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Governor Vetoes SB 714; Unit Owner Insurance Coverage & Board Obligations

SB 714 Designed to Clarify Insurance Requirements & Provide Relief to Homeowners by Delaying Fire Sprinkler Retrofit.

Condominium Unit Owners Required to Maintain Insurance Coverage.

Governor Charlie Crist vetoed SB 714.  Too bad – SB 714 would have relieved Condominium Unit Owners from maintaining individual property insurance and likewise relieved Associations from the burden of requesting insurance certificates.

Governor Crist expressed his concerns regarding the fire sprinkler retrofitting extension in his veto letter, citing safety risks. This means that condominium associations throughout Florida will have to retrofit their buildings, or  partially retrofit (if authorized by membership vote as set forth in Section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes) by December 31, 2014, something that struggling condominium associations cannot afford at this time.

Read Governor Crist’s veto letter (click here).

Gary A. Poliakoff explained the negative impact of the veto in correspondence to the Governor (click here to read that letter) highlighting how significantly condominium and community associations have been hurt by the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Consequently, the following insurance requirements, largely resulting from 2008 legislation, are still in effect:

  1. Unit Owner coverage is still mandatory.
  2. Unit Owner insurance coverage must contain $2,000 “special assessment” coverage.  SB 714 would have corrected the language to “loss assessment” coverage.
  3. The Association is still required to be named an additional insured and loss payee on insurance policies issued to Unit Owners.
  4. Association boards must set the master policy insurance deductible at an open board meeting – the notice of the meeting must contain the amount of the proposed deductible, available funds and cite the assessment authority as well as estimate potential assessments against each unit for possible casualty costs that are not funded by insurance coverage.
  5. Unit Owners are still required to insure “improvements and additions” that benefit fewer than all the owners.  This is problematic from a number of perspectives, especially in light of the fact that the term “improvements and additions” is not defined.  This provision in Section 718.111(11)(g)(1), Florida Statutes may be interpreted to mean that Unit Owners bear responsibility for portions of the property traditionally insured by the master policy, such as balconies, vehicle enclosures such as carports (if the coverage is available), storage spaces and the like.

A press conference is being held today, June 4, at the South County Civic Center located at 16700 Carter Road, Delray Beach, Florida at 1 P.M.  Senator Deutch and Representative Kelly Skidmore will address legislative issues, foreclosures and ways to confront association financial losses.  CALL urged Senator Deutch to ask the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate to call a special session to address these important problems.

Community leaders are encouraged to contact their elected representatives and express their concerns.

 

 

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9 Comments
  • Avatar
    Judy Wittenburg
    July 8, 2009

    It appears to me that Govenor Crist vetoed SB714 regarding individual property insurance requirements. I brought this concern up at our last condo Board meeting on June 20th, and said that we needed to contact our owners again to let them know about this requirement. However,several Board members stated that this was not the situation and the law would be changing. My question, then, is are condominium owners required by law to have individual property insurance? If yes, what are the requirements, e.g., $2000.00 minimum, condo named as an also insured on each contract, etc.
    Thank you,
    Judy Wittehburg

  • Avatar
    Mark Cannon
    July 17, 2009

    A stupid, liberal, democratic, Big Government knows better than the individual, law… Fire Governor Crist and the Insurance Industry cronies that put this law in place. There needs to be a law against special (Insurance) interests running the Government. I don’t need the darn insurance…I am self insured and I should not be forced to buy something I don’t need. Too bad this isn’t a free country anymore.

  • Avatar
    Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog
    December 31, 2009

    Condominium Sprinkler Retrofit Report Issued by DBPR

    The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued its Report to the Governor, President

  • Avatar
    Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog
    December 31, 2009

    Condominium Sprinkler Retrofit Report Issued by DBPR

    The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued its Report to the Governor, President

  • Avatar
    Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog
    December 31, 2009

    Q&A: Condo Insurance Requirements

    Readers have submitted quite a few questions in the last few weeks regarding insurance for condominium

  • Avatar
    Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog
    December 31, 2009

    Q&A: Condo Insurance Requirements

    Readers have submitted quite a few questions in the last few weeks regarding insurance for condominium

  • Avatar
    Ellen Grannis
    May 15, 2010

    Except that it was not a Democratic government that instituted these changes. It was the Florida Republican-dominated legislature giving another handout to the insurance companies. Considering the number of condominiums in this state, this was a huge giveaway to the insurance companies. Unfortunately, I doubt we will get relief until the legislature gets new legislators . . . and we get a new governor.

  • Avatar
    George E. Stock Jr.
    May 27, 2010

    A recent lightning storm grounded my A/C compressor requiring the purchase of a new compressor. The compressor and it’s cabinet are located outside the unit. The Association says they are not responsible for the repair or replacement, even though it was an act of God that caused the damage. Do I have any recourse? Who is responsible for the repair? Your help would be appreciated.
    RESPONSE: Pursuant to §718.111(11), Florida Statutes, the master condo insurance policy is required to include all original HVAC components, unless the home is a detached structure. I suggest filing a claim with both carriers (the HO-6 carrier for the unit and the master policy carrier) and letting them determine whether coverage is applicable for this event.

  • Avatar
    Nelson Regner
    July 18, 2011

    Please help
    I am president of the San Simeon master association in N.M.B Fla, and to date have no definite position on how or whether I should enforce the home owners insurance.
    when I called Tallahassee I was told that there where many gray areas in the law and they could not help me.
    Can you help.
    I sure will appreciate.
    RESPONSE: I’m not certain but it appears you are asking about the individual unit owner coverage mandate. The portion of the law that required every single condo owner to carry insurance was changed – so there is no mandate by law. Some governing documents mandate individual owner coverage and the association must have proper coverage of course.