The purpose of this section is to give you enough knowledge to ask the right questions of your insurance agent. The following are the most common suggestions made by insurance agents in the State of Florida.
Q: Why do we need to use an “Admitted” Insurance Company?
There are insurance companies that are “admitted” and insurance companies that are “not admitted.” In other words, insurance companies who conduct business in the State of Florida can be “admitted” or “not admitted.” What you need to know is that if an “admitted” insurance company goes out of business or bankrupt, the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association (FIGA) should pay your claims. If a “non-admitted” insurance company goes out of business or bankrupt, there is no one who will pay the claims. By using a non-admitted insurance company you are taking the risk that if that company goes out of business, the State of Florida or FIGA will not be paying your claim. After Hurricane Wilma, several insurance companies went out of business, however FIGA took over the claims of the companies who were “admitted.”
Q: What are the typical Insurance Polices we need to have?
The most common insurance policies an association purchases is as follows:
1. Wind Storm: This covers your property for a loss due to a hurricane, tropical storm, tornado or similar type of damage.
2. Officer & Director: This covers claims against the officers and directors of the association.
3. Premises/General Liability: This protects the association from claims for injury to persons or property in the common areas. If a person is injured in the swimming pool or on the tennis court or slips and falls, this policy should cover claims for damage.
4. Property: (many times combined with wind storm) This covers fire, lighting, vandalism and other losses.
5. Crime: Florida law requires your condominium association to take out an insurance policy or bond to cover for theft or misappropriation of funds.
6. Umbrella Liability Policy – ask you agent about it.
7. Boiler/Machinery – ask your agent about it.
8. Workman’s Comp. – ask your agent about it.
Depending on your association, you may need additional insurance not stated above.
Q: What tricks do some Agents play on you?
Let’s assume that your insurance policies expire on December 31st. Many associations complain that their agent gives the association the quote to re-new two weeks before the policy expires. Why? If your agent gives you a quote to renew less than 30 days before the expiration of your policy, you will not have enough time to talk to another agent; get another quote from other carriers; or shop around. You will have to use the agent for another year. You need to tell your agent that you want the quote 30 days before the expiration of the policy.