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Understanding Your Condo or Co-op Claim
As a condo or co-op owner, you may be asking yourself questions such as: What am I responsible for? Will my condo association or co-op board cover anything? Although answers to these questions may vary according to your master deed, by-laws or proprietary lease agreements, there are certain rules of thumb you can follow to determine who may be responsible for repairing or replacing your damaged property. Below are some useful tips as well as answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive about condo/co-op claims. We encourage you to contact your Travelers Claim professional if you have additional questions or concerns regarding your claim.
What you can do
Completing the following steps as soon as possible will help us to quickly resolve your claim:
- Notify a member of your condo association or co-op board or their management company of your loss.
- Obtain the name of the insurance company that provides property coverage for your condo or co-op, and determine if condo or co-op officials will be filing a claim with that insurance company.
- Make sure you have a copy of the master deed, by-laws and/or proprietary lease agreement(s). If you do not have a copy of these documents, you should contact your management company to obtain a copy. Your Claim professional will need a copy of these documents to resolve your claim.
- Discuss with your Travelers Claim professional whether there is anything you should do to prevent further damage to your property before making any repairs. Be sure to keep all receipts and invoices for any work completed.
- Review your Travelers insurance policy. If you have questions about your coverage, ask your Claim professional to walk you through your policy.
Frequently asked questions
What is my condo association or co-op board?
This is the group that manages the collective interests of the members of your complex.
Do I have to involve my condo association or co-op board if I have a claim?
Yes, it is important to involve them because some or all of your loss may be covered under their insurance policy. Also, many associations, boards and management companies will file an incident report to document the loss to your property and the actions taken to mitigate the damages.
What are master deeds, by-laws and/or proprietary lease agreements?
Master deeds, by-laws and proprietary lease agreements are documents that define the rules and regulations for your condo or co-op and its members. These documents will help you and your Travelers claim professional sort through who is responsible for covering the damages.
How do I know what is covered under my Travelers insurance policy and what is covered under the condo or co-op's policy?
Typically, your policy covers everything inside your unit, including your contents and any finishes, alterations or upgrades (often referred to as improvements and betterments). Generally, your condo or co-op's policy covers structural damage to the building itself and common areas, such as hallways, lobbies and the roof. Please refer to your master deed, by-laws or proprietary lease to determine each party's responsibility for the damage.
My Travelers Claim professional has informed me that my property damage should be covered under the master policy for my condo or co-op, but no one from the association, board or their management company will return my phone calls. What should I do?
There are a few steps you can follow when this situation arises:
- Send a written request to the condo association or co-op board asking for a copy of their master policy.
- Work with your Travelers Claim professional to identify the specific provisions in the master deed, by-laws, proprietary lease or the master policy that require them to make a claim under their policy.
- Send letters or emails to your association, board or their management company outlining the provisions that require the association, board or management company to turn in the claim under its policy. This will help document your requests.
- If the association, board or management company is unresponsive, consider contacting individual officers of the association or board to express your concerns and see if they can provide any assistance.
- Check to see whether your state has a consumer protection office that helps resolve disputes between unit owners and condo or co-op associations, boards or management companies.