S.P. from Georgia writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I own a townhome in Georgia. There are about 120 units, which have both one level condos and two-level townhomes like mine. The owners pay the monthly condo association fees ($240). The association has insurance coverage from Community Association Underwriters of America, Inc. (CAU). Recently there were severe thunderstorms and lightning in my area and my HVAC unit stopped working. The technician checked the unit and mentioned that the lightning has fried the electrical wires and he fixed them and replaced the capacitor. Kindly let me know:
- If I can file a claim (at least for reimbursement for the repair fees) with the condo association’s insurance.
- When I asked the Condo Association’s Manager he replied to my email as below:
“The association carries a $5,000 deductible. Therefore you should file a claim with your personal insurance carrier.”
- Generally who pays the deductible? The unit owner filing the claim or the association?
Mister Condo replies:
S.P., it is very hard to give you a specific answer to such a specific question like yours. For the most part, the condo association’s insurance is for common elements. If your HVAC is a common element (unusual) then it might be the association’s responsibility. However, the more typical reply would be that it is your HVAC unit and that it is your responsibility, and therefore your homeowner’s insurance policy that would cover the loss. The association manager’s response may also be true, which is that unless the repair was in excess of $5,000 (common), it is in your best interest to place the claim through you own carrier where you may not have any deductible. I am not certain of the insurance laws in your state so you may wish to speak with a local attorney about the deductible responsibility. My guess is that the deductible would fall to you, and again, to your homeowner’s insurance to cover that deductible. Good luck!