Archive for monty

Pets not welcome in condo

If you live in a condo, and you are considering getting a pet, then you are up against it on two fronts.


One, your condo has rules. Most condo’s are not pet friendly, or at the least they are tolerated.

Then if you get your pet accepted, then you may be blackballed from the insurance company.

condo pets











No need for statistics here, all you have to know is that the most liability claims every year under homeowners insurance are under the dog category.

Good luck with your pet in your condo, but if you are just thinking of getting a dog, before you fall in love with that cute puppy, here is a list of dogs, that insurers do not consider cute.

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Presa Canarios
  • Chows Chows
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Akitas
  • Wolf-hybrids
  • Mastiffs
  • Cane Corsos
  • Great Danes
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskies


I have a dog in my condo, a cairn terrier. Consider one of those before you go getting a bull mastiff or a Doberman.

I believe there is a direct correlation between someone’s age and the size of their dog. The younger you are the bigger the dog, and the older you are, the smaller your dog is.

” with age comes wisdom”


Coverage you do not need for your condo

Insurance agents get paid by selling you insurance. The more they sell the more they make.

Is that a bad thing? NO!

Having full coverage and not having to worry when things go bad is a comforting feeling.

BUT< insure the big things and take a tighter look at the little things.

Do you need to pay extra for

  • loss assessment coverage
  • replacement cost when it is new
  • fluffy broadening endorsements
  • workers comp if you have no employees.
  • Directors and officers if everybody is a officer
  • Terror insurance
  • flood insurance on a mountain

You probably do need all these things, but when pinching a penny, do it in the right spots.

7 insurance policies not to buy   from Daily Finace


Dear Mr Condo Insurance

I get asked condo questions daily in my work as an insurance agent. So I decided to post a few in a series called ” dear Mr Condo Insurance”

These are not meant to be the be all and end all of all answers, and they should not have any reflection on my work at the agency, as this is a private site meant to help people. Always ask your lawyer or your insurance professional.



I recently got an assessment to replace our roof. It is big money, and I remembered something in my unit owner homeowner insurance policy call loss assessment coverage. I called my agent and I was not covered.

What’s up with that.


Not sure of all the details, but my guess is that your insurance professional is right.

Loss assessment coverage does not cover much at all, hence that fact that it is so cheap. It covers you for uninsured covered losses to your unit that were not covered by the master policy and were assessed to the unit owners.

The big deal is that your home or unit owner policy probably has the same coverage or less coverage than the master policy, so there is little likelihood that you will ever have a ” loss assessment loss’

Also, my guess here is that there was no loss to the roof, but it was replaced and assessed due to a maintenance issue.

where might you be covered? let’s say that you have earthquake coverage on your unit owner policy and the association does not. The earthquake hits, and there is no coverage and you are assessed to repair the damage. Then you have a case for loss assessment. Or , if the association policy limits were exhausted and you were assessed for the shortfall in coverage.


Good Luck

Coping with insurance risk and your condominium

How do you COPE with your condominium insurance?

The point is that the way an insurance company looks at you and your risk is based on C.O.P.E.

They look at 5 basic areas to evaluate your risk potential

  1.  C- Construction, what is your condo made out of? wood, brick or a highly non combustible material or even a fire resistive construction material
  2. O- Occupants, what makes up the building? In a condo, they look to see who lives there. Owners vs renters, is there a office or retail location?
  3. P- protection, How well is the property protected against perils, such as fire, wind and water. Do you have sprinklers, do you have updated standard wiring, and where are you located and protected from the wind
  4. E- Exposure, what are you near? How are you susceptible to a claim? Close to the water? exposed to fire or other peril from a nearby building or forest etc.

This is how your company looks at you and along with total value, height and square footage, they will model your risk and exposure and come up with an appropriate premium for your condominium association.


Condo Insurance Cancelled

So your condo insurance was cancelled.



Were you issued a legal notice with the proper days notice?

Were you told that you were not being renewed?

Were you cancelled mid stream and during the policy dates?

if you were canceled in the middle of the policy, you either did not keep up with your timely payments, or you did not comply with the terms of the policy. For instance, you may not have signed everything, or you may not have complied with the company recommendations. it is hard for the company to cancel during the term of the policy

If you were cancelled or better yet non renewed, you might ask your agent or company why. most likely, you had claims, or the company became aware of new information that makes the association less attractive, Maybe the company just is getting out of insuring this type of business.

Whatever the reason you are cancelled now is the time to contact your agent, your company, or a new agent. The sin is let coverage lapse.



How do I find out if my condominium is in a flood zone?

If you are looking for a quick look to see what flood zone and your chances of flooding are, go to this free website.




Everybody is in a flood zone and most anybody should be able to get flood insurance and almost everybody should get flood insurance.

If you see that you are in a 1% chance of being flooded zone, the inclination is to take the chance. It may sound like a good bet, but it isn’t

Check with your agent and the NFIP for more information


The terms of the average replacement cost provision on your policy call for repair or replacement.

It is usually defined in the policy as the cost to replace the damaged property with materials of like kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation

Now the battle begins.


Your roof is damaged. Actually, a third of your roof is damaged.


You want a new roof! of course you do. You do not want just a new third.

Insurance Company:

They want to repair the damage. Of course they do, that is how the policy reads and it is cheaper.


This goes under “you get what you pay for”, or” your expectations are not always what you get”.

You can argue here with the insurance company. If there is a continuation of roof and it would look ridiculous to have a third the roof one color and the other two thirds another, than it makes sense to continue to re-roof to a point where there is a division and there is continuity to the roof.

The same applies for floors and paint. It pays to ask.

property manager as named insured on condominium policy

People and entities being named on someone else’s policy is nothing new. People ask this to transfer the risk to someone else. If you lease a space, you will be asked the name the landlord, if you rent a hall for a party, you will be asked to name the hall as an additional insured.

So be prepared to have the property manager ask you to name them as additional insured.

Beware!  There are ways to do it and ways not to. Be careful to add anyone but your condominium as additional “named” insured. and never list their name first in the named insured section. Do you know who controls the policy and gets paid first? it is the “first named insured on the policy.

It is customary to have the property manager asked to be named on the general liability section, the fidelity ( employee dishonesty ) section or policy, and on the directors and officers policy.

There are so many different ways the companies handle it, you need to read it and be clear. Just because it says additional insured, Please read the fine print.

Most companies have been asked so many time to add the property manager as an additional insured, that they have just gone ahead and baked it into their policy.

Remember also, that the more people you add to the policy, the more people you are defending and covering with your limited limits.

Always read and ask questions

Good Luck!


here is a recent article I read from a lawyer on the subject.


Condo law


Do we need sprinklers in our condominium

The question of do you need sprinklers in your condominium comes up all the time.

I wish I had the answer. The answer lies with you, and also with the law. If you feel that it is in the best interest of the safety of the condo unit owners, then you need them. If it is the law, then you need them.

sprinkler for your condoDo sprinklers save lives. Yes!  Do they save property Maybe! In actuality, sprinklers freeze, leak and inadvertently go off causing water damage. is the risk worth the reward? I think so.

The laws are all over the place. From what I see, they are very specific if you have new construction and or doing a major renovation. Check with your local building inspector before going forward. This can be expensive.

If you are renovating, you might find that the local codes require you to add the sprinkler system in your condo. If so, and you feel that it is not right, you can appeal in most areas.

The appeals board will look at the law, and whether it is reasonable to ask you to do this. If the renovation is for $10,000 and it would require a $60,000 investment in a sprinkler, is that reasonable?. Can it be done? If the project does not include opening the walls, then it may not be reasonable to ask you to do it.

The law looks at standards. The standards are not the same for a 1-3 unit condo as it is for a high rise, and the standards of a nightclub are not the same as a condominium complex.

Good luck!  remember to check your local laws.

5 steps to understanding your condominium insurance policy

5 steps to understanding your condominium Insurance policy.

condo insurance

Let’s face it. Chances are that your agent did not even read the policy. They probably packaged it up, attached a bill and mailed it out to you. The reading usually starts after there is a loss.

The damn thing is 70-100 pages long, and reads like Obama’ affordable care act.



What to look for.

  1. start at the first page ( the declarations page) This has most all the salient information, and a good summary of the coverages.
  2. Check to see if the named insured is correct. Do they have the right name, the right contact, the right mailing address.
  3. Check the limits of coverage for the building and liability. Do they look right. Compare it with the previous policy.
  4. Does the premium match the invoice?
  5. Give everything a once over, and then call your agent or company representative and go over it with her or him. Ask questions, Ask for it in plain language, and ask lots of questions, the agent and company have your money, and they are providing a service and coverage, so don’t feel bad about asking questions.

The problem is that we trust people and you should, but it is a big expense, and you are liable for checking out the policy and making sure it is correct. do your due diligence.