Who is responsible for repairing storm damage to a condo?

Severe weather is a fact of life here in Florida. For those who own one of the 1.5 million condo units in the state, there are some extra considerations. When a storm hits, who is responsible for repairs to the condo building: the affected residents or the condo association?

A storm is an insurable event

Under Florida law, a condo association is generally required to have casualty insurance for an “insurable event” – something that happens suddenly or unexpectedly and is out of an injured party’s control. A hurricane or storm is an example of an insurable event.

This insurance should offer primary coverage for all condo property as it was originally installed, and all alterations or additions made to the condo property. What does all this mean? In most cases, if a storm directly causes damage to condo property, repairs will fall under the association’s legally required insurance policy.

However, there are a few exemptions.

Property that is the responsibility of the unit owner

The same law mentioned above also lists property that, if damaged by a storm, is the responsibility of the unit owner to fix. This applies to all personal property within an individual unit, including:

  • Floor, wall and ceiling coverings
  • Appliances
  • Built-in cabinets and countertops
  • Curtains, drapes, blinds and other window treatments
  • Electrical fixtures
  • Water heaters and water filters

Condominium law and insurance law are quite complex legal areas. This post offers a general overview of what many condo owners can expect. However, there are other factors (such as association bylaws or human error) that may affect a storm damage repair determination. In some cases, disagreements over the language may lead to disputes between a condo association and unit owner.

Usually, the best thing to do is read over the condo association’s insurance policy as well as the bylaws, and reach out to a legal resource such as an attorney with questions.


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