Condo associations HOA insurance rates are soaring – Pas Trusted News

Homeowners associations report insurance quotes are skyrocketing, leaving unit owners many on fixed incomes facing steep increases in monthly payments or even special assessments.

“Owning a condo is certainly getting more expensive throughout Florida,” said Tampa real estate broker Cristan Fadal.

Fadal says it’s a phenomenon that he’s seeing more often of HOA insurance costs soaring.

“The expectation was maybe a 20 or 30% increase,” said Fadal. “And now, you’re seeing a fourfold increase. People are not prepared for that.”

Unlike single-family homes, condo owners generally have insurance for their personal belongings.

Insurance for the building and property are covered by the HOA. But at condominiums like the one Fadal pointed to on Davis Islands, they cover the building, property and liability.

He said their most recent insurance payment was $25,000 a year, but at that time only three companies would even offer them a policy. And the lowest, including windstorm coverage, was $113,000.

“You have to have it. The boards are obligated to carry both casualty and windstorm,” said Fadal. “And when you don’t know exactly what that amount is going to be, it’s a scary situation.”

Just last week at an HOA board meeting in South Florida, frustrations boiled over. Police were called in when angry residents were told of a sharp fee increase with little notice.

Experts say the increases could be especially hard for thousands of retirees on fixed incomes.

“And now all of a sudden, the budget is broken up or something like homeowners’ insurance,” said real estate agent Callen Jones. “Because the more companies who leave, the less opportunity you have to shop and get a better rate.”

In some cases, like the community in South Florida, condo owners are so frustrated that they’re rebelling against their own homeowners’ associations by collecting signatures to recall board members and replace them with those who feel they can do a better job keeping insurance costs and their monthly payments down.

Another issue is time. HOA board members say in many cases insurance companies won’t offer a quote good for more than 45 days. That leaves them with few choices but to accept the higher cost or risk violating new state laws requiring condos to carry those insurance policies.

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