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To Claim, or Not to Claim?

By Greg Olear

Individuals, associations and other entities carry insurance coverage to protect them from liability, loss, and other financial and legal threats—that's pretty basic. What isn't always so basic is deciding when to file a claim versus paying out of pocket for a loss or damage. Read More

How to Make Your Condo, Co-op or HOA More Resilient to Disaster

By Caesar Mistretta and Will Kramer

King Kong, aliens, asteroids, 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, fires, floods and whatever else the world throws at us, disaster and New Yorkers are no strangers, whether on screen or in real life. While the greatest tragedy is the loss of life, disasters also cause major financial and reputational damage, often leading to the temporary shutdown of companies or even putting them out of business altogether. Read More

Fidelity Bond Insurance

By Sherry Branson

Protection against embezzlement, fraud, theft, computer crime, forgery and more are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crimes at community associations across the United States. During challenging economic times, crime goes up and the community association industry has felt the increase along with the rest of the country. Read More

The ABC’s of Insuring Your Co-op or Condo

By Elizabeth Lent

Sometimes insurance and the terms that accompany it can feel like a completely foreign language. It can be mystifying and overwhelming, whether for individual co-op or condo residents or the board members who oversee the community as a whole. The insurance industry uses a tremendous amount of shorthand, and the degree of coverage has seemingly grown exponentially in the last couple decades. With lawsuits and other forms of legal recourse now just a common reality of life in co-ops, condos and HOAs, board members and property managers need to be diligent about what kind of insurance coverage they have and require. Read More

Identifying Insurance Options

By Anne Childers

You can’t underestimate the value of insurance. In a simple analogy, operating a business—or the day-to-day business of a co-op or condo—without adequate insurance coverage is a lot like skydiving without a parachute. Needless to say, it’s a risky proposition. Read More

When Waters Rise

By Keith Loria

According to a 2013 poll by the Insurance Information Institute, only 13 percent of American homeowners have some sort of flood insurance policy, and those living in New York City are low on that list. Read More

Protecting Your Co-op or Condo Board

By Frank DeLucia

Managing risk is one of the most important things you can do to maintain the viability of a business, and what many board members sometimes forget is that their association is just that, a business. Risk management—the process of identifying and minimizing risks—can help you run your building corporation more profitably and effectively. An effective risk management strategy enables you to proactively prepare for potential losses, provide a safe environment for your fellow board members, employees and residents, and even secure better pricing on your insurance. Read More

The Growing Importance of D&O Insurance

By Caesar Mistretta

Most co-op and condo board members are not fully aware of all of the financial risks and liabilities associated with their service. Some may not realize that the management company, the co-op corporation board or homeowner's association is subject to all the rules faced by those of a non-profit organization. The board’s decision-making capabilities and responsibilities affect the economic and physical well-being of shareholders (tenants and others) and people that they do business with. A board member is legally required to act sensibly and perform their duties in a manner they believe to be in the best interest of the organization, and they are required to perform their duties in accordance with applicable laws. Since board members can be held responsible for acts of the association, most directors and officers are increasingly requiring that they are protected against risking their personal assets. Read More

Being Prepared

By Woody Goldstein

As the autumn leaves change and begin to fall, our thoughts invariably turn to the completion of the hurricane season and the arrival of winter. We are also reminded on an almost daily basis of the lasting results of Hurricane Sandy, or as some would call it “Superstorm Sandy.” Regardless of that storm’s title, the effects on property and human lives are ever present in the Northeast, even a full year later. Read More

Contractor Liability

By Eugene Podokshik

There has been much discussion recently about the antiquated New York Labor Law 241 and its effect on the availability and cost of insurance coverages for contractors. The fear is that smaller contractors will get priced out of purchasing the proper insurance coverages and only legislative reform could bring change. Reform has been proposed several times, and in June it was again shut down in the State Assembly. The financial and political reasons as to why this happened are beyond the scope of this article. The negative effects of this law, however, are compounding and are having real and serious consequences on the New York real estate industry costs and business practices. Read More

Understanding Your Insurance Policy's Fine-Print

By Jonathan Barnes

Suddenly, the room was shaking and the plants around Ron Tepperman’s desk were moving—it took a second for him to register what was happening. Until a real live earthquake shook the city and created panic along the East Coast, that ground-shaking sensation was unfamiliar to most New Yorkers. The August 2011 quake only lasted about 20 seconds, and not only unnerved Tepperman and many others, but caused real physical damage to structures as well. Read More

Escalating Insurance and Your Contractor

By Keith Loria

In pretty much all states except New York, if someone doing construction work is  injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will take effect and cover all medical expenses and lost  wages.  Read More

Insuring Honesty and Integrity

By Danielle Braff

When you decide to run for a board, you’re usually thinking about all the great changes you’re going to make to your building, along with all the time and effort that you’re prepared to sacrifice for the good of your home. Read More

How Much is Enough?

By W.B. King

 Legendary funny man Benny Goodman once said, “I don’t want to tell you how much insurance I carry with the Prudential, but all I can  say is: when I go, they go too!” The comedian hits on all-important issue: how much insurance is too much, and  how much is not enough? Read More

Mind the Gap

By Liz Lent

 Insurance is designed to be there for us when we need it most. Without knowing  the full extent of our coverage, though, we may find ourselves facing an  emergency with less protection than we thought. For shareholders or unit  owners, it is imperative to understand exactly what liabilities and risks are  covered by individual resident homeowner policies and what is covered by the  building’s policy. Unfortunately, many co-op and condo residents misinterpret who is  responsible for what. Knowing exactly what is protected and by whose policies  is imperative in ensuring that properties and possessions are in good hands  should an emergency arise. Read More

Insurance Fraud!

By Bernadette Marciniak

 When it comes to insurance, there's more to think about than just premiums and  deductibles; on one side, there's insurance fraud—and on the other, there's the insurance that protects you from fraud. Both sides  of the equation are important for boards to be aware of, and to manage properly  on behalf of their buildings and communities. Read More

Good Neighbors

By Michael McDonough

Read More

The Insurance Puzzle

By Anthony Stoeckert

Insurance is a relatively simple concept that any homeowner can understand. You purchase a policy paying a premium to an insurer, and when a claim gets filed, the insurer pays. So in theory, insuring your co-op or condo building should be virtually the same principle—only on a larger scale, right?

Read More

Shopping for Insurance

By Izzy Green

 Operating a business—or the day-to-day business of a co-op or condo—without adequate insurance coverage is a lot like skydiving with an untested  parachute; you may land just fine...or the result could be catastrophic. If  your condo or co-op building is self-managed, then you and your fellow board  members are responsible for securing your community's master insurance policy.  That's no small task—and this article will guide you through the steps for obtaining the best  insurance coverage for your condo or co-op while staying within budget and  covering all of your most important bases. Read More


By Keith Loria

 The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies is the largest and most  diverse national property/casualty insurance trade and political advocacy  association in the United States. Read More

In Your Corner

By Liz Lent

 When disaster strikes, whether in the form of a storm, a fire, or some other  crisis, the devastation can be overwhelming—something we’ve seen too many times this summer on the nightly news. From making sure loved ones are safe to helping neighbors in need, there is so  much to think about and do when upheaval hits. Add insurance claims to the mix  and the process of recovery becomes even more daunting. That is where public  insurance adjusters step in, helping to decipher often complex policies and  ensuring that claimants receive all that is due to them. Read More

Knowledge is Power

By W.B. King

 The goal is to be an informed board member. For both new and seasoned board  members, however, there are countless challenging topics requiring specific  knowledge. With new regulations and legislation on tap, it is imperative that  board members understand the various nuances of board service, an approach best  supported by continuing education. Read More

The Course of an Insurance Claim

By Keith Loria

 Insurance is a tricky business. Sure, people usually know the types of incidents  that necessitate an insurance claim (fires, floods, leaks, etc.), but when  something happens in a co-op or condo and an insurance claim is filed, few  really understand the nuances of what happens at each step from incident to  resolution. Read More

Insuring Your Spaces

By Anne Childers

 As sales of co-ops and condos continue to slow, developers, property managers  and building boards are looking for any possible incentive to attract buyers.  Any realtor will tell you that location is the first and primary consideration  when buying a property. Once a general area is selected the amenities that  enhance the property choice will strongly come into play. What amenities are  available can often be a deal maker or deal breaker for a prospective buyer.  And one size will not fit all in the search for any of the extras that put the “sweet” into home sweet home! Read More

Not Your Grandfather's Policy

By Matthew Worley

 Recent developments, legislatively, environmentally and technologically have led  to considerable changes in the New York insurance marketplace. And such  changes, as managers know, often lead to added paperwork, confusing  requirements, and tricky legal questions for condo boards. While many new  insurance products—such as the heavily-hyped “terrorism coverage”—have failed to catch on for the condo market, modifications in traditional  coverage have altered the insurance picture in ways previously unseen. Read More

The ABC's of D&O

By Lisa Iannucci

Good afternoon—and welcome to the board. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to make decisions to better your building. The residents may not like you and, more importantly, may not like those decisions. Nevertheless, keep doing the job you’re doing. In a worst-case scenario, you will be sued. Perhaps more than once. Should anything go wrong, don’t worry; you’re protected by the board's D&O insurance. Good luck.” Read More

Buying Insurance

By Jonathan Carrol

Owning and managing real estate has many positives and negatives, requiring the  performance of varied responsibilities and wearing of many different hats. Most  of my clients typically view the insurance renewal process with a sense of  dread. Navigating the minefield of carriers, coverages, exclusions, sub-limits,  etc. Contracts can be time consuming and frustrating, filled with technical  jargon and terminology that can leave you exhausted. After you manage to  finalize your renewal, you may still lay awake at night wondering if there is  an uncovered claim lurking out there waiting to strike. Read More

Getting Along, Getting it Done

By Liz Lent

 Sometimes, just getting two people to agree on what to have for dinner or what  movie to see on a Saturday night can seem like an overwhelming task. Now  imagine trying to get five, seven or nine people to make million-dollar  decisions that can affect hundreds, even thousands, of people. That’s the challenge that faces co-op and condominium boards each and every day.   Read More

Just Give Me a Minute

By Jonathan Barnes

 Holding regular meetings is one of the most essential tasks of a co-op or condo  board, because that’s where the building’s policy is formed, where business decisions related to the community are made  and usually where administration of the community affairs begins and ends.  Because of the gravity of the discussions and decisions at meetings, it is  important to have an accurate record of those activities. That is why taking  thorough, accurate meeting minutes is crucial for boards focused on efficient  community management. Read More

Learning the Ropes

By Greg Olear

 Co-op and condo board members are generally volunteers who live in their  building and give of their time and expertise to help make sure their home is  well-run, and their investment protected. In a perfect world, new board members are architecture graduate students who  moonlight as attorneys and work day jobs as CPAs. Indeed, many new board members are architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants,  or successful businessmen and –women. Read More

The Proper Fit in Insurance

By Keith Loria

 For any co-op or condo in New York, there are certain types of insurance that  they cannot live without. Generally those include: property, liability,  umbrella, D&O (with employment practices liability (EPL) insurance embedded in the  coverage), fidelity, equipment breakdown coverage or more commonly called  boiler and machinery (B&M), workers compensation, disability coverage, and when applicable,  environmental coverage. Read More

What's in a Name?

By Lisa Iannucci

 Recently, a 36-year-old New York City restoration contractor was charged with  multiple counts of workers’ compensation fraud and falsifying business records. He was hired as a  sub-contractor, but he allegedly submitted three fraudulent certificates of  insurance. In another case, a Suffolk County roofer allegedly passed phony  certificates of workers’ compensation coverage as he took work at job sites around the county.  Read More

Insuring for Household Hazards

By Mary K. Fons

 Mold—it’s an ugly four-letter word in more ways than one. Nobody wants to think about  the fact that this fungus can be found anywhere where water leaks or drainage  problems are present. Mold can cause serious damage to a co-op or condominium,  like ruining drywall, and is believed to trigger numerous health problems in  susceptible persons. Read More

Beware of Inadequately/Impropery Insured Contractors

By Julie McCabe, CPCU, CIC, ARM

 Many directors serving on the boards of co-ops and condominium communities  assume that once they have secured the appropriate coverage for their  properties, their problems are largely over. Unfortunately, problems in the  insurance marketplace have created conditions which can leave unknowing boards  exposed to losses from areas they least expect. One of the principal indirect  exposures that all boards face relates to the contractors they engage to do  everything from simple building repairs to large capital projects. These contractors may be plumbers, electricians, roofers, painters, HVAC service  technicians and the like and may be performing a range of tasks on the  property. Understanding what is necessary to prevent potential risks associated  with these contractors is essential for every co-op and condominium board. Read More

A Look at Manhattan's East Village

By Hannah Fons

 While the grid of streets and avenues may remain rigid and unchanging as the  years go by, New York City’s neighborhoods are organic entities, constantly shifting and evolving as new  features emerge and old ones fade away. Nowhere is this perpetual reinvention  more evident than in Manhattan’s East Village. Read More

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