Condominium Insurance Claims Lawyers in Alabama
Helping condominium owners and associations when floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters or accidents ruin your property
Owning a condo is different than owning a single residence for several key reasons that affect your rights if a severe storm or other disaster causes damage. The main difference is that the condo owners generally own only the interior of their home. The walls, roofing, parking lots, landscaping, and grounds are generally owned by a homeowners’ association (HOA). The HOA should have separate insurance for what they own. Condominium owners generally must coordinate their condo unit insurance with that of the homeowners’ association. Another key difference is that when disasters strike, repairs to your unit need to be balanced with the needs of the other condominium owners.
At Warhurst Law, we have secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients – money that homeowner associations and condo unit owners need to rebuild, to make repairs, and to help owners move back into their homes as quickly as possible. Whether a hurricane or tornado causes a roof to blow off, a flood destroys your basement, or a fire means losing everything, our Alabama insurance dispute lawyers understand that insurance companies have no right to delay payment or to undercut the full sums that you are due.
Condominiums’ common areas
Some insurance disputes resolve around which insurance company is responsible for which repairs. The HOA insurance carrier may argue that the insurance company for the owners of the individual units should pay, and vice versa. The tail that wags the dog in these cases should be set forth in the insurance contracts. As a general rule, the HOA insurance carrier should pay for the following common areas – the areas that all condo owners have access to:
- The roofs. Condo units are usually joined together in one or several complexes. For practical and economic reasons, the HOA generally is responsible for insuring the roof.
- The exterior walls and some parts of the interior walls. The foundations of these walls depend on the foundations and structural supports of other walls. For engineering and practical reasons, the HOA usually is responsible for these walls.
- The stairways, lobbies, parking lots, and landscaping. HOAs usually look to their insurance carrier to pay for damage to these parts of the condominium complex
Additionally, the insurance company for the HOA is generally responsible for any electrical units, the heating, the plumbing, and the air conditioning.
Alabama condominium law
The Alabama Uniform Condominium Act governs various aspects of condominium ownership such as how condos are created, how boundaries are determined, the common elements, the applicable bylaws, subdivision of units, and other issues. Section 4 governs the rights of condominium purchasers. Section 3-8A-313 of the Act provides the insurance regulations. The section details what insurance the HOA must have including property and liability insurance. It generally provides that the HOA is considered the primary insurance if the condominium unit owner also has insurance on the property. Subsection (h) specifically provides that “Any portion of the condominium for which insurance is required under this section which is damaged or destroyed must be repaired or replaced promptly by the association unless” certain exceptions apply.
The exact requirements of the act, the duties of the HOA, the duties of the insurance company for the HOA, and the rights of individual condominium owners are quite complex. Experienced condo insurance lawyers can guide you through the legalese of the law and the language of the insurance contracts.