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Understanding Insurance Claims Settle, or Report?

It's bound to happen eventually: calamity befalls your condominium development in the form of windstorm damage, fire, personal injury or the like. The first step most associations take is to call the insurance company and file a claim. However, there are times when it might be better not to file a claim when an incident occurs.

How Insurers View Claims

It's commonly understood that community associations in which numerous claims have been filed often pay more in premiums than those with spotless pasts.

The reason for this is not that a certain type of claim scares insurance companies but more so an association's lack of attention or responsibility to their property will cause insurance carriers to consider raising the premium or even not renewing the policy, warns Alan Geisenheimer, CIC, president of the Geisenheimer Agency in Fairlawn.

"Lack of attention to snow and ice removal is probably king in this area," he says. "[Another example is] allowing swimming in a pool that is either not attended or posted that it is not guarded."

Another no-no for associations would be not controlling who uses the recreational amenities, or failing to set limits on how they are used. If the association turns a blind eye to wild parties thrown in common areas for example, the insurance company will not look favorably on any claims ensuing from this desertion of responsibility.

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