Most homeowners love the idea of having a swimming pool, athletic court or health club as part of their association’s grounds because it adds value to their property and it gives them something fun to do throughout the year. But HOAs that offer these additional features are responsible for having supplemental insurance to cover the liabilities they bring.
When it comes to potential high-risk amenities like pools and gyms where the chance of injury is high, basic liability coverage just doesn’t do the trick. All insurance policies are not created equal, and getting proper coverage for your association’s amenities is crucial.
“One HOA’s amenity may not increase their premium at all, whereas the same amenity would increase a premium in another HOA,” says Charles “Cappy” Stults, president and C.E.O. of Allen & Stults Co. Inc., an insurance brokerage based in Hightstown. “For instance, a pond in an adult community might not be of concern for an insurance underwriter, but an identical pond in a non-age restricted association would increase their cost. If it was next to a playground, it might even constrict coverage availability.”
According to Karyl Dicker Foray, CIRMS, CRIS for Rosenthal Brothers, Inc., liability policies can include coverage for various items such as a slip and fall exposure, products liability if someone gets ill because of tainted food at an association sponsored event, host-liquor liability and medical payments to guests of the association and its unit owners.
“A condominium association provides insurance outside walls of habitational buildings, plus common areas (such as grass and walkways) surrounding the buildings,” she says. “Coverage should also be included for a club house, gazebo, pool, storage area, parking, tennis court and any other areas owned by the association.”