V.S. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My condo manager will not give me a copy of the condo insurance master policy. How can I get a copy?
Mister Condo replies:
V.S., have you asked a Board Member for a copy of the master insurance policy? They may be willing to show you a copy of the policy. Generally speaking, the condo Master Insurance Policy is kept in a safe place (like the manager’s office) since it is such an important item for the association. As a rule, unit owners are not provided copies of the association’s Master Policy. I am not aware of any law that allows for the individual unit owner to inspect the policy or requires the association to provide a copy. I imagine that the reason for this is that your by-laws should clearly detail what protections must be provided by the association’s Master Policy and require that the association keep such coverage in place. If the association was to underinsure or not insure according to those provisions and you needed to put in a claim against the policy, you would have the legal right to bring suit against the association for default under their covenant to all unit owner to provide required insurance.
If you still require a copy of the Master Policy, I might suggest contacting your association’s insurer. The insurer routinely provides copies of the insurance coverage page of the Master Policy to lenders and others who require that this coverage is in place before they will conduct business with the association. This document will detail the amounts of coverage in place and important items like deductibles and dollar amounts of coverage and limitations. Also, if you have purchased a homeowner’s policy, known as HO-6 here in Connecticut, your insurer has likely received a copy of this information and sold you your policy based on the coverage provided by the association. The idea is that the HO-6 policy, combined with the association Master Insurance, has you fully covered, less any deductibles, for likely losses that may occur in your unit.
Of course, if you don’t already have HO-6, I strongly recommend it. Many condo by-laws require that individual unit owners carry HO-6 coverage, and for good reason. It protects you and it protects your association. I wish you happy coverage and no losses. All the best!
22 thoughts on “I Want a Copy of the Condominium Master Insurance Policy”
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Many new condo owners and real estate agents ask for “A copy of the Condo Master Insurance policy”… when all they need and really want is a copy of the Declaration page to document coverage. Nobody needs or wants to read 30 pages of boilerplate legal wording.
More and more Ins Personal Homeowners Co. require this because of deductible limitations etc. What’s the problem? Associations don’t have roof, steps, garages, etc. Unit owners do. Every owner should have a full copy whether choose to read it or not.
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need a copy of my homeowners association master hazard insurance policy. .the management company does not do this job. I tried eoi, but was unsuccessful in my attempt to get a copy of the hazard insurance policy. What shall I do?
E.S., typically, unit owners don’t get a full copy of any of the association-owned insurance. It is more likely that what you are looking for is the coverages page which details the policy limits and other pertinent details. You cannot put in a claim against the policy as you are not the owner. If you have a claim agains the association, simply sue them. If they have coverage, they will make a claim or they will deal with you directly. It’s their insurance; not yours. Good luck!
You must provide the HOA’s insurance declarations page to the lender if you refinance. It should be made available to owners for this reason.
I NEED A COPY OF THE HOA mASTER iNSURANCE dECLARATION RIGHT AWAY, PLEASE.
M.M., you should contact your Property Manager or Board for that info as I wouldn’t have it. All the best!
We just had our first ever Open Meeting with Association membership. We want to meet with a lawyer who lives here and offered help interpreting governing docs. Is this against Open Meetimgs act in Texas?
Charlie, I don’t see how having the association’s attorney interpret governing docs to volunteer Board Members and unit owners violates anyone’s rights. If the attorney is representing a developer or property management company, that might be a violation but if the attorney is hired by the association and is representing the association’s best interest, I don’t see a problem. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice here. You might want to confer with yet another attorney for a proper legal opinion. All the best!
My condo management company refuses to allow the installation of an electrical outlet in a common area to power lamps, stating that if there is any problem the owners in all 4 bildgs. will be liable. Please explain. It make no sense to me!
J, it sounds like the management company is erring on the side of safety. To be honest, it would be a Board decision as to whether or not to allow it. Additionally, if the installation creates liability to the association (adding an electrical outlet certainly could) it may require approval or inspection from the association’s insurer. In other words, it isn’t always as simple as adding an electrical outlet as you would to your home. Common areas are under the Board’s control, so ask the Board directly and see what they say. All the best!
Why EOI charge a fee to provide the HOA insurance certificate for refinancing? Only difference is the loan number shown on the certificate.
S.C., Any time a document is issued, the firm issuing the document is entitled to charge a service fee. Not all do but they can. The fee isn’t necessarily about the document they are issuing but for the time it takes for an employee to process the request.
Dear Mr. Condo, This question is specifically for townhouses, as opposed to condos. I have heard that in the case of Townhomes, some complexes have the homeowners insure there entire home (as if it were freestanding) and then the HOA through a smaller Master policy insures just the communal areas, as opposed to the HOA having a giant Master policy and then homeowners buying just a “walls in” policy. I cannot find any information about this on the internet? Have you heard of this? Where would I go to for information about this? Thank You, Tia
T.L., a conversation with a qualified insurance agent would likely yield the best response. CAI offers a certification on the subject called CIRMS (Certified Insurance and Risk Management Specialist). Check with your local CAI office and ask if there are any nearby CIRMS members that you could speak with or email. They would likely need to review your governing documents to offer an opinion. Most HOAs only need to insure what they own. Everything else falls on the homeowner. If the homeowner owns the entire townhome (not unheard of) then that may be the insurance that is required. Please share your findings once you get your answer. All the best!
My mortgage lender requests updated information on the Master Insurance Policy every year, usually 2 months before the ins expiration date. I make my request to furnish the information to me from the company handling our HOA’s business affairs so I may pass it on to my lender. The company seems very hesitant to give me any info at all on this policy. The person in the office told me this year that the info won’t be available until AFTER the policy renews. I am in a catch 22. My lender has threatened to purchase the insurance for me and charge me for it if I don’t give them the info before the policy expiration date. I have expressed this to the company and told them I would pass the bill on to them if my lender does purchase this insurance for me with no response from them. What can I do?
M.C., the situation you are describing happens far too often, in my opinion. I had the very same issue with a mortgage company that routinely purchased flood insurance on my behalf (and then refunded the premium when the association’s insurer provided proof of insurance). There isn’t too much you can do but pay attention. The mortgage company has a right to require the insurance and they have a right to purchase it for you if they think your are delinquent in your insurance coverage. However, as soon as they receive proof of coverage, they typically refund the premium and cancel the extra coverage. It is a lousy system but, as they say, it is what it is. Good luck!
I know other responses have indicated that an insurance company requiring the master policy in order to process the claim really only want the bylaws but I have an adjuster that is demanding this and I have been unable to escalate. If management and Board do not help, is hiring a lawyer to send a certified letter worth it? How else can I get this document or prove to insurance that they shouldn’t need it?
J., yes you can always sue the association for whatever reason you wish. However, it is at your cost and your risk so be careful if you decide to go that route. Your adjuster can also pressure the Board to produce the documents. It is a record of the association and should be available to you. They may charge you a fee to produce it. If you know the name of the insurer or agent, you might be able to pursue the policy via direct contact. Good luck!