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Understanding Your Condo or Co-op Insurance Claim

You may be wondering who is responsible if you experience a loss that originated from a common area such as a roof or was caused by another condo or co-op owner.

Condo and co-op insurance claims may involve multiple parties, such as your condo association or co-op board, which is the group that manages the collective interests of the owners. In addition, the way your loss is handled may be determined by your building’s Master deeds, by-laws, and proprietary lease agreements. These documents define the rules and regulations for your condo or co-op and its members. You should contact your condo board or co-op for a copy of these documents if you do not have them.

As a result of these variables, some or all of your loss may be covered by your insurance or it may be covered by your associations, boards or Management Company’s insurance policy.

Fortunately, your Travelers Claim professional can help you determine the cause of your damage, the estimated cost of repairs or replacement, and who may be responsible.  

Submitting Your Claim

Completing the following steps as soon as possible can assist in resolving 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.
  • 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.

The following documents may help may help you and your Claim professional determine which insurance policy covers the damages to your unit:

  • Your association’s policy
  • Your association’s master deed
  • Your association’s by-laws
  • Any proprietary lease agreements

If you’re having difficulty contacting your condo association or management company, here are a few tips that could help:

  • Send a letter to your 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 your condo association or co-op board to make a claim under its  policy.
  • Send letters or emails to your association, board or management company that outline the provisions that require the association, board or management company to report the claim under its policy.

If you have damage to the interior of your unit and Travelers is responsible for covering your property damage

  • Mitigate & Prevent: Discuss with your Travelers Claim professional whether there is anything you should do to prevent further damage to your property before making any repairs. This may entail removing water, securing broken windows, etc.
  • Document: Maintain receipts and invoices for any damaged items or work completed. Photograph damaged property or  contents. Collect relevant condo association insurance information and copy of the bylaws. This includes the name of the insurance company that  provides property coverage for your condo or co-op.
  • Notify: Notify a member of your condo association or co-op board or their management company of your loss. Ask that they file a claim with their insurance company.

Travelers' responsibilities in this instance:

  • Restore: We will work with you to determine appropriate repair or replacement services required.
  • Subrogation: We will review your claim and inform you if subrogation is possible.
  • Inform: We will provide you with updates of your claim.

If you have damage to the exterior of your unit and Travelers is not responsible for covering your property damage

  • Mitigate & Prevent: Protect your unit. This may entail securing broken windows, etc. 
  • Document: Obtain relevant condo association insurance information. This includes the name of the insurance company that provides property coverage for your condo or co-op.
  • Notify: Notify a member of your condo association or co-op board or their management company of your loss. They will be responsible for working with you to resolve your claim.

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.
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