INSURANCE: CO-OP AND CONDO: A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Co-ops and Condos vary with regard to liability and insurance requirements.

Co-op Shareholders are stockholders in a private corporation. Their shares entitle them to reside in the building.

Condo Unit Owners own the real property they reside in.

Because a Condo Association does not carry an underlying mortgage, the minimum coverages for a Condo are property and liability. Property insurance covers the building in the event of a claim, and liability covers the building if it is named in a lawsuit.

A Condo Association may be held responsible for what happens in its common areas. The Board can be sued for negligence or mismanagement. According to The Condominium Act, ..."Unit owners shall have no personal liability for damages caused by the Association or in connection with the use of the common elements..."

Individual Shareholders and Unit Owners can be sued if they are on the Board of Directors or Board of Managers. Board members can have an independent Directors and Officers policy (D&O) to pick up where the Co-op or Condo Board's policy may lapse.

A building's D&O coverage protects the Board's decision-making, individual D&O polices shield each Board member as a corporate officer or director from personal liability and financial loss that may arise from "wrongful acts" committed or alleged.

Condo and Co-op Boards should also consider requiring Owners and Shareholders to maintain home owners' insurance.

Every Condo and Co-Op should make sure they have enough of the right insurance for their protection, and the protection of all Unit Owners and Shareholders.

If you have any questions about your building's insurance, or your own personal insurance, you can contact Arthur Schwartz of Masters Coverage Corp. Mr. Schwartz can be reached at 212 714-9705 or via E-mail at aschw@masterscoverage.com He will be happy to assist you.

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