Filing a Successful Claim

Filing a Successful Claim By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS Copyright © 2008   No matter how well a community is managed, as sure as there is death and taxes, at some point there will be an incident that will give rise to a lawsuit or claim.  In a perfect world, upon the happening of such an incident, the association would make a single phone call to the insurance company, provide the requested information and the insurer would immediately make a direct deposit for the claim into the association’s account or arrange any other requested solution or remediation.  .   In the real world, the process is not always that… Read More

Continue Reading

It Never Rains in Texas, so Why Buy an Umbrella? Why a Community Association Need Umbrella Liability Insurance

It Never Rains in Texas,  So Why Buy An Umbrella? Why a Community Association Needs Umbrella Liability Insurance By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS                 “It will never happen in our community.”  That is what the homeowners association in Northern Indiana thought when they were tagged with a $30.7 million jury verdict.  Who thought they would be found negligent for failing to put up a sign indicating that a pond would be dangerous to walk on when frozen.  Who gets to pay the difference between the $30.7 verdict and the $6 million coverage maintained by the association – it was only a $24.7 million shortfall.  Can you spell “Special Assessment?”… Read More

Continue Reading

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bank

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bank “Fraud in the Community Association” By Joel W. Meskin      If you ask any person who lives in a condominium if fraud or embezzlement would ever happen in his or her association, it is more than likely that you will be assured that it would never happen- wouldn’t even be possible- in the resident’s community.  But no association is immune from the risk of fraud.  Why are community associations inherently vulnerable to fraud and embezzlement?   Community associations, whether they are a condominium, cooperative, homeowner’s association, or property owner’s association, are legal entities, like any other business entity.  The people… Read More

Continue Reading

Community Manager Errors & Omissions Exposure: Minimize Your Risk

COMMUNITY MANAGER ERRORS & OMISSIONS EXPOSURE: MINIMIZE YOUR RISK By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS Copyright  © 2006 Introduction   Community Managers serve an integral and significant role in the community association industry.  Today, Community Managers are required to be professionals with a broad and often complex job description.  Managers often must be versed and trained in multiple areas including finances, budgeting, insurance, real estate, life safety, landscaping, legal, organizational, human resources as well as psychology and mediation.  With this wide scope of responsibilities, it is often a daunting task to make sure the community manager is properly protected for claims, lawsuits and allegations of acts, errors and omissions arising… Read More

Continue Reading

The Insurance Mystery – Where Does the Association’s Responsibility End and the Homeowner’s Begin?

The Insurance Mystery Where Does the Association’s Responsibility End and the Homeowner’s Begin? Do you remember that large pile of documents and papers you read when you closed on your condominium? Do you remember how clearly you understood what insurance responsibilities the association would assume and what you as a homeowner would assume? Do you recall thanking all those professionals for clarifying all the issues so you could sleep well at night? If your answer to these questions is yes, I congratulate you as one of the fortunate few who truly know what he or she is required to have when they move into a condominium or other community association where… Read More

Continue Reading

Community Association D&O Risk – Good Intentions Are Not Enough

By: Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS and Nancy G. Enderby When you sell property coverage for condominiums, co-ops and homeowners associations, do you ask these clients if their members have directors and officers (D&O) insurance covering their volunteer board members?  It’s important to get answers to this question, not only for them, but also for your own protection as the insurance agent. Agents who don’t sell this product, or who don’t fit the D&O coverage to the specific insured, could end up on the wrong end of an E&O suit.  That’s why we urge agents to treat this coverage with as much attention as they give to property or general… Read More

Continue Reading

Saving on Community Association Insurance – Is It Possible?

by Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS In this post-9/11 era, when insurance companies are still recovering from the largest single insurable loss in history, community associations are feeling the pinch.  The question arises: can a community association take steps to minimize insurance cost increase? There is no question that the cost of insurance is a key issue for most Americans.  The reality is that life in our society requires that individuals and entities have insurance to help fend off disasters and our litigious environment.  Community associations, representing  groups of owners, can be particularly at risk.  While the desire to contain costs remains strong, community associations, whether homeowners’ associations or condominium… Read More

Continue Reading

How often Should we Update our Reserve Study?

Good question. While I’ve answered this other places before such as in our document library, which can be found here, it is a common enough question that it deserves being answered repeatedly. Reserve contributions typically comprise 15-40% of an association’s … Continue reading → The post How often Should we Update our Reserve Study? appeared first on Association Reserves. Read More

Continue Reading

Is there Ever a Reason to Replace a Component Early?

Interesting question, with an answer that is not obvious. Most associations deal with the problem of replacing components too late, resulting in deferred maintenance and related costs that make the project much more expensive than if it was done on … Continue reading → The post Is there Ever a Reason to Replace a Component Early? appeared first on Association Reserves. Read More

Continue Reading

Should a Reserve Fund Policy Ever be Unfair?

So much of the field of Reserve Studies and reserve fund budgeting is about being fair. The core goal is attempting to have the owners enjoying the use of the association’s assets pay for the deterioration that occurred to those … Continue reading → The post Should a Reserve Fund Policy Ever be Unfair? appeared first on Association Reserves. Read More

Continue Reading