Understanding Your HOA: Important Considerations for Condo Owners

Whether you are a new or longtime condominium owner, you should familiarize yourself with the activities and governing documents for your unit’s homeowners association (HOA). California law specifies that HOAs operate according to bylaws that describe the organization’s structure and the way the HOA conducts its business. In addition to these governing bylaws, the association also will also have in place rules, covenants, and other documents that define common elements and outline permitted and prohibited activities.

As part of your regular review of condo insurance, you should keep abreast of any changes in HOA practices and policies that could have an impact on you. For example, if a member of your family or a guest in the condo violates association rules, how will you have liability? If someone claims that one of your visiting grandchildren damaged something near the swimming pool or in another common area, what steps must the HOA take to prove its case and what due process rights do you have as a member of the association?

As you most likely know, the insurance maintained by the HOA does not cover personal possessions within your unit. The HOA’s insurance covers “common elements,” but there may be a question about how the association defines these elements. Before purchasing a condo or renewing your policy, you should take an opportunity to review the HOA’s certificate of insurance to make sure that there are no discrepancies or unexpected surprises not covered in your condo policy.

A quick review of the HOA policy and asking questions about the rights and responsibilities of unit owners today may prevent problems tomorrow.

Serving Pismo Beach, CA, the professionals at Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc look forward to offering condo coverage that suits your needs. Please contact us today.