Thursday, January 7, 2016

Loss Assesment Insurance - Make sure you have it!

Hello Jasmine Place Community!

Last month at our Annual Homeowners meeting we spoke about Loss Assessment Insurance.  This is an additional policy an Owner can carry to off-set any special assessment that is charged by the HOA to the Owner in case we have an insurable event i.e. Fire, Wind, Hail events. 

Loss assessment WILL NOT cover a Special Assessment due to lack of funding by an HOA.

Below are definitions and examples...not exact figures in relationship to our Community.

Communal Damage

  • If damage occurs only in your townhouse and nowhere else, your individual unit or homeowners insurance policy will pay for the damage, subject to your deductible. If, however, the damage occurs to a structure that is communally owned by everyone in the homeowners association, such as a swimming pool, or exterior structure such as a Roof, the association's master insurance policy pays for the damage. This is an important distinction because loss assessment coverage applies only to communal, not individual, damage.

Property Damage Example

  • If a fire occurs in a Townhome, several units may be affected as well as a large portion of the exterior structure. Each unit owner's insurance policy pays for the damage to their belongings, but the master insurance policy pays for the exterior structure and any other communal areas like siding, roofs and garbage rooms. The association policy may carry a large deductible, like 2% of RCV (Replaceable Cost Value), or may contain inadequate coverage to pay for all the damage. The association may choose to divide the deductible and any uncovered damage amount among the unit owners equally.

Liability Example

  • Loss assessments may occur with liability losses as well. If, for example, someone is injured on the community grounds, the association could get sued for negligent maintenance. If the court award is $4 million but the association only carries $3 million liability coverage, the association will likely assess the remaining $1 million to the association members. If there are 50 members/owners, each would receive an assessment of $20,000. Your loss assessment coverage would pay this expense, up to the policy limit you select.


  • Generally, loss assessment coverage applies only under certain circumstances. The assessment must be a result of a covered insurance loss, not routine maintenance. Thus, it will pay for assessments from roof replacement if the roof was damaged by fire, but not simply because the roof was worn out. The assessment must come from the homeowners association, not a government entity. Finally, the assessment must occur during the insurance policy period; the date of the loss that led to the assessment is usually irrelevant.

Thanks again for reading.  Should you happen to have further questions, please attend our Monthly Board Meetings.

Your Board of Directors