Insuring Your Spaces Coverage is Key to Protecting Amenities

 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!  

 Co-op boards, condo associations and property management firms are well aware of  buyers’ preferences and often strive to upgrade or add amenities to a property in order  to be able to compete in today’s market. Typically referred to as a “common element” in condominium bylaws, pools, exercise rooms, meeting space, and recreational  facilities are examples of what is considered an amenity. In a co-op property,  the shareholders would probably list the same enhancements as “amenities.” Whatever those nice lifestyle additions are called, they add value to any  building community.  

 Luxury or Liability?

 A good rule of thumb is if an amenity is fixed, real property, or part of that  property, it must be insured under property insurance. If there is an increased  danger of an accident or injury associated with that amenity, then the  liability insurance will come under consideration. Whether amenities are in  place or added, until they are fully and properly insured they can just as  easily be an expensive liability.  

 Amenities will require both property and liability insurance coverage. Property  insurance protects the equipment owned by the association and will cover  replacement cost due to covered perils. Liability insurance will cover bodily  injury, or property damage claims brought by a third party due to use of the  amenities. A slip and fall on the pool deck, an injury using gym equipment, or  even a fall entering the newly remodeled lobby may have legal ramifications.  

 When seeking insurance for an amenity, one requirement is to adequately identify  the amenity from an insurance and exposure perspective to arrive at the total  insurable value (TIA). Existing policies should be reviewed on a regular basis  and always before, during, and after adding an amenity or upgrade.  

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Comments

  • A very well written article. I would like to see more articles by Ms Childers. Looks like a lot of research went in to bringing the public very informative information that we can understand and possibly apply to ourselves.