Insurance Claims for Florida Homeowners and Condominium Associations

There are thousands of homeowners associations (HOAs) and condominium associations all over Florida. The sizes and responsibilities of these groups can vary from community to community, but most of them maintain some sort of insurance policy to protect their assets.

Because of some of the extreme weather like hurricanes or flooding in certain parts of the state, insurance policies can be extremely important for HOAs and condo associations. These groups can pay significant premiums in order for the following forms of protection:

  • Property Damage – This type of policy would serve to protect utilities, property, and common areas that are shared by the HOA or condo association community. In the event of a fire, flood, hurricane, or sinkhole collapse, a property damage policy would pay for the cost of repairs that can easily be millions of dollars.
  • Criminal Damage – This policy could protect an HOA or condo association from graffiti, vandalism, or arson, but certain criminal policies can also serve to protect the association from fiduciary mismanagement by a board member or other officer. These policies are sometimes referred to as fidelity insurance.
  • Liability Claims – A person who is injured by a slip and fall accident, malfunctioning equipment, or violent crime on that HOA or condo association’s property may file a premises liability lawsuit. This type of insurance policy can help cover the cost of any settlements in such cases.

While insurance for an HOA or condo association may be costly, it is generally seen as being a worthwhile investment. However, many boards of such associations are shocked when insurance companies fail to provide adequate compensation after a claim is filed. Some of the common problems that HOAs and condo associations encounter when filing an insurance claim include:

  • Delayed payment – Florida Statute ยง 627.70131 specifically states that an “insurer shall pay or deny such claim or a portion of the claim” within 90 days after receiving notice of an “initial, reopened, or supplemental property insurance claim from a policyholder,” but does allow insurance companies some leeway if “the failure to pay is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurer.”
  • Denial of claim – There can be various reasons for a claim to be denied, including but not limited to a lack of evidence, certain accidents not being covered by certain policies, or policies being cancelled because premiums were not paid on time.
  • Inadequate settlement amount – The insurance company may undervalue a claim and offer an amount that is significantly less than the actual cost of the damage.
  • Negligent defense provided in liability claims – In certain general liability claims, an insurance company could leave a policyholder stuck with a settlement that exceeds policy limits.

Insurance companies investigate claims to limit their own payouts, finding reasons that claims fall into exclusions that are not covered under certain policies. An HOA or condominium association does not have to simply accept these types of outcomes. An experienced attorney can negotiate to seek a more favorable recovery or take the insurance company to court if it fails to provide a satisfactory amount.

Townhouse or Condo – What Is the Difference?

Between a townhouse and a condo, there is a lot of difference. Everyone dreams about owning a home some day and if you are considering either of these as your first, or maybe your last, home it is important to know what each one is and how they differ.

Townhouse

It is a type of row or terraced house that is similar in shape and size and will usually share common walls. They are considered a single-family residence with each having a separate entrance. When you buy a townhouse, you are buying a special unit from a long line of properties that are similar. In historic Ireland and UK, it was a house for aristocrats inside a capital city that they used when they had to attend parliament sessions or during social functions.

Condo

It is also referred to as a condominium and is a type of housing tenure that also means common ownership. These were a part of a certain estate that are sold or leased to a tenant. The owner of the whole estate did this. Today it is a term used as a substitute for special unit, or apartment that are leased or purchased.

Major differences

• Ownership specifications-when you own a condo you will be the legal owner of everything that is inside the interior and if the condo owner wants to use the rest of the amenities, they must pay a monthly fee to the condo association. All members who own a condo form this association.

• Property taxes-the one that owns the condo also has to pay property tax on their individual living area but the townhouse homeowner has to pay not only for their living area but also for the ground on which it is built. This can mean that the cost for a townhouse may be higher than the price of a condo.

• The townhouse owner will have to pay a sum to a homeowner’s association for the maintenance of the complex but the monthly dues that a condo owner pays takes care of the overall maintenance without paying an extra fee.

• Structure of the home-mo matter what size of a townhouse that you purchase it is located on the ground level. There are no more floors on top except for maybe a terrace or it could be built in a different style of architectural like Cape Cod. The condo is usually located in a two or three floor complex. It could also be in a luxurious high-end multistory building along with exotic views.

• Condos are safer than townhouses as they are surrounded by a close neighborhood

• Townhouses offer more privacy as you are not surrounded by a lot of neighbors.

Bangkok Accommodation in Yenakart

Realtors operating in the Thai capital often get asked which districts in Bangkok are the most suitable for expats. The thing is, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question because lifestyles and expectations are subjective. With that in mind, the short answer has to be that there is no ideal place for an expat to live in Bangkok.

Not All Homes and Neighbourhoods Are Equal

Some people prefer to dwell in high-rise condominiums around busy, vibrant areas like Asoke or Nana, enjoying great city views from living room windows. Others may like the more intimate feel of a low-rise condo or apartment in the city’s quieter parts of town like On Nut.

However, for those expats working in Bangkok’s CBD, location and easy access to their office is imperative. This may mean they have to be practical perhaps more so than picky when looking for accommodation. For them, the Sathorn area is often the preferred location, and Yenakart is a very good choice.

The Yenakart / Sathorn District

Quiet, green, and centrally placed with easy access to Rama 3 Expressway, Rama 4 Road, Sathorn Road, and Narathiwat Road, makes it actually quite difficult to find a more centrally placed location in Bangkok than Yenakart.

It is also important to note that Yenakart has three points of access from Bangkok’s public transportation network. The first and original one, is the Chong Nonsi BTS (Skytrain) station, which is only a five minute drive from the central Yenakart area. Closer still is the Lumpini MRT (Metro) station, located near Q-House Lumpini (a 38-storey office building set on the corner of Sathon and Rama 4 roads). From Q-House, residents can reach most of the condos mentioned in this article within a 15 minute walk. And finally, there’s the more recently opened Yenakart BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) station on the Bangkok BRT line.

Now let’s take a look at the type of accommodation available in Yenakart.

The Resorta Yenakart

Fortunately, Yenakart has a complete range of accommodation on offer, from low-cost studios starting at around 13,000 THB/Mo, to beautiful, spacious three bed condos, renting out for 100,000 THB/Mo and above. However, let’s begin by looking at the smaller, low-cost units on offer at The Resorts Yenakart, located in the Yan Nawa district of Bangkok.

One bedroom units here can be had for as little as 15,000 THB/Mo, but the better furnished, more attractive rooms will be priced up to 18,000 THB/Mo. Resorta Yenakart is a low-rise condominium housing a total of 308 condo units. Some of the condo facilities include:

  • Large swimming pool
  • Attractive grounds and gardens
  • Fitness room
  • Sauna / steam room
  • Mini Mart
  • Reception Area
  • Covered Parking
  • 24hr security

The Resorta represents great value for those wanting to live in the Bangkok CBD area.

Sathorn Plus Condominiums by Sansiri

Moving up in terms of price are another two fine low-rise condominium buildings: the Sathorn Plus on the Pond and Sathorn Plus by the Garden, both of which are located on the main Yenakart road. These condos are built by Sansiri (one of the largest real estate developers in Thailand) and offer practical living in the Yenakart area.

Some of the typical facilities for each of these Sathorn Plus condos include:

  • Car parking
  • Fitness room
  • Multi-Purpose Room
  • Roof-top swimming pool
  • Shady garden area
  • 24 hour security with CCTV and Security Key Card Access Control

The 50sqm one-bed units at these Sansiri properties rent out for approximately 24,000 THB/Mo at the time of writing, and the studios are slightly cheaper at just 17,000 THB/Mo.

Baan Sirisathorn, Yenakat

Located not far from the two low rise buildings above is Baan Sirisathorn. This is yet another good quality low rise building, providing grade-A living for residents.

As with the other low-rise accommodations in this area, there is a nice feeling of both intimacy and quality about the place. Fitted out with solid wooden floors, powder coated window frames, and top quality fixtures & fittings throughout, these units really are something else.

At the time of writing, the 35sqm studio condos here rent for about 20,000 THB/Mo. A 55sqm one bedroom goes for approximately 30,000 THB/Mo, and the 80sqm two bedroom units for 40,000 THB/Mo. Condo facilities include:

  • Reception Area
  • Undercover Parking
  • Roof-Top Swimming Pool
  • Roof-Top Sun Deck
  • Roof Top Fitness Studio
  • 24 Hour Security

Baan Sirisathorn is a cosy residence and makes for a perfect home for expats working in CBD.

The Lanai Condominium

As mentioned earlier, Yenakart has accommodation to suit a varied selection of tastes, budgets, and requirements. If you like traditional South East Asian styles and oriental architecture, then the Lanai could be the perfect place for you.

This exclusive condominium is an eight story low rise project with just 34 one and two bed units in total. The Lanai offers its tenants a very unusual choice in Bangkok living.

Indisputably a high-end building with a real five star quality feel to the place, the Lanai affords residents with a peaceful, resort style experience, not dissimilar to what you might expect at a luxury retreat in a tropical location such as Samui, Phuket, or even Bali in Indonesia.

The condos at the Lanai are huge, with three bedroom units being over 250sqm. Even the two bedroom units are above 200sqm. Oozing quality and opulence, the Lanai condos are bright, airy, and sophisticated. Facilities include:

  • Covered Car Park (2 spaces reserved)
  • Fitness Center
  • Reception
  • Roof Garden
  • Sauna / steam
  • Swimming Pool & Deck
  • 24 hour Security with CCTV

The moment you enter the lobby, it’s as though you have been transported far away from Bangkok and miraculously set down at a beautiful five star resort along the Andaman Sea or Gulf of Thailand. It is fair to say that this quality residence offers something that no other Bangkok condominium building can.

Obviously all this space, luxury, and hi-so lifestyle comes at a price. With rents in the neighbourhood of around 100,000 THB/Mo for a three bedroom unit, it will only be Bangkok’s high earners who get to reside at the exclusive Lanai Condominium.

The Conclusion

As you can see, this little known and often forgotten corner of Bangkok known as Yenakart, actually offers expats a great deal of choice and convenience. With easy access to the BTS Skytrain, MRT Metro, and the Bangkok BRT system, it’s amazing this part of town remains somewhat of a hidden gem. Additionally, those expats who own a car can also easily access Rama 4 road, Rama 3 road, Narathiwat road, Sathorn road, and the Rama 3 Expressway.

Going back to our opening paragraph, where we said there are no districts in Bangkok which are most suitable for expats, perhaps there is after all, and perhaps it’s Yenakart!

Essential Tips to Finding Condos for Sale

There are a few tips you may want to take under advisement when looking for a condo for sale so that you know the one you choose is the perfect match for you and your family moving forward, a place where you will feel safe and can enjoy for years to come.

One of the first things you are going to want to take into consideration before you even start looking at a condo for sale is to consider your lifestyle. Are you a small family with young children a handful of pets? Are you a single professional looking for the convenience of a lock up and go or are you a young couple who enjoy spending weekends away at various destinations throughout the country? Your lifestyle will determine if condo living is the right choice for you.

Remember a condo, or condominium, is a unit in a complex. This means that you will have neighbors close by, but you also get the added benefit of a host of facilities and amenities. Some come with swimming pools, others come with laundries and there are those that also include a small fitness center as an added convenience.

With your lifestyle identified and you have decided that a condo for sale is the best choice for you right now, you are going to want to look for an experienced an agent. If you have heard of a new complex being built in your area, then contact the agents handling the complex to see if there are any units still available and make an arrangement to view at your convenience. Try and choose an agent who has experience selling these types of units, someone with a wealth of information that can provide you with the advise and assistance you need to make the right investment decision moving forward.

When you find a condo for sale you feel meets your exact requirements, then you are going to want to start working on your financing options. Speak to the agent you are dealing with to see who they recommend for financing. If you have your own bank you have been using for years and you have a good credit history, it is worthwhile approaching your bank directly to see what finance they can provide to you, so you can pay your deposit and secure your unit without delay.

Identify what is included with the condo. In most instances you find that condominiums come with a host of facilities and amenities. Some will have swimming pools, some will have fitness centers and others will have both. These are conveniences that you may or may not make use of, but they are fantastic selling points when you choose to sell or upgrade one day.

Ensure you identify the Homeowners Association fees you need to pay each month and what these fees include. These fees are charged by the association that oversees the complex. In most instances this will include overall maintenance of the building and public areas, along with refuse removal and more. Each association has different rules and fees, so ensure you have a good understanding of these before making any final decision.

The Benefits to Buying a Condo

One of the many benefits you will find when you choose condos for sale over other properties is that you don’t have to worry about any exterior maintenance. When buying family home, you need to keep a budget aside for those unexpected external emergencies, such as a damaged roof, a tree that falls down in your garden or even your exterior walls being damaged. When buying a condo, because it is a complex, the Homeowners Association will be responsible for handling all exterior work, so you can enjoy your home now and in the future with complete confidence.

Another major benefit to condos for sale is security. These days you want to keep your home and your family safe and secure. Having added security is a major benefit to provide you with complete peace of mind, which provides you with the convenience of a lock up and go property. You can lock your front door and head off for a week or two knowing that everything will remain safe indoors and you don’t have to worry that someone may try break in while you are away.

Of course condominiums come with the added benefit of a host of amenities and facilities. The majority of these complexes will offer you the convenience of a lock up and go property with a communal swimming pool and maybe even a fitness center, depending on the complex. Some will come with laundry. With these added amenities you can enjoy all the conveniences of a home while having your own space which is modern, luxurious and finished to the highest quality.

Condos for sale are in the affordable price range. They are more expensive than an apartment, but they are usually on a par with a single family home, depending on where you buy and the area. Of course location is essential and if you are looking for luxury and convenience in a prestigious area, then you will find that condos for sale work out cheaper than the homes in the surrounding area. This helps you get your foot onto the property ladder in an exclusive area, offering you a good return on your investment in the long run.

Outside spaces will be cleaned for you, the pool will be maintained and the equipment in the fitness center will be up and operational at all times. If the building has an elevator, that will be regularly serviced. These are all things you don’t need to worry about, you can furnish your condo, move in and start enjoying condo life without delay.

Of course when there are benefits, there are always a few disadvantages and the same applies to all condos for sale. This is why if you are looking for property to purchase and you are considering a condominium, you may want to weigh up the pros and cons of all the property options within your budget to identify if this is the right choice for you moving forward.

One of the disadvantages to buying a condo for sale is that you have strict rules to abide by. The Homeowners Association will put rules in place that all the units must follow. The reason for this is to make living in the complex more enjoyable for everyone.

The second disadvantage is that you will have to pay Homeowners Association fees, which are in place to pay for all the exterior and daily maintenance of the complex, so your condo is always somewhere enjoyable to live now and in the future.