $500 deductible.We cannot expect the condo assn to pay for damages inside our homes. Now let's say a big tree fell on top of the unit. Maybe then the assn would probably cover damages. That is just an example.The association would pay for something where they were somehow at fault. I know that we have plenty of leaky roofs when it rains a lot but I call the roof repair man and he bills the assn.That is the sort of thing the assn pays for. Mari
Condo Insurance is Primary. Home Owners is secondary and won't pay. Unfortunately, Condo Ins. has 10,000.00 deductible. Rules for me are anything inside the walls are my responsibility.
Sorry, JanL. There's no such thing as secondary and primary insurance. You may be thinking of some other kind of insurance--like health insurance.
Your insurance covers certain items. The same for the Condominium's insurance. If your sofa caught on fire would the condo's insurance be primary? It depends on the loss. Not on primary or secondary.
If you believe (and IF you are correct) that your home owner's won't pay then change insurance companies.
My home owners ins did indeed pay the damages to my unit.There was also the unit upstairs they covered.
Our condo is on an upper level so when our hot water heater leaked all the damage was to two units below us. Our homeowners insurance paid for all the repairs even though our condo wasn't damaged. I'm thinking your homeowners should pay.
After spending 30 years in the insurance industry, teaching insurance for 20 years and having earned two professional insurance designations(degrees)my observation is that there is a great deal of misinformation being shared on this post. For example most property policies do in fact have an "other insurance" clause which addresses two or more policies covering the same loss. One policy might be primary the other secondary or the loss may be shared on a pro-rata basis.
Another point is that homeowners policies provide both property and liability coverage. There is usually no deductible for a liability loss.
If the plumber's negligence caused the damage then their General Liability policy (completed operations) would respond.
In order to accurately respond to the original question one would need to have a background in insurance, law and of course be familiar with the By-laws of the Association.
I'd suggest the original poster find an attorney who has insurance and condo experience. An attorney should be able to quickly sort things out.
Would have to look at where the leak was and look at the master deed and by-laws for a definition of common elements and elements owned by the unit owner. In our condo, the pipes in the walls are common elements and the condo assoc. is liable. But the pipes feeding my sinks and toilet are mine and my liability. Its all a bit confusing without the documents. Happily in my condo we have a policy that covers damages to anything attached to the building like pipes, but with a 2500 dollar deductable. So I have a home owners policy to fill in the gap. Gotta read those docs, which might be some heavy reading for some. I tend to believe that lawyers write those documents to obfuscate the facts, so as to perpetuate future business.
If it were a shared pipe, possible. But if it is your own pipe coming in then I believe you are responsible. Either way go back to your insurance company and let them fight it out with the association insurance company. But get it fixed, get n estimate and submit it to the association for debate.
an owner here has a water leak coming from the above unit (owned by board member and he refuses entry) - any suggestions?
Condo Insurance is not that difficult; but in reading some posts above, the BOD might be the biggest obstacle.
Everyone should read the By-Laws, it tells you exactly what is covered and by whom.
If the COA has a high deductible, your Personal Homeowners Insurance, which should be on a HO-6 Policy, should have "Dwelling Coverage". This would be for damage under the deductible, PLUS any Improvements & Betterments made by you after your purchase.
NEVER assume all is coverage by the COA's policy. Some states dictate what must be covered, others state "may or may not" depending on what the by-laws state.
As an Insurance Agent, I read any and all portions of the By-Laws for my clients. You would be surprised on what some say.
I do not understand why your insurance would not pay for the water leak but the assn is not responsible for that. I would look for a different insurance. Several years ago I had a flood in my unit and my insurance fixed it and paid. I even got new carpeting out of the deal. I have a $500 deductible and paid that. The work they did was worth thousands. They even painted the kitchen. Now the assn is paying for a new fence for in back.If your ins does not pay find a different one.
It might be you that has to pay because it is in your condo. In North York, plumbing
falls on the owner when it is within the walls.
When we had to deal with water damage repair in Colorado
our insurance covered us. We had some big fans in our place for a while, but eventually it worked out.
I never even thought about water heater repair being covered by anyone but myself so I would say that the water heater repair is your responsibility. Of course, if the water heater leaked and ruined your floor, then you could put in an insurnace claim. I put in a new water heater and if you need one look around for a good plummer and a good water heater. I got the one I bought in a large chain and it had to be replaced 2 years later and thank God it was covered by the warranty but it caused another mess.
I keep seeing comments about the Association paying for water damage. It's very important that you read your governing documents carefully so you will know which type of insurance you need to purchase to cover damage. Always assume you will be responsible, and then you will be covered. One side comment: When we are quick to ask the Association to pay for something, it means we are asking our neighbors to take responsibility for our problems. Just because we pay fees, doesn't mean they are the money pot for our problems. I think our Association is responsible for anything outside my unit. Heck! We've even painted our own deck and stairways to save the Association money. Some did not. We just felt like we did the right thing, and we knew the job was done right and on our schedule.
One more thing. Our insurance company offers a rider to our policy so that if a neighbor damages our unit, or the Association damages it, they will take care of us, and if they are owed anything, will go to the Association or the neighbor. It's with Allstate and only costs an additional $11 a year. Well worth it to us! We don't have to negotiate with a neighbor or an Association Board, both of which can be pretty sticky sometimes.