Find an HOA experienced insurance agent.
Finding someone who is experienced in working with homeowners associations is a big plus for your board. When your agent knows the problems you potentially face, they will provide you with the best advice for choosing which policies fit your HOA. Here are some helpful things to look for when purchasing HOA insurance and choosing your agent:
Does the agent live in a homeowners association?
While this isn’t a requirement to choosing your agent, it is certainly advantageous. Someone who has lived, or is living in an HOA, has the best knowledge of how the associations work.
Has the agent served on the board of a homeowners association?
Anyone who has served as a board member understands the responsibility that the board has. They face countless important decisions for the rest of the community, minor and major, and are held accountable for each one. The decisions the board makes can cause the HOA to flourish or to fail. Choosing the best agent to work with your board, and to decide on which insurance policies are the best fit for your situation, is a huge step in the right direction.
Does the agent have experience with placing insurance for homeowners associations?
The more experience your agent has in working with homeowners associations, the more they will understand the needs you face as a board. If they are familiar with placing insurance for HOAs, they will have the best advice as you decide on the coverage you need for your HOA.
Has the agent handled various types of claims incurred by homeowners associations?
If so, this is a bonus for you as a board. Though you do your best to keep things running smoothly, calamities are bound to happen when you least expect them. Having an experienced agent will make those difficult times when you need to file a claim, much easier to face.
Does the agent use an insurance company with in house claims adjustors that are experienced, competent, efficient and respond without delay?
Knowing that the insurance companies your agent works with are also experienced, and come with good recommendations for efficiency and response time, will make your work as a board much easier. There’s nothing like making a claim, only to deal with lengthy waits and misunderstandings. You want to be sure that your problems are dealt with in a timely and proper manner.
Is the agent experienced with the challenges of maintaining and servicing HOA buildings, selecting contractors, dealing with construction defects, handling water intrusion, handling mold problems, maintaining elevators, roofs, waterproofing balconies and decks, etc.?
If you have the opportunity to find an experienced agent who has already faced these common complications, you will make the board’s job much simpler. Having someone on your side who has dealt with the messy jobs of handling mishaps and upkeep of the buildings and grounds of a homeowners association, will be a major win for your board and its future.
An agent with this background knows the challenges faced by HOA boards and condo unit owners, and can provide solid advice to HOA boards on how to structure insurance to maximize the benefits to the HOA and condo unit owners. They can also avoid insurance gaps that can cost the HOA and lead to special assessments. An agent with this background can be a valuable resource for board members for insurance and for noninsurance matters, saving time and avoiding costly mistakes.