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Insurance and covering damage from Irma

September 29, 2017
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Mr. Feichthaler:

Like many condominium owners in Cape Coral, our building sustained some damage during Hurricane Irma. Some units, including ours, sustained water damage as a result of roof damage. Some of us believe the condominium association is responsible for all damage since it was a result of the roof failure, while others believe our individual unit policies should cover it. Can you clear this up?

- Stacey H.

Dear Stacey:

I am sorry to hear about the damage your home sustained. From power outages to structural damage, Cape Coral residents have all been impacted by the storm by varying degrees. Thankfully, the worst of the storm spared us, and no loss of life occurred. Now, we must move forward to bring our lives back to normalcy.

The Florida Statutes require that all condominium associations have insurance to cover the full value or replacement cost of the condominium property. This includes all portions of the property as specified in the original specifications, which would include roofs, exterior walls and all common elements. However, the statute was amended after the hurricanes of 12 years ago that the association policy must specifically exclude all portions of the actual condominium unit, including interior walls, floors, appliances, as well as personal property within the unit. This change was made to allow insurance to be affordable for associations. As a result, this also put the onus on unit owners to obtain their own policies to protect the unit.

If units sustained damage from water intrusion from the storm, the association can make a claim against insurance for roof and other repairs outside the unit, while the individual unit owner policy will cover damage inside the unit.

The partners and staff at Burandt, Adamski & Feichthaler wish everyone a safe and peaceful recovery from the storm.

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for 28 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008. Recently, he earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is also a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.



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