Take these five steps to make sure your
insurance policy has your
condominium association covered!
Condo associations are unicorns – a beautiful hybrid of home and business. But they can be a lot to manage between fees, meetings, and, not
to mention, the many contracted individuals responsible for building and grounds upkeep. It’s no wonder that condominium association insurance is often an overlooked and under-analyzed piece of the puzzle until… claim time.
No one expects an association board member or property manager to be an insurance expert. But even some insurance advisors don’t fully
appreciate the differences between a condominium association insurance policy and a general business owners or apartment policy.
Here are 5 steps to make sure your association and its members are protected:
- Ask About Claims. Ask your insurance advisor for examples of the types of claims the association’s policy would and wouldn’t cover. Experts with a good understanding of your association and insurance policy will be comfortable giving some hypothetical examples – even though they will surely remind you that they are not authorized to approve or decline claims on behalf of the insurance company. Other, less experienced, agents will respond vaguely or offer to look into it. This is not necessarily a red flag, but if they do not follow-up with an adequate response, you may want to consider reaching out to a more experienced advisor.
- Beware of Price Driven Sales Gimmicks. Some insurance salespeople only focus on lowering your insurance costs. That is usually how they get in the door, by promising the lowest price. Though it can be good to shop out your insurance from time to time, you must ensure that your coverage is not being under-cut with the premium. Or that you aren’t moving from a well-rated insurance company to one that is considered sub-par with a poor history of handling claims.
- Review your Policy and By-Laws. While a business’ or organizations’ by-laws are detrimental to the foundation of their operation, they are especially important for a condo association. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your by-laws and your policy to make sure there are no gaps or overlapping of coverage. As legal jargon and contract language can be daunting for many people, you may want to consult with a trusted insurance advisor or attorney.
- Work with an Experienced Independent Agent. Some insurance companies only work with captive agents, meaning those agents can ONLY provide quotes for that one insurance company. On the other hand, an independent agent works with several insurance providers. They get to know the underwriters, managers, claims representatives and more for each of the companies they represent. Experienced independent agents will also be familiar with the growth and stability of each of their companies. That means, they will know if there is a rate increase coming up at renewal time and if it is due to the company making adjustments or if it is industry-wide. An independent agent will work with you to determine when it is a good time to get insurance quotes and will have many companies to choose from. This is a nice way to make sure your insurance rate stays competitive without having to start over with a new insurance or service advisor. Many clients look at an independent agent as a one-stop shop!
- Reach out to Meyer Insurance! If you are a property manager or a part of a condo association board in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, or Arizona – contact Lise today! As experienced independent insurance advisors, Lise and the Meyer Insurance team of commercial professionals have over 56 years of industry experience. They have reviewed the policies and by-laws of condo associations in the Sauk Prairie, Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells, Madison areas and beyond – helping each of them strengthen their coverage and avoid filing claims they aren’t actually responsible for, all while getting a competitive price. Let us help you with your condominium association insurance today
You can reach Meyer Insurance at 608-643-3000 or contact us HERE.