Effects of Reverse Mortgages on Condos and HOAs

Many condominiums and HOAs are filled with units and homes that are financed with bank-held mortgages. Reverse Mortgages are available to home and condo unit owners over the age of 62 who would prefer to draw money from the equity in their home or condo unit. These mortgage owners can either take a lump sum or periodic payments from the equity in their home. The mortgage holder gets paid back when the home is sold or liquidated upon the death of the mortgage owner. The Federal Housing Administration, better known as FHA, is the leading insurer of these mortgages. Banks prefer to offer mortgages to borrowers and real estate that… Read More

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Telling the Story of Community Association Insurance

Most condominium association residents are likely to have little or no understanding of the insurance that protects the association in which they reside. Let’s face it; there just isn’t a lot of glamour in discussing deductibles, coinsurance, liabilities and such that make up the community association insurance story. Telling the story of your community’s insurance coverage is going to be a challenge but if done properly, can yield a wealth of rewards. Start with the basics. Every resident needs to know that the community has insurance and that the insurance covers certain elements which the entire community owns in common. Every resident also needs to know that community association insurance… Read More

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Commit to Unit Owner Education. Reward Yourself with a Better Community!

For years, I have been writing about the importance of communication as it relates to community association living. I have stressed how important it is that you tell your story well and that you tell it often. Condominium newsletters, HOA newsletters, letters, websites and any other tools used to communicate need to educate readers about what is happening within their associations and why. There has never been a time when communication and education efforts between Board Members, Property Managers, and unit owners have been more important. Community Association Volunteer Leaders at many events that I attend often indicate that there seems to be a vacuum of education between Board Members… Read More

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Elected to the Board… Now, What?

You’ve been an active community member for a few years. You served on a Committee or two and shown you have the right stuff to be a community leader. A neighbor who already serves on the Board suggested that you should run for a vacant seat. You finally decided to raise your hand at the Annual Meeting and volunteer to serve on the Board of your condominium or HOA. Enough of your fellow unit owners voted for you and you are now on the Board. Congratulations! Now, what? If you think it is simply enough to “do your best” while serving on the Board, you may be in for a… Read More

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The Two Biggest Mistakes Community Association Make Involving D&O Insurance

The Directors & Officers Insurance policy (“D&O”) is a small part of an association’s insurance coverage and premium puzzle, but it is a critical piece.  It is important because it protects the community members who agree to accept a very often no-win and often thankless volunteer job to manage the association.  Contrary to the other pieces of the insurance puzzle, D&O coverage can differ significantly from insurer to insurer.  There are currently two significant mistakes associations make in regards to D&O policies. The first mistake is price over coverage.  Boards have a fiduciary obligation to manage the association.  This obligation includes the procurement of insurance that is in the best… Read More

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The Attorney Audit of the Community Association Insurance Puzzle

The Attorney Audit of the Community Association Insurance Puzzle By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS             You are sitting there surrounded by a couple of octogenarian retirees in Bermuda shorts and black shoes and socks, one a former life insurance agent and another a retired Chicago attorney.  Also around the table is a mother with her nine month old fusing in her lap, a middle aged couple in matching sweat suits and a nice looking young man in a suit.  You pinch yourself and yes it is true, you are sitting in the Bay View Condo Association club house in front of the association’s new board of directors.  You have… Read More

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When Are You Not Covered By Your D&O Policy?

When Are You Not Covered By Your D&O Policy? By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS[1] Introduction: The question being posed: “When Are You Not Covered By Your D&O[2] Policy” is really a multipart question. First, where does a community associations D&O policy fall within the entire insurance puzzle? Second, are all D&O policies created equal? Third, how does the community association maximize its coverage? The reason association members ask these questions are because they want to know if the policy covers them for what they do in their volunteer work for the community association.  For example, they want to know if they will be covered for the following type of… Read More

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The Community Association Insurance Puzzle: What the Board Must Do and Must Avoid to Assemble the Puzzle

The Community Association Insurance Puzzle:  What the Board Must Do and Must Avoid to Assemble the Puzzle by Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS Introduction          A key obligation of the association board is to protect the assets of the association.  One of the primary elements of this responsibility is insurance but many volunteer board members have limited experience with insurance.  They’re only familiar with purchasing personal auto, home and life insurance.  Most know the limits and the price, but few really take the opportunity to understand coverage until they have an uncovered loss.  Many are swayed in their insurance shopping because they are “in good hands” or are protected by “good… Read More

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The Complaint is Frivolous, why should it impact our insurance?

by Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS w Featured in QuoiUlll, May 2006 It is a groundless complaint; it will go away soon according to our property manager or attorneywhy should it impact our insurance : As an underwriter of Director and Officer Liability Insurance for some 35,000 non-profit community associations, this is a question I hear on a daily basis. The non profit board of directors and officers in our experience do a fabulous job at the task at hand, however, no matter how well nm and govemed an association is, there will always be complaints. As a practical matter, if the insurance canier is involved, expenses will be inctmed.… Read More

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Insured v. Insured Exclusion – What is it all About in the Community Association’s Directors and Officers Policy

INSURED V. INSURED EXCLUSION – WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS POLICY   By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS[1] Copyright © 2009     The directors & officers policy is a critical piece of the community association insurance puzzle.  The community association world includes condos, homeowner associations, timeshares and other entities.  These entities have two items in common.   Membership is based on real property ownership – a condo unit, a single family home, a timeshare interval or a similar “individual property interest.” The second element in the equation is that these individual members have a “common interest” with the other members of the… Read More

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