A man falls asleep in his recliner with a cigarette and starts a fire….

This is not the beginning of a fictional short story but a real life part of condominium living. Sprinklers went off, a unit was flooded and a recliner ruined…but no one was injured in the making of this blog.

Q: Who is responsible for these damages? Who pays the price? 

A: The condo association or the Master Insurance Policy pays to restore the unit. The owner or their insurance pays for the recliner…and any other personal belongings damaged. 

This is one of the most confusing and confounding issues that Condo Boards face. When an owner is seemingly negligent and at fault for damage but the Community Association’s insurance still pays to restore the unit, it seems unfair. 

In fact, the Condominium Association’s insurance is set up this way to protect all of the other owners. 

The fact that the Master Policy covers these damages ensures that the repairs will be made – this owner’s unit will be restored and his property values will remain stable. If these damages were not covered by the Master Policy, the repairs would be left up to the unit owner. They may not be able to, or want to afford the repairs….so the unit is left in disrepair…the value of the unit goes down. This affects property values for all neighboring properties. 

While contributing to a master policy is expensive and may seem like a disadvantage of condo living – it is actually one of the biggest advantages. No other type of ownership protects property values against the negligence of another as much as condominium ownership.

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