Unlike other states, Florida has very unique requirements which make insurance coverage mandatory for both the association and unit owners. Under Section 718.111(11) of the Florida Statutes, each condominium association is required to provide a master insurance coverage policy for multiple-family type dwelling buildings. The statute requires unit-owner controlled associations to employ their “best efforts” to provide coverage for:
- All portions, as originally constructed, of the condo property. This includes replacements of such portions;
- Any alterations or subsequent additions to common areas or property of the association.
- Adequate hazard insurance based on replacement costs, to be determined once every 36 months
- The statute does not cover the following: personal property within individual units, electrical/water fixtures, appliances, and floor/wall/ceiling/window coverings.
Thus, under Section 718.111 (11), insurance is basically mandatory for condo associations, and this requirement cannot be circumvented without penalty.
Are Individual Condo Units in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale Required to Obtain Insurance in Addition to the Association’s Master Policy Insurance?
Yes. Even though the condominium association already has a master insurance plan, you, as a unit owner are required to carry insurance for your own personal unit, as these may not be covered specifically by the association insurance. Your Unit Owner insurance plans needs to conform to the following Florida state requirements:
- The unit owner’s insurance must cover their unit as well as any modifications/improvements made to the unit
- Coverage must be at least $2,000 for the purpose of loss assessment
- The condominium association must be named in the policy as an additionally insured party/loss payee in the portion of the policy dealing with casualties
- The coverage must exceed any basic coverage provided by the association
As a Unit Owner, What Are My Options if I Fail to Obtain Insurance?
If you fail to comply with the individual owner insurance requirements, the association has the option of purchasing insurance for the unit in questions. If this happens, the association may charge the unit owner for the expenses incurred in purchasing the individual insurance policy. If the owner still refuses to comply, the insurance charges may be levied against the unit, and the association then has the option of foreclosing the unit as a last resort.
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding my Condo Insurance?
It is advisable to seek the assistance of a real estate attorney who can help you ensure that you are in compliance with the Florida Statutes. It is much better to be in compliance rather than face additional fees, or worse, risk losing your condo unit. There are many lawyers in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area who specialize in the field of residential condo insurance, and they can be of assistance by explaining the various laws to you.
As you can see, as a condo association member and/or individual condo unit owner, it is in your best interest to ensure that all the types of mandatory insurance requirements are provided for. Insurance can be an additional financial cost, but in the state of Florida it is mandatory. Therefore you should treat it like a basic, necessary expense to be factored in when calculating your housing budget.